Streaking a day after mowing?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by agentgray, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. agentgray

    agentgray LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    (Hey all, I've been lurking for a long time now and I'd thought I'd jump in.)

    I've got a little bit of a problem that I'm stumped with. Mower specs:

    • Craftsman DLT 2000 (48" deck).
    • Gator blades (new this season--sharpened). I also have a set of craftsman blades
    • New secondary belt
    • new spark plugs
    • balanced and leveled deck
    • other regular maint. performed (oil, air, tire pressure, zerks, etc.)

    The problem is that I'll mow, like I have for three years without a hitch, and a day or two later I'll have streaks of grass that is taller than the rest of the lawn. They seem to fall either down the wheels or the middle of the two outer blades. I'm not mowing when the grass is wet. It's usually late afternoon or early evening. I mow at the second to highest setting on the deck. It's about 2 3/4" to 3"

    I've mowed at all sorts of times of day before during other seasons and the grass seemed to be level. I have two initial questions:

    1. Could the wheels somehow be pushing the grass down so much that the blades are not lifting it?
    2. Could the new belt for the deck be the problem and the blades are not spinning fast enough? The tension for the belt uses a spring. Can that become weak?

    Ok, so that's three questions.

    One way that it was really apparent to me was in mowing a side field. A day or two later it looked as if someone painted white stripes on the lawn (if you were just casting a glance) because of the clover.

    Oh, except for the field, my lawn around the house was fertilized with Scotts (their first bag in their recommended cycle) Easter weekend, and milorganite was put down just after memorial day (boy is it green now). I usually follow the holiday method or fertilizing.

    However, my lawn has been streaking since late April/early May. If I push mow it with my honda, it looks great and level.

    Thanks for any ideas.

    EDIT: I live in central Illinois.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  2. agentgray

    agentgray LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Pics or it didn't happen, I guess? :D

    Anyway, I cut this patch of lawn shorter than usual so the streaks would show up on my camera. You can see where I alternate rows in cutting.



    I know it's on a small incline, but it does the same thing on a flat surface. It's just that this spot is not viewable to most people. Any ideas?
  3. StoneFaced

    StoneFaced LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    Streaking a day after mowing?

    Recommend wearing plenty of sun screen...sorry, couldn't help it.

    Are you sure that you don't have a blade upside down, or perhaps missing a spacer or too many on one of the blades?? I don't know that mower, but I'd probably start w/ the more obvious places to look first.
  4. agentgray

    agentgray LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3


    Yeah, the blades are on right and there is only one spacer. The blades have a star hole and the curves go up. I cannot add washers to space them.

    Also, this pic was taken about six hours after mowing. It's usually noticeable the day after, but if I cut lower it's noticeable right away.

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