Will my mower chop an overgrown pasture?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Lawn Yawn, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Lawn Yawn

    Lawn Yawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    The fam moves into our new place next week, half of its three acres is well tended lawn and the other half is pasture/field grass/weeds, which has grown to 1-2 feet in some areas. I am expecting delivery of a Gravely ZT HD on Monday. I want to mow my entire yard, but I'm concerned about the untended pasture section. Can I just mow through grass and weeds that tall, or do I need to hire someone to chop it?

    Sorry if this is a silly question, but coming from the city, I have no experience with riding mowers, acreage, pastures, etc. If it makes any difference when thinking about what my property looks like--grass varieties and whatnot--I live in Western Oregon.
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  2. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    You can cut it. The taller, thicker, wetter, and weedier it is the slower you'll have to go. I would personally wait till after you do your first brake in oil change around 8-10 hrs. before working her that hard if you can. I just finished cutting 4 acres tonight with my Gravely 460. Just use your head and don't be in a hurry. Cut at 4" in case there may be unseen things in the grass. Keep the top of the engine screen clear of clippings.
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Get some spare belts
  4. nolatoolguy

    nolatoolguy LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 105

    You can do it, its not the best for your mower thoe. However it shouldnt kill it if you go nice and slow. You might have to make two passes or three to make it look decent. Ide do one as high as the mower goes and then the next pass a little lower.

    Keep checking the oil often not to mention clear intakes and go slowly.
  5. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Use about 50% of the deck, keep engine speed up and ground speed low and all the other good stuff you have been told.
  6. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Set deck .5 to 1" from max height (this gives a little room to raise the deck if you hit something) and just take your time. The deck will only process so much grass so let it do its thing.

    I would also recommend cutting in a circular pattern so your not recutting the clippings all the time however, Ive had good results by starting on the right side, make a pass and then return in same pass. Basically double cutting that pass. You will send some clippings into the next pass but shouldnt be to much. Basically go up and back in the same pass working from right to left.
    One other thing, wait until the grass is as dry as possible
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Good advice, blow clipping out of the circle, might wait a day for the grass to dry a little for the second cut.

    Had not thought about the trick of leaving room to raise the deck just in case. That is great info.

    Most of these mowers will have shears on the blades that will keep serious damages to the mower provided you have the proper torque applied.
  8. Lawn Yawn

    Lawn Yawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Thanks for all of the helpful replies! I will take it all into account when I tackle the tall stuff. It's been raining today, so I think I'm going to be facing some serious growth by Monday. I can't really afford to wait till the break-in period is over; 8-10 hours puts me five to six weeks out! I want to use the whole lawn this summer. Gotta get my kids doing wind sprints and playing some ball; they've been cooped up too long while we wait for our purchase to close.

    But I will heed the other advice that I've read, the most important of which seems to be take it slow.
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  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Personally, I'd see if any neighbors has a tractor and small brush mower to knock it down for you the first time.

    My concern is not what you can see, just what you can't see hidden in the grass.

  10. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    1-2 ft isnt over grown I mowed just last friday a lot that only been mowed once this spring
    It had 2 months of growth clover was thick and the grass was stermed out to 3ft tall
    I mowed it with my 60'' 26EFI I mowed with 50% of the deck the other 50% did the sec cut
    Mowing like that kinda like double cutting but only going over it once
    Good luck on it

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