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On my 737 I use medium lift blades set on 2.75 to 3.00. I have cut it as high as 4 when its gotten real tall with good results.It leaves almost no stalks standing. Now with the muching kit and gators it does not cut it good at all. I did 3 yards full of it today.
 

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Gators work great with my mulcher, they do not work great on Bahia grass or any tall grass. In the winter time doing straw and leaf cleanup the gators are great but not for my area in the summer time.
 

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I cut a lot of seashore paspalum, which is, essentially, bahia with a bit thinner leaf blade.

if I were you, this is what I would do, set you mower to a 1/8th" negative deck pitch, this will recut the grass, and take down the seed heads (we hope). if you have a low hp engine, for your deck size, I would use medium lift solid foil blades. if you have enough hp, I would try running exmark wavy mulchers.

I think exmark did a test with this too, and like a negative 18th" deck pitch, along with low lift blades.

on edit, try cutting the lawn a 3"-3.25" I think that a lower height would make the grass stand up more instead of leaning over when you cut it, just a thought.

chris.
 

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Bahia grass is really tough to cut. The first thing to do is make sure the mower is set up according to specs with special attention given to the blade rake. Try using oem blades as a base line and if the results aren't satisfactory talk to your dealer and possibly the manufacturer's customer service department. The number for eXmark is 402-223-6300 and ask for Tim or Fred.

Oldtimer
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Contourbs, I'm in your area and cut bahia almost exclusively. I started using gators and hated the results. I switched to high lifts and got much better results. The most important thing is sharp blades. Sharp blades every day with a spare set of sharp blades in the truck.
 

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With it raining straight for two weeks, I had to mow Bahia that was 12-18" high with my Ferris 1500Z 21HP/48". I had just put a new set of blades on and it did a fairly good job of it. I am using the oem blades. I did double and triple cut only to chop up some of the grass a little finer. The grass was also wet which didn't help things. I have a mulch kit but it wasn't installed yet.

How tall was the bahia you are cutting? I have mowed the same lawn when it was about 6-8 inches. I did it in one pass and with dull blades. I agree that your deck (pitch/rake) is not properly not adjusted.

Anyone know if I'll need to switch to other blades with a mulch kit?
 

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026TB4U said:
With it raining straight for two weeks, I had to mow Bahia that was 12-18" high with my Ferris 1500Z 21HP/48". I had just put a new set of blades on and it did a fairly good job of it. I am using the oem blades. I did double and triple cut only to chop up some of the grass a little finer. The grass was also wet which didn't help things. I have a mulch kit but it wasn't installed yet.

How tall was the bahia you are cutting? I have mowed the same lawn when it was about 6-8 inches. I did it in one pass and with dull blades. I agree that your deck (pitch/rake) is not properly not adjusted.

Anyone know if I'll need to switch to other blades with a mulch kit?
I installed the mulch kit about a month ago on my 737 with the gators. It does great on everything EXCEPT Bahai grass. If you install the kit and mow alot of bahai get ready to triple your time on each yard. I do 4 yards that is 16-18 inches high and with the mulch kit went from 45 minutes to over 2 hours. That thing is fixing to come off until leaf season. The bahai in my yard right now was mowed 10 days ago and is almost waste high and its raining just as hard as it can possibly come down. Im looking to see if there is a rainbow anywhere!
 

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QualityLawnCare4u said:
I installed the mulch kit about a month ago on my 737 with the gators. It does great on everything EXCEPT Bahai grass. If you install the kit and mow alot of bahai get ready to triple your time on each yard. I do 4 yards that is 16-18 inches high and with the mulch kit went from 45 minutes to over 2 hours. That thing is fixing to come off until leaf season. The bahai in my yard right now was mowed 10 days ago and is almost waste high and its raining just as hard as it can possibly come down. Im looking to see if there is a rainbow anywhere!
Right now, all I mow is bahia and a lot of it. Have you tried any other blades with the mulch kit? It looks like the consensus seems to be gator blades don't work, at least not on bahia anyway.
 

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026TB4U said:
Right now, all I mow is bahia and a lot of it. Have you tried any other blades with the mulch kit? It looks like the consensus seems to be gator blades don't work, at least not on bahia anyway.
Ive tried gators, regular baldes, doubles, and NOTHING will work in 18 inch tall bahai grass with the mulcher. You have to go down to a crawl and then there are so many stalks left you have to go over it again and then a third time to get rid of the clumps of grass with the deck set on 5 inches. Bahai does NOT mulch good. If it was not raining so hard right now that mulching kit would be coming off.
 

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Bahia does not mulch good because it is a very high fiber grass compared to most others.

Remember this is a grass that was originally used for hay production in Brazil.

The most important thing with Bahia is a sharp blade.
On my Gravely PM260 with OEM Blades that are sharp, I can cut Bahia at 60% (5mph) of my st augustine cutting speed (8mph). If I use my Meg-mo's I can go at 6 mph and they stay sharper about twice as long.

The second most important thing is horsepower.
this is especially true if the grass has gotten away from you.

The third most important thing is to cut at least weekly when it is raining.
cutting off more than 4 inches makes it much more difficult.

I cut at between 3-4 inches. The lower you cut the easier it is to get straggler seed pods. But if you cut much lower than 3 inches you will see gradual thinning of the lawn that leads to loss of suction and more stragglers.

With oem blades I change them after 4 hours of cutting time with Meg-mo I go 7 or 8 hours.

In any type of overgrowth I find that doubles don't help much, the extra weight plus the grass clumps bog down the mower too fast. Doubles do work well on 4" or less being cut off. I've used high lift over oem. Now I just go with the meg-mos.

I also find that if the ground is damp you get better life from the blade. Mainly because the sand is not being picked up and dulling the blades as quickly.
 

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Precision said:
Bahia does not mulch good because it is a very high fiber grass compared to most others.

Remember this is a grass that was originally used for hay production in Brazil.

The most important thing with Bahia is a sharp blade.
On my Gravely PM260 with OEM Blades that are sharp, I can cut Bahia at 60% (5mph) of my st augustine cutting speed (8mph). If I use my Meg-mo's I can go at 6 mph and they stay sharper about twice as long.

The second most important thing is horsepower.
this is especially true if the grass has gotten away from you.

The third most important thing is to cut at least weekly when it is raining.
cutting off more than 4 inches makes it much more difficult.

I cut at between 3-4 inches. The lower you cut the easier it is to get straggler seed pods. But if you cut much lower than 3 inches you will see gradual thinning of the lawn that leads to loss of suction and more stragglers.

With oem blades I change them after 4 hours of cutting time with Meg-mo I go 7 or 8 hours.

In any type of overgrowth I find that doubles don't help much, the extra weight plus the grass clumps bog down the mower too fast. Doubles do work well on 4" or less being cut off. I've used high lift over oem. Now I just go with the meg-mos.

I also find that if the ground is damp you get better life from the blade. Mainly because the sand is not being picked up and dulling the blades as quickly.
Sounds like I should have spent my money on Meg-mo's instead of a mulch kit.
 

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I have never tried the meg-mos, heard alot of folks like them and some dont but if they cut bahai they would be great.
 

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contourbs said:
my exmark is only about 4 months old, due you think i need to mess with the deck pitch. and if so what do i do
I am a newbie when it comes to commercial mowers. I am also new to this board. I mentioned the deck pitch because I have read people recommending this over and over to correct bad cut problems.

I would at least check the deck. As far as where to look, there should be a section in your Exmark manual on how to check and correct the deck. It usually involves parking on a level surface and measuring the distance at different point of the deck. The back is supposed to be higher than the front. But again, check the manual for the exact procedure. I have a Ferris and not an Exmark, so I don't want to steer you wrong.
 

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026TB4U said:
I am a newbie when it comes to commercial mowers. I am also new to this board. I mentioned the deck pitch because I have read people recommending this over and over to correct bad cut problems.

I would at least check the deck. As far as where to look, there should be a section in your Exmark manual on how to check and correct the deck. It usually involves parking on a level surface and measuring the distance at different point of the deck. The back is supposed to be higher than the front. But again, check the manual for the exact procedure. I have a Ferris and not an Exmark, so I don't want to steer you wrong.
On my exmark with 14 hours the pitch was off about 1/4 an inch. The manual tells you how to adjust, not a real bad but sorta tedius job. It does make a difference to.
 

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contourbs said:
i have a exmark 23 kawi, 52 inch
you got enough hp to try a negative 1/8" deck pitch and wavy mulching blades on side discharge. I am not sure of exmarks exact findings, I'll try to search for it.
 

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ok, here's exmark's take on bahia. and I agree with them, this is what I have found true of seashore paspalum, barring the lowlift blades.

This was posted by fred, from the exmark service department.

Hey guys,

I think I can jump in and help you all out on this one. I have recently done some Bahia testing in Houston and here is what I found.

To cut Bahia clean and fast 2 things was key, blade tip speed and cut it low.

To keep the blade tip speed up we used low lift blades. The Bahia grass is stiff like wire so we didn't need much air foil to lift the grass. This frees up a lot of HP. Also use a blade that has a cutting edge all the way to the hole of the blade.

Next cutting it 2.5" or lower left a very clean cut. The higher we went the more stragglers we seen. The areas in Texas people like it cut that low because this stuff grows by the hour.

One other set-up we changes is we put about 1/8" negative rake in the decks (front higher than the rear). This with the full length sharpen blades cut the grass like butter!

This set up worked really well for over grown areas also (a little brush hogging, I had to try it). Of coarse we were using Exmarks but I would bet this set-up would work well with many of the other fine makers of machines out there.

Can you tell I'm in service and not sales!!

So blade tip speed low lift blades, engine rpm (check them with a tach) and grease up the idler pivots.
Cut it low, 2 to 2.5" work in all cases that we had. Measure the blade tips. I would not just go by the height selector they can vary even more so with older machines.
We ran negative rake in our machines and it work the best.

Give this a try I think you will see a great improvement.

Thanks, Fred.
 
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