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Hay Field...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bigtodd, May 23, 2003.

  1. Bigtodd

    Bigtodd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Well, I guess this seems like a dumb question, but I don't have a ton of experience, and I am at the end of my rope.

    One of my accounts (a business in an industrial park) has grass that grows incredibly fast and thick. They have a comercial company come out and fertalize and treat the lawn (True-Green or whatever). In one week the lawn had doubled in length. I have an older Toro 52" w/b and normally it does a good job, but the last two times, I triple cut it and it still looked like a stinking hay field when I was done.

    So far, the customer has not complained, but I am not happy with it when I am done.

    There are a lot of larger lawn companies doing businesses in the area that look a lot more like they know what they are doing. I feel that I am just adding to the image of me being a scrub by leaving this place looking the way it does.

    I am already spending more time here than what I had figured on, Do I just keep cross cutting until the clippings get chopped small enough? Or, do I spend another 1/2 hour blowing the clippings off, and then what do I do with them? Should I try using some mulching blades? Will they cut the grass into smaller, less noticable pieces?

    This is one of only half a dozen accounts, and it's the only one I am having this trouble with. Any suggestions would be apreciated.
  2. dtain22

    dtain22 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    if you look across the street and see a lawn that looks a heck of a lot better than yours keep in mind, at some point, your account holder will do the same thing...Do whatever you can to keep the account but make sure the owner is aware of the work you are putting in. otherwise you're fighting an uphill battle.:p
  3. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,093

    Have any photos so we can see how tall and thick the grass is, and how it looks? At this point I would try anything. Start with Gator blades, and see how it goes.
    If your double cutting anyway you could raise your height the first pass.
  4. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I too would suggest trying Gator blades, to get those clippings cut up more.

    How tall, or short are you cutting?

    Might want to raise it up for a while, to get past all this crazy rainy period we are having!
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I wouldn't cut a big open field lower than 4" anyway.

    Raise the deck!
  6. GreenQuest Lawn

    GreenQuest Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    Hey Todd,

    Yea I would raise the deck as well. Right now I am cutting most at 3.75" Make sure you have really sharp blades. If you do not have a blade grinder I could probably help ya out by sharpening them for you, only problem is I only get out that way every other week.

    We used to use them old toros at the place I used to work and we had some of the same problems, they just do not have the blade speed or deck design to compete with newer mowers.

    Make sure you cut different directions each cut. also try this:

    first cut, as high as the mower will cut
    second cut, lower the mower to 3-4"

    see what that does, this way you are not cutting off so much at a time.

    Another method I use (this works with wet grass) is to mow, then blow the clippings (go back and forth just like you are mowing) dont worry too much as you will be cutting it again. Then get back on the mower and cut it for the second time.

    At the end of it all do not forget to walk the lawn and blow any visible clippings around so they do not turn brown on top.

    Best thing though is raise your deck, slow down if needed, this will 1) not cut so much off, and 2) give the clippings more room to fall down in.

    When the rains slow down and the weather finally gets above warm (another month or so) things will slow a bit....Just hang in there.
  7. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    Hey Greenquest,

    Maybe your one of the ones he is afraid will get the account.....:D

    All good advice you give!
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I would raise the deck

    I look at it this way, if you are not happy with the end result, then more than likely they are not happy either.
  9. A healthy lawn hit with liquid nitrogen needs cut twice per week.

    Go back to the customer and explain that with their application of nitrogen the grass is growing much faster, and it needs cut more often.

    You can't go over 7 days of growth enough times to chop up the clippings. The lawn would be flattened!

    If you can get a 3-4 or even 5 day schedule then the gators-doubles and double cutting will help then.

    If dead clippings are accumulating on top of the lawn either rake them up or mow every couple of days until they're gone.

    If you raise your final mowing height say from 3" to 4" you're going to make the problem worse. Because tall grass grows faster than short grass. We've already gotten enough rain to keep the grass growing like this for another month. And it's still raining.

    None of my commercial accounts have a schedule greater than 5 days. These are 6, 7, and 8 acre lawns. They all have professional purchasing agents approving this schedule.

  10. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Spray it with Primo (or sub it out).

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