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Streaks in grass

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by ztrguy, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466


    I have:

    2003 Exmark 52" Lazer Z HP - 23hp Kawi
    Mulching kit

    I'm cutting the grass around 5 inches. I'm not cutting very much grass off when I cut, but the grass is really thick. It's leaving 2 (different color) streaks each time I make a pass. It occurs on a few lawns, but not all. What should I do to resolve this matter? Would a stripe kit fix the problem? Suggestions welcome.

  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258

    Hey ztrguy,

    Cutting at 5" is pretty high, but you're going to have a better shot at getting a good cut with a thick lawn. My first question is, "Can you lower your cutting height?" This helps solve a lot of cut quality problems when guys are trying to cut the grass at 4" or more. Try lowering it to 4" if possible. If it doesn't improve, lower the cutting height to 3.75". You could go as low as 3.5". If it doesn't get any better, we know it's not just a matter of cutting too high.

    You said that it was streaking the grass. Was it simply leaving two strips of uncut grass between the blades, or was it discoloring the grass on one side of the deck?

    Would the striping kit help? Yes, it probably would, but before you invest in the striping kit, let's try to work on improving what we have. Please answer my questions when you get a chance, and we'll work from there.

    Here to help,

    Exmark Customer Service
  3. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Messages: 466


    Thanks for getting back to me. I cannot cut it any lower. In the spring I could cut it at 3.75" but not this time of the year. I have to cut it all the way up at 5". I can't even go to 4.75".

    To answer your question. It's leaving two discolored streaks. The underneath of the deck is clean.

    Any suggestions?

  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    I would agree with Dustin. You will probably need to get your height of cut down much lower than what you are to get rid of the coloration change. I don't generally recommend mulching at more than 2.5" to 3" maybe 3.5” at the most depending upon the lawns. The striping roller may help significantly as well. If the grass is all being cut at the same height but the colors look different then we need to look at how the grass is laying after it's cut and not how the deck is cutting.

    With the mulch kit you have a great deal of air being moved around the deck at one time. The blades are lifting the grass and then driving the clippings back into the turf where they can decompose and help replenish the nutrients into the lawn. The air movement can at times cause the grass in a particular part of the deck to lay down a little causing the grass to reflect a lighter or darker color than the grass laying the other direction. Adding the striping roller will "comb" the grass one direction eliminating the stripe your seeing.

    There is also one other possible cause of the stripe your seeing. If there is some uncut grass or if the cut isn't as clean in a particular area of the deck you may want to inspect the deck idler. If you have an extra pair of hands you can remove the deck idler, inspect it, clean it and reinstall in 30 minutes to an hour. If you've done it before it only takes about 15 minutes. You want to make sure there is no rust, corrosion or debris in the idler arm pivot.

    Please let me know if we can be of any further assistance.


  5. ACut AboveLandscapin

    ACut AboveLandscapin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    I was having the same problem with the same mower. Mine was a 2001. I fixed it by using a set of scag blades that are 18 inches across. Not 18 inches from tip to tip. And it solved my problem. I would try it.

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