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Spinoff on leaving ruts, circling trees....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by vencops, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    I have a very nice residential property I maintain, weekly ($2M+ property). I'm not having issues leaving ruts around the trees on the property. They're aren't really any trees (shrubs - yes) that require me to be extremely precise in how I mow around them.

    My problem....

    ALL of the landscaped beds have rounded edges (I'll attempt to post a photo at the bottom). What this does is leave me making either my first or last "run" on the edges of said beds. Now, one thing I've done lately is switch up my "edging" (edging with the mower) between the WB and the ZTR in an ATTEMPT to not leave visible ruts.

    Are there any tips or tricks to not leaving these? Mowing every week, there's only so many variations I can use (based on me having a 36" WB and a 52" ZTR.

    I hope the photo shows what I'm worrying about (the beds....not the "ruts"). But, you can all surely imagine my dilemma.


    (Look to the edge of the bed to the right. That curve is typical...and what I'm referring to)

  2. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

    Everyone should have one........I take one every day......

    Nice lookin place.
  3. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    I have a 21". I just haven't thought to use it in these areas.

    I guess it IS another wheel-base, though, that the (this part of the) lawn hasn't "seen". I imagine I'd just have to play with getting the two mowers cutting the exact (or, nearly) same height.

    I do mow a few areas of this property with the 21". And, I do have it with me, always.
  4. Big Wes

    Big Wes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Leave an area around the tree where you won't ring it, then use your string trimmer to finish up around the tree. Saves you from breaking out another mower.
  5. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

    I use the 21" alot on edge's, concrete/bed's.
    Usually set it to cut a little shorter....
  6. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,944

    What's wrong with using a line trimmer?
  7. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    Nothing. Where (and how much) do you suggest I use it?

    When I run N/S to these bed edges, I can get "pretty close" to the edges. But, I can't mow all the way up to them, without shooting pine needles out the side discharge (and into the lawn). It would take me HOURS to cut with a trimmer what's left behind. Best job is when I use the ZTR to mow along the edge of the beds (following the contours). That looks best and leaves the least to trim (which I do with the string trimmer). This is more just re-defining the edges, though (grass growing sideways into the beds).

    Whichever mower I use, though, the tires will leave evidence I made that pass. I'm trying to NOT use the same mower time and time again. I can see the previous tire marks from week to week. And, using the same mower would only make this worse.
  8. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 511

    My standard mode of operation is to hit everything with a trimmer, sending clippings out into the lawn. In a space like that, I would then go over it with a 21" push. It's never a good idea to mow small spaces with a ztr unless you have something as small as a 36".
  9. gebby

    gebby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    How about using one of the 3 different mowers every week ? I have one of those as well that also has a hill and a slope to it. It is a tough area. The lady is 94 years old with very keen eye sight yet. She looks out her front door and if the grass is off 1/4 inch she'll say something. So to me that area has to be perfect to keep her happy. Nobody is allowed to be in that area but me. I always do it different so like you not to have ruts.
  10. Tofutti

    Tofutti LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    This is what we call "trimmer-mowing". It really doesn't take hours. If you were to mow that entire front section of grass between the sidewalk and the mulch bed in front of the house in your pic with a trimmer, it would take about 5 minutes. As far as redefining edges, assuming you have a straight-shaft trimmer, hold it close to where you normally do and turn it (the shaft and engine) 180 degrees. This turns the trimmer head to an angle almost 90degrees to the ground. (almost straight up and down). Then you can go around the beds and fix the "grass growing sideways into the beds". This is also how you edge with a trimmer.

    From my couple years' experience, trouble spots like this can be done almost as quickly with a trimmer than with a mower by the time you jockey it all around to get the cuts and tire ruts right.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011

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