After doing some experimenting on my own lawn, it seems best to cut mine at 3-3/4".
First thing was to ensure that the deck height adjustment was correct. Also ensure the blades are level from left to right. There may be different opinions about the pitch of the deck but my Ferris is set with a minimal pitch of about 1/8".
last summer the cutting height was set to 4" looking to get maximum root depth. I mowed when the grass grew to a max of 4-3/4". What I noticed was some varieties of grass would lay over and not look as well.
this year stated out early spring with a 3" cutting height keeping it shorter to allow a little more sun light to warm the soil. Eventually found that cutting the grass to 3-3/4" (maximum growing height of 4-1/2"-4-3/4" made the grass stand tall without laying over.
The taller grass (with hopefully deeper roots) didn't seem to help the lawn from going dormant in the hot dry July/August time frame.
Here is a photo from last weeks arresting and overseeding
And here is one from today
Pretty good results.
Check out the links for some good info-
I think right now is a good time to aerate. It's a little dry and harder in some areas more than others but this photo shows some fairly nice plugs.
Wow! Where has the time gone? Been a busy summer and since my last blog the war on moles ended shortly after that post.
May seem a little early to think about fall yard maintenance like aeration, seeding, ferlizing and weed control but fall will be here soon with lots of things to do. School will resume soon.
Currently I'm making plans to service the fall equipment having it ready to roll to begin working the first job on August 18th.
Make your appointment now now (for after 8/18). By getting on the calendar before 8/15 you will receive a 15% discount.
Reason for the discount is to book up the aerator early and then the equipment on that tractor gets swapped over to leaf removal to finish the season. Sorry, probably no late fall aeration this year.
Also planning ahead I will have very limited time for 2018 fall maintenance working long hours at my main job during a refueling outage. So I will book jobs on a first come basis.
Remember my equipment is geared for large lawn efficiency.
The little tunnel rats are back but loosing.
If you scroll down to the first of March, you'll find where I had a little blog about moles invading my yard.
Back then I had some pellets leftover from a previous invasion a few years ago. So I put out about double the dosage like I normally do (and was also concerned if they are still good to get a kill). Those little moles came back through the tunnel and just pushed the pellets up to the top of the tunnel imbedded in the dirt.
Being a little disappointed I found an intersection of three tunnels and carefully peeled back the top of the tunnel. Then slowly dumping the rest of the jar into all three tunnels I used a small stick to poke them into the tunnels so I could empty the container.
At this point I wasn't sure these old pellets are any good and decided to purchase a trap. A quick internet search and I had one one the way before I got back in the house.
This looked interesting so I bought it to try out. Having a year warranty I wasn't expecting much but it was American made! The nice thing about this one is once the moles trip it then pops up so you can see something has tripped it.
By the time it arrived my tunnels were looking like the moles were gone so I didn't get a chance to try it out until now. After a long day of work on Saturday I decided to mow the yard before calling it a day which meant I mowed into the darkness of the night. Luckily I spotted a new tunnel near the Lilacs. So my last job Saturday night was setting a new trap.
Sunday was definitely a day of rest (recovery) and I kept looking out the window to see if the trap was tripped. Well Monday evening after work I was walking up to the house and see the trap was tripped!
The war on moles continues but so far the yard is tunnle free.
Getting a good kill on weeds.
Weeds are growing fast (and tall) with all this moisture. Late yesterday the wind was about as low as I've seen it with rain on the way later in the evening. Decided to get out and spray the pasture part of the acreage and road sides.
It was good to see the weeds curling up 24 hours later!
I had it mixed on the strong side of the recommended dose. So far it looks like just weeds are suffering but time will tell.
The lawn (first photo with the mower) has been overseeded so no weed killer or fertilizer for it yet...
Late afternoon I knocked out a quick woodworking project for a good friend and neighbor. It wasn't no big deal but it was a custom job that you won't find at a store and I was able to do it at Wenzl Woodworking. A rewarding job!
From there I went to Saint Andrew's for church cleaning (getting ready for the big celebration of our risen Christ this Easter Sunday after making our way through his passion this week). Most of the inside cleaning was completed so since I had the mowing equipment there for my next job the edger and blower got put to use. Looks nice and maybe I can get back to run the sweeper on the street parking area yet.
Then it was off to an acreage mowing job for an elderly couple. I really like this couple and they were some of the very first customers of Gary's Diesel Repair.
Well after I loaded my equipment and said thank you and good bye the wife said oh thank you! I told my husband the lawn always looks so much better when Gary mows it. I really wish I could Mow without getting paid because that's what motivates me.
What a great end of the day!
If thatch is less than 1/2 " thick, then it is not necessary to dethatch your yard. At this point aerating is a good idea.
Best to cut a small section of you lawn and top soil to see how much thatch you have. I actually do this by pounding a 1-1/4" pipe in the ground. I normally go 3"-4" deep because I'm also taking a soil sample, 1" would probably be deep enough to hold together depending on moisture content. Remember you will need a pusher that fits inside the pipe to push out the plug. The plug will show you a nice cross section of the thatch and can be easily measured.
If determined that you have 1/2" (or more) thatch then it's time to take care of the thatch before it degrades your lawn's health and or you start having spots where the grass is dying out.
On smaller lawns you may want to rent or hire someone with a power rake.
For larger lawns I use a front 58" mounted dethatcher set to the correct height so the spring teeth are drug backwards but set light enough so at the end of the stroke the energy in the spring tooth will spring forward kicking the thatch upward to land on top of the grass. As the tractor pushes the dethatcher across the lawn, the 60"!deck PTO is engaged using blades that have extra teeth to chop it fine at which point the fine chopped up thatch that is sucked up by an engine driven blower that discharges into a large capacity hopper.
This is a big time saver going over a lawn dethatching, mowing and vacuum (for thatch removal) all in one pass instead of two or three passes.
At this point it might also be a good time to aerate. And I highly recommend cutting no more than 1" of your grass at a time so you'll never have to dethatch again. This means if it gets away from you then you will need to double cut your grass first at a higher setting then lower back down to your regular cutting height. By doing this the grass clipping will decay much faster eliminating the need for thatch removal and reducing lawn health issues associated with excessive thatch. This will also give your lawn added benefits getting more out of your fertilizer.
The best time to dethatch is right now. Dethatching can be a little hard on the turf and this time of year is good allowing the grass to recover while it is cooler and better chances of moisture from Mother Nature.
Recently done a large lagoon area that had heavy thatch. It's looking real good now!
Check out the new equipment page.
This page is meant to show and tell about the equipment used to help perform the highest quality and most efficient lawn care service.
Some good spring info and things to be thinking about from the UNL Extension. Click on the following link or copy and paste it to your browser.
I've been out mowing already this year. Keeping the grass mowed a little shorter this spring getting rid of a little dead grass showing and hopefully allowing ground temps to warm up faster allowing the new seed to sprout and take advantage of this wet weather.
The early dethatching and aerating in February this years seems to have worked out nicely.
Pruning and trimming this week. More aerating and dethatching when weather permits.
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