Need ideas for better cut quality

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Linder'sLawnCare, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Linder'sLawnCare

    Linder'sLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    I have a Ferris 48/21 1500z with regular stock blades. I have noticed many missed "string" type grass such as weeds. I can cut well maintained grass full speed and never miss a piece. I have tried raising the deck height and same prop. I have slowed down, same prop. I read something about mowing at lower deck height will help, is that true? I think blades or blade set-up is what I need. Thanks for the advice and ideas.
  2. Lehighlawnpros

    Lehighlawnpros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Hi LLC,

    To get a good cut on weeds you'll probably need
    sharp "high-lift" blades (assuming that you're side discharging) and cutting lower may help as well.

    However, cutting too low may be detrimental to the
    grass so check your local recommendations.

    Also, check your manuals to find the correct "deck pitch" for your machine and see if it is set correctly.

    In many cases the front of the deck should be a little lower than the back of the deck.

    We take kind of an opposite approach here, we mow our St. Augustine high
    (mulching with medium-lifts at 4") and miss some weeds (due to less vacuum/lift)
    but we count on the resulting healthier/thicker turf to
    eventually minimize the weeds. Granted, this is a longer term solution.

    Just some ideas,

  3. Cajun Country Lawn Care

    Cajun Country Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I do not know if this is good or not but I have lowered my deck heigth om most of my properties and this is taking care of the weeds. Most are being cut at 2.5.:usflag:
  4. Linder'sLawnCare

    Linder'sLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Thanks guys. I have been cutting at either 3 or 3.5 in. I will lower to 2.5 and see how it goes. As far as mulching blades go, I was wanting hi-lift mulching blades for better lift and suction. Will mulching blades mess up the cut in any way? Also my mower is two weeks old so hopefully the pitch is still good.
  5. Lehighlawnpros

    Lehighlawnpros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346


    Be sure to find out what cutting height is appropriate for your grass types,
    if it's St. Augustine I wouldn't recommend anything lower than 3.5 inches.

    Mulching blades generally don't have a high lift
    so that they don't pack the top of the deck with clumped clippings. Medium/low lift is standard for mulching.

    Mulching (with a full mulch kit installed) leaves a nice cut with our machines, but you can probably get better results
    cutting the weeds you mentioned by side discharging and using regular high lift blades.

    Sometimes the dealer doesn't set the pitch correctly on new machines, so it's not a bad idea to check it yourself.

    Also, don't trust the height indicator to be accurate,
    one way to know your actual cutting height is to park on level concrete (with correct tire air pressures)
    and measure from concrete to blade tip. You can check the pitch by comparing the front tip measurement to the rear tip
    (rear tip should generally be 1/8" higher or so,
    your owners manual should have the specs for your machine).

  6. Linder'sLawnCare

    Linder'sLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Thanks. You know a lot! I do believe you about the deck height being off. When I got my Ferris I began to cut at 3" and my dad beside me on his Scag was at 3" also. His mower was cutting a good 3/4" shorter than mine:confused:. I do think that 3" on my Ferris is also a little high. I will measure like you said the next chance I get. I cut some St. Augustine on 2" before and it came out real pale but I will not do that again. I mainly cut Bahia and centipede as well as weeds:hammerhead:
  7. lsu03

    lsu03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    i cut at 2.5...SOME at 2.25 for what its worth.....the grass around here isnt great so if you leave it tall it doesnt look good
  8. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I agree with Lehighlawnpros. Weedy lawns here require a lot of lift, though they advertise high lift mulching blades they generally do not have as much lift. Of course your grass and weeds are more rigid than ours but that is what works here and lehighlawnpros seems to agree. Try very sharp high lifts, cut a little lower and see if it helps. I haven't cut grass that far South so I very well could be wrong. Good luck!
  9. Linder'sLawnCare

    Linder'sLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    I am going to order both high lift and high lift mulching blades. I can use both anyways. Mulching for fall and spring and possible year round if they work well.
  10. Linder'sLawnCare

    Linder'sLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Hey guys I have good results. I began to mow at 2.5" and it did the trick. but I cannot do that for all my yards so i am still going to try a highlift blade.

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