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Reel mower on bluegrass

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bushtrimmer, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    In the process of switching my yard over from fescue/ blue blend to all bluegrass. Will be close to perfectly level. Whatever it needs it will get. Wanting to market this to others in area as well. Am I crazy to offer this to others? Figure I'll have the equipment and labor so why not if the money's right.
    What type of power reel mower works for others on bluegrass?
    What height will I be able to mow, closer to 1" or 2"?
  2. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Any opinions on this tonight?
  3. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    National works good on bluegrass and is probably the cheapest available. They look like a dinosaur, but they cut well. Toro and others make reel mowers as well, but most are suited for golf course use. As far as using reel mowers to cut customers lawns, the biggest drawback to reel mowers is they don't cut well when the grass gets real tall during the peak growing season. You will have to mow with a rotary at this time, in which case you will need as a backup. In my opinion this would be more trouble than it is worth. Just my 2c.
  4. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    With these machines, you can cut up to 2 inches. Another thing I forgot to mention, is maintaining the mowing heads is a fine art. They need constant PROPER adjustment to cut well. The reel contact with bedknife has to be just right. If it is too tight, you will "rifle" the bedknife. In other words you will screw it up and the unit won't cut. You need to backlap the units throughout the season depending on how much you cut to keep the units sharp. In the off season, you will need to grind the reels and bedknives. A somewhat costly process if you don't have the equipment "which is expensive." I was a golf course Superintendent for 12 years and worked with these all the time. These mowers cut best at 4 m.p.h. or slower. Many golf courses are ditching their reel mowers that were used to cut roughs and other areas maintained at a higher height over 1 inch and going with rotary mowers simply because they are faster and less costly to maintain.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    You'll have to mow everyother day in the spring to keep up with it. Reel mowers don't handle the tall grass well.

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