Too dry to mow?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by The Captain, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. The Captain

    The Captain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    We in the mid-west are about as far behind in rainfall as those of you on the east coast are ahead. I need to mow some of my accounts (non-irrigated)just to get the Buckhorn under control. There has been no visible growth of turf grass for about two weeks. Everything has gone dormant except for the weeds. My question is, how much damage will I do to the lawn/turf by mowing in such dry conditions? :confused: Just walking across some of these lawns is like walking on wheat stubble.

    Opinions please?

  2. Tight Angles

    Tight Angles LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 297

    cut'em anyway. It's their responsibility to keep them watered and healthy. It your not cutting them, your not making money. I cut no matter what unless specified.
  3. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    I'd be careful about mowing in those conditions. Running a mower across a lawn that is dried out could damage the turf and make the recovery effort a much longer process. And in some areas I'm sure they have watering bans so as far as the "it's the customers responsibility to water"...well in some cases it would/could be illegal for them to water & maintain a green healthy lawn. It's very dry up here as well, the only thing I mowed this week was my own lawn. And yeah, I'm taking a ding in my paycheck but in this neck of the woods contracts don't work, so it's just part of the game here.

    Good luck and if anyone knows a rain dance...let's boogie!

  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I will not harm a customer's lawn, if I even think it might damage it then I'd rather wait.

    As for the money, I save, save, save... If I earn absolutely nothing from here on out, I'll still make it to march '07.

    p.s.: I'll do a little rain-gig for you tomorrow, hopefully it works :)
  5. If you have to clip off the buckhorn do it early in the morning. I've seen lawns killed off by cutting them when they were dry. Mowing them in the heat of the day. It was like they were hit with roundup. Even killed the weeds! Nothing left but a few sprigs of buckhorn.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Last year in our drought, you could actually hear the grass crack walking across it (and leaving foot prints) too.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I'm on contract, so I'll start skipping as soon as possible.

    We're not COMPLETELY dried out yet, but it's getting close.

    As far as keeping the weeds down, here's what I'd tell the customer, and let them make the decision.

    If possible, meet them on site.

    Show them how the grass is not growing, but the weeds are.

    You'd like to mow, but the grass is dried out, but the weeds make the property look like crap.

    Try to sell them on the fact that this fall, they need to spray the broadleaf weeds, then next spring do it again, along with a pre-emergent if that's the type of weed they have as well.

    This way, the customer has to make the decision. Mow down the weeds, yet risk SOME damage to the lawn, or leave the weeds for now, spray for them in the fall, and then if the dry weather comes back next year, the weeds won't be there, therefore you're not needing to worry about it.

    Once you get that set up, then work on getting your customers set up on contracts, so you're getting paid whether you need to mow or not.

    I tell my customers when it starts getting dry out, that I'll drop back to a 9-10 day schedule so the grass WILL start to look a little shaggy.

    I can start doing that to protect the health of the turf, and thereby actually mowing more often, than if I just dried the lawn out and had to skip a month at a time.

    I do some parks and a school district that's not irrigated, so when I can skip 2-3-4-5-6 weeks out of the year, that's about $5-6000 that I get that I didn't have to work for.

    If you're not exactly sure how to get someone set up on a contract, there's been talk about it here before.....
  8. Up North

    Up North LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MN
    Messages: 1,063

    Well Rod if you miss that snap, crackle, & pop sound...come on up. And since it's so dry & I'm not mowing we may as well get some fishing in!:clapping: :clapping:

  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Don't miss those days for sure Buck...the invite for a little fishin' sure is tempting though. :)
  10. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 721

    Was like that here last year. not anymore yesterday I had to cut a new lawn 4 times to make it look ok!!!

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