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What Causes Random Scalping????

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by fyarbrou, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. fyarbrou

    fyarbrou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Over the past month I have noticed a problem with my push mower leaving circle/scalp spots on my beautiful yard. I have Bermuda and I am cutting it ~ 2.5" high and bagging the clippings. My blade is sharp and the bolt is tight. My wheels are bolted tight and using the same notches front and rear. I guess the problem has been slowly getting worse as this year has gone by. This even happens randomly in level places so it is not like I am just scalping high spots. It almost looks like I just dropped the blades about 1", sit the mower down, and then raised the wheels and continued to mow. It has to be the mower but I can't figure out what is going on. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Check to make sure your whole engine isn't moving on the deck. Believe it or not, it can. If it slides forward a bit, it will scalp. Also, it could be conditions of your yard. It is very possible, and I mean VERY possible this could be caused from ants.
  3. fyarbrou

    fyarbrou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks Runner. No ants in my yard. I nuke their butts several times a year. I will check on the engine though. I am now wondering if I am letting my bagger get too full before I dump it. The added weight may be causing fluctuations in the downforce that is applied as I lug it around my yard.

  4. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    You're cutting your bermuda too high.What's happening is the tall bermuda is blocking sunlight from the lower leaves,so when you cut off the new top growth,you see the brown leaves underneath.Bermuda type makes a difference as well.Tifway 419 doesn't seem to have this problem.
    I start cutting bermuda at 1.25" in the Spring and I now have bermuda lawns at 2".You may need to cut twice per week at a lower setting.This will keep the top growth down and allow sunlight to stimulate the lower leaves.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    you should be mowing the bermuda twice per week.

    this will stop your scalping issue.

    the lower the better on the height.

    try and get it down to 2" or less.
  6. Grandview

    Grandview LawnSite Gold Member
    from WI
    Posts: 3,251

    Get a Simplicity.
  7. fyarbrou

    fyarbrou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    It must have been my blade. I had recently changed the blade to an older, sharpened one. Evidently this blade was warped. I sharpened the blade that I took off and put it back on. It now mows properly without leaving lawn circles.

  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Well... you know, I've noticed this too with some blades. I recently bought a new blade for my Honda 21" and I have to tell you that the blade looked very very close to the old one, but it had the same problems as what you're describing. It's one of those funny things, everything looks kosher, blade is sharp and clean, but makes a rotten mess of things. My first impression was, "Duh, did I put this blade on correctly???"
  9. ClippersLC

    ClippersLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 130

    Check to make everything is nice and tight. In my Opinion, It kinda sounds like to me that you are hitting small holes or bumps and ruts or something like that, causing a wheel to sink and scab your lawn.

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