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Trouble with "Twilly birds"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doc Pete, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Well that's what I call them. It's those weeds with the stem with a fuzzy thing at the top. Anyway, I'm sure good lawns don't have them, but most of my lawns do. OK, I'm having a bit of trouble cutting these suckers while mowing at 3 inches. I'm running sharp doubles and they just bend over. Anyone else having the same trouble. Is it possible the doubles are actually blowing them over. I may try going back to singles for the summer.....Help!!!
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    u may need to increase your lift by changing blades . mabe mulchers or double high lifts etc. guess its possible u mabe getting to much lift ,causing blowback. then standards an gators or something .
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    I'm thinking it may be a bit of blowback, too.... my friend's single blader 48 cuts them, so it may be just too much with the double highlift blades.... thanks
  4. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    What you're describing sounds a lot like our buckhorns here in Tennessee. And yes they're a real pain. We mow a little slower and then touch up with the weed eater. But you're definately on the right track with ultra sharp blades.
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Thanks, I'll keep working on it...........
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    The taller they are, the harder they are to cut 100%.

    The lower you cut, the better your chances of cutting 100% of them.

    3-3/4" its pretty tough to get 'em.
    3" to 3-1/4" and a little slow down of speed, and I get almost all of them.

    My Grandfather (and many other people) used to call them (the bad "N" word for a black person) - heads. It is buckhorn or plantain.

    It and Crabgrass is about the only thing growing now a days with the dry weather.
  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Yes, I find if I slow down to about (?) 4/5 mph I will get them. Anything faster and I miss them all.....
  8. Buckhorn Plantain Plantago Lanceolata

    Now AKA "twilly birds"

    Slow down and cut lower does the trick

  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Yup..... those are the babies..........
  10. I cut at 3" too. I've noticed a BIG difference in cutting plantain with different decks. I had a Howard Price mower with the old style decks ('85) that would NOT cut the stuff.

    The difference in the HP mower from the other mowers was the front edge of the decks on the HP were sloped out toward the front. So the front edge of the deck was 2 or 3 inches in front of the tip of the blade. The front edge was also lower than the cutting edge of the blade.

    The front lip of the deck was pushing the weeds over and holding them long enough for the blade to pass over them without being cut.

    Could you be having the same kind of problem? Are the blades up inside the deck or level with the bottom?


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