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Whyy did the grass in Hawaii look so bad?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Az Gardener, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    My brother in law (also a lco) just returned from Hawaii and could'nt figure out why the grass looked so bad didnt know if it was the time of year of if fertilizer was banned or what?
  2. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    welcome to hawaii brother. :)

    first of all, weed control is really hard, all you have to work with, is post emergent controls, and a lot of the grasses that grow here, are killed by those controls.

    second, the state licensing laws for getting your turf and ornamental license make it impossible if you have not worked for a spray company for at least 2 years. the truth is, no one can spray, or apply fert, because the state is so protectionist of teh existing companys.

    third, if it is the big island of hawaii you are talking about, the land is very arid, and doesn't support the grass that well.

    fourth, all the soil, with the exception of the mountain regions, is very salty, leaving the option to only either grow bermuda (common) or seashore paspalum (the grass of choice for most yards). now bermuda does not look the greatest at any time, and seashore paspalum can look really top notch if taken care of correctly, but most people can't, and don't have the time to do it right. so they mow it once a week with a rotary mower, and it looks awfull.
    that grass robs hp like nothing else. bermuda is like a stroll compared to seashore. also, the salt, with iron, turns the leaf blades yellow, so ironite is a bad idea near the sea.

    and the grass always looks like what he explained. if he saw it with a rotary mower, he probably saw a choppy/bad cut, because most lcos here use a garden tractor from HD thinking it will leave great results on the grass. it doesn't. the blade speed is wat too slow, and it just butchers the lawns.

    here is a pic of my yard, that I try to manage as best I can, and is cut with my quick 36.

  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    That place looks good to me, my brother in law missed all your homes evidently, too bad for him. Thanks for the info I willl pass it along.
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    my yard is an exception, because I am there to care for it, and spent a lot of money getting it in the shape it is in. I also have found that this grass develops sort of an immunity to nitrogen. if you use the same fert each time, it greens less that if you play around with the types of N a bit.

    like the pic is with the fertile earth fertigator being used, and lebanonturf 20-0-25 greens grade applied at .5lb per year. along with ironite, applied every two months. this kind of nitrogen switch some how greens better than using just the fertigator, or only granular. even though it is the same amount of product applied.

    I'll take some pics of some of my more "ferral" lawns today.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Last time I was over there I observed that the lawns were not top notch and I thought it was mostly due to the soil. I also saw the grounds crew cutting the grass with a trimmer where a 36" mower would have been much more efficient. I guess they just don't care. I was there 2 weeks and if I never hear the word "mahlo" again it wouldn't bother me lol.:p
  6. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    the lawncare industry is under developed. I am virtually the only one with a 36" walkbehind. the dealers just can't sell them. there are a couple 48", but that is it. besides the billy goat 33" mowers. which are not terribly popular, but I have seen two.

    this is the standard equipment list for most lcos.

    sears 21"
    john deere garden tractor from HD. or sears rider.
    echo trimmer, or shindaiwa trimmers. usualy the lowest powered model.
    hand held echo blower.

    and that is about it. they use the weed wackers for hedge trimmers.

    some of the larger companys use Z's and higher powered/more commerical equipment, but there are only 3 or 4.

    btw, weedwacking is normal for back yards that don't fit the rider.

    I will weed wack back yard that don't fit my 36" instead of using the 21". I hate using that thing.
  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    that is a nice looking lawn there though
  8. gramps

    gramps LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    All the good grass is used for the skirts:p
  9. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 721

    yep thats it

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