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Carolina Gardening: Will the Lawn Police ...

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Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

July 31, 2010
8:18 AM

Post #8008507

... come and arrest me if the front wheels on my self propelled lawnmower are higher than the back wheels? On the front yard it's become a push mower - I physically can't handle that for longer than 10 minutes at a time in this heat. I've been way too good at taking care of my lawn (centipede & st. augustine) and it grows so thick and fast, especially in the front yard that my self propelled lawnmower is bogged down. The only way around this would be to cut the lawn every 4 days. I've got the wheels set at the 2nd slot to the lowest. I'm thinking if I raise the wheels in the front it won't bog down as badly. Anyone see a problem with this?
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 2, 2010
8:09 AM

Post #8013023

I'm just wondering if having the front higher than the back will somehow unbalance the blades and break the mower.
Mountainbeauty
Clyde, NC

August 2, 2010
9:48 AM

Post #8013231

My hubby has been cutting grass for income for some years, and has experience with the self-propelled, mulching, and zero turn riding mowers. He says that if the mower is bogging down, you should raise all four wheels to the same height. Having the front higher than the back will give you a choppy cut, and might tear the grass rather than cut it.

Is there a problem with raising all wheels to the same height?
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 2, 2010
10:15 AM

Post #8013296

Not really except I'd have to cut the grass every 3-4 days - .. we've had so much rain it's growing like crazy. If I were 20 years younger and the temperatures weren't in the upper 90's everyday I could probably manage that.

If your hubby doesn't think it will break the mower having the blades unbalanced I'll give it a try and see what it looks like.

Thanks!

ardesia
Saint Helena Island, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 2, 2010
11:17 AM

Post #8013423

X, why don't you send some of that rain my way. We only had 1 1/2" in all of July and the temp was above 90 every single day, often in the high 90's. I am losing lots of plants and the few tiny strips of grass I have; the trees are taking whatever water I put out.



Mountainbeauty
Clyde, NC

August 2, 2010
11:29 AM

Post #8013450

Let us know how it does! Maybe you will discover a new way to mow! LOL ;o)
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 2, 2010
11:39 AM

Post #8013476

Jeeze .. i wish i could! The ground is so saturated it can take 2 days for standing water to completely disappear. The only thing keeping me from flooding is the fact that I'm on a slight downhill slope next to a (really pretty and overgrown 30 year old) drainage ditch.

Note to self .. NEVER feed the lawn twice in one season.

I think that was my biggest mistake .. I did the Spring feed in April and the Summer feed in July. Everyone else on the block has slow growing close cropped lawns. The real hard part is that it's a mixture of Centipede & St. Augustine - Centipede likes to be cut short and St. Augustine likes to be cut tall. I've obviously found the happy medium between the two length wise, but it's killing me. I'm having to use the bag when I mow otherwise I end up with large clumps of cut grass everywhere and bagging it still leaves clumps so I end up having to rake after I mow.
Mountainbeauty
Clyde, NC

August 2, 2010
12:00 PM

Post #8013523

Ugh! Too much work!
We live in the woods. ;o)
Everything is "natural" and wild, except for my flowerbeds... well, actually, they are kinda "wild" too. LOL

I'm too old to fight Mother Nature! Let her decide what grows where. Fortunately, my Irises and Daylilies don't move on their own. My Butterfly bushes have, tho. LOL
And, where they decided to re-seed and grow is the best place for them! They are huge now. Heck, let the seeds fall, and let MN do the rest!

Good luck with your lawn. ;o)
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 2, 2010
12:02 PM

Post #8013527

Too much work indeed! I'm saving up for a riding mower as fast as I can.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 3, 2010
7:41 PM

Post #8016902

My centipede is fine being mowed at around 4 inches high, in other words my highest mower setting. Back when the Low Country got a lot of rain I use to use the side chute and forget about mulching the lawn until it cooled off and stopped growing so fast. That will make the mower not bog down as much. Centipede loves heat and water.

Another thought, I just gave my mower a tune up and it's running with much more power now, new air filter(important to keep that clean), oil change, new plug, blade and a new belt for the propelled wheels. If you haven't done a tune up in a few years that might help a lot. I went for three years with nothinng but banging out the air filter and two oil changes i think. Probably not the best for performance of your mower. Runs like new again now.
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 3, 2010
8:26 PM

Post #8016979

I did a tune up 2 months ago .. except for the blade new everything including the drive belt. I do have a new blade hanging on the wall .. I'll put it on next time I'm ready to cut. Without using the rear bag, it's like a combine harvester literally shooting rolls of cut grass out the side. Even with the bag it does that though not as thickly. I think I just have to bite the bullet and mow every 4 days instead of 7.

Sigh..
StonoRiver
Johns Island, SC

August 9, 2010
4:45 PM

Post #8029807

Have you tried using a mulching blade on your mower Xeramtheum? It re-chops the blades into itty-bitty pieces that are virtually invisible on a freshly-mown lawn. The only time I've noticed clumps of cut grass anywhere on my lawn is if I've let it get too long, but there's very few of those clumps, and they're easy to pick up.
CoreHHI
Bluffton, SC
(Zone 9a)

August 9, 2010
8:21 PM

Post #8030312

I always mulch unless the grass is to high. Mulching is much better for your lawn but there is a point where the mower bogs down.
Xeramtheum
Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a)

August 9, 2010
9:13 PM

Post #8030383

When I use the mulcher it just spreads the clumps out more so there is more area to rake.

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