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Lawn care suggestions.


Zero Knievel
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We went to a lawn service to take care of the lawn.  From a time & allergy perspective, it was worth it, but we’ve changed companies several times in the last couple of years.  Finding someone who does consistently good work.  Of course, we sold the lawn mower after a couple of years of no use.

 

The issue is that we’re being charged $200 a pop…$400 month if there’s enough growth for 2 cuttings.  So, about $4,000 a year adjusting for winter months.  We’re thinking that since the quality just isn’t there and we’re still going out and doing stuff we’re paying for, perhaps we should just buy lawn equipment and resume doing it ourselves.

 

A riding mower that can manage a few acres quickly and is maneuverable is one item.  We also are thinking of getting a replacement walk behind bushhog.  We had a DR, but dad sold it years ago.

 

Recommendations?

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"Acres" means zero turn but "bushhog" means you might want to consider a small tractor with a finish mower and a bushhog attachment.  You need to better define just how much land are you talking about.  Zero turns are astronomical right now.

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I thought it was one of those things I just don't understand about non-desert places, but I wonder the same.

 

A vendor who I talk to a lot picked up an electric ZTM last week, and is completely in love.  He got a smokin' deal as people seem to be worried about large purchases right now, he says they weren't selling a lot.  He's got a couple acres to do and says the battery is enough, and no more maintenance or noise.

 

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2 hours ago, Biometrix said:

Why do you even need/want to mow that section?

 

If you don't, the vegetation will take over.  Seeds land, trees sprout.  Gotta keep it cut down once or twice a year so it doesn't encroach on the house.  The "lawn" would be just as bad if it was never mowed.

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I can understand that needing to be addressed but at that angle that's going to be a mofo.  That seems awfully small to necessitate a DR for, what about a weedeater-type machine with a saw or blade attachment?  I know they make those and that seems to be a small enough area (pictures may not do it justice though?)

As far as electric ZT, I am STRONGLY considering that myself, and that new Ryobi with the joystick and lithium batteries has DEFINITELY got my attention, but it was released at 1K over original pricing discussion and my John Deere is running just fine to not pay any stupid markup.  It's way more mower than I need but they are still marketed to mow more area than they can actually cover.  I have yet to see a review that states they mow the full area the manufacturers claim, regardless as to brand.

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6 hours ago, Furbird said:

I can understand that needing to be addressed but at that angle that's going to be a mofo.  That seems awfully small to necessitate a DR for, what about a weedeater-type machine with a saw or blade attachment?  I know they make those and that seems to be a small enough area (pictures may not do it justice though?)


I have that option.  It is a massive amount of work to do it that way.  Weed eater won’t handle saplings.  Saw blade might, but then you’re trying to find stable footing on a slope while working with and unshielded circular saw blade (and working around bramble).  The walk behind bushhog does it in a matter of minutes with the machine doing most all of the work.  We know from past experience that the bushhog is worth it if we must do the slope.  When we had a lawn mower and did it ourselves, a DR could be used for everywhere you didn’t need manicured results.  Most of where the property is being mowed doesn’t need it…and arguably is getting scalped because they don’t adjust the height when they do it.

 

Incidentally, we’re getting a DR this morning.  It’s a modular model, so the bushhog can be swapped out with other items.  If we want to take back over mowing around the house, we could buy the mower attachment cheaper than a separate piece of equipment.  I don’t think I would WANT to do the whole mowable area by foot, BUT only around the house needs regular mowing.  Areas farther from the house could go a month or longer and be managed with the bushhog.

 

BTW, the lawn guy came by yesterday.  Didn’t do the edging properly (cut vertically, not horizontally).  Didn’t spray the culvert to kill the overgrowth.  So, I’m going to have to do the work we’re paying them to do.  I’m ready to just fire them.  I don’t want excuses.  For $200 a pop, they could take the time to do the job right.  They are in and out in about an hour.

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I for one that would kill it off and do some plant to keep wash out under control and possibly rocks and hit it every now and the with the chemicals. 
 

MY 48in ZTR  on flat ground can do and acre in 20-30min. I don’t like bill with it though after sliding down one one. 

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We were going to do that.  Guy from the seed company didn’t sell us on it.  First, we’d have to take it down to the dirt ($$$).  Then there wasn’t anything he could provide that would do better than what originally was put down.  We wanted one thing, and it would work as ground cover, but it would be a haven for mice…attracting snakes.  So, he said if we just kept it mowed down (something you do maybe twice a year…as we used to do) and killed off the big stuff so it doesn’t come back, we’d be fine as it is.  We could also manually apply seed where we want to encourage more growth then cover with a protective barrier to help it take root.

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On 8/3/2022 at 2:57 PM, Zero Knievel said:

 

If you don't, the vegetation will take over.  Seeds land, trees sprout.  Gotta keep it cut down once or twice a year so it doesn't encroach on the house.  The "lawn" would be just as bad if it was never mowed.

Respectfully disagree. You can let it grow and still mow to the edge of the the "lawn" to keep new trees/bushes, etc. from sprouting. If branches start encroaching you can prune them. Seems to me like you're just making more work for yourself mowing an area that has no practical use and would look just as good or even possibly better if the vegetation were allowed to mature. Throw some wildflower seeds out there, plant a couple blackberry bushes. Eventually you won't have to look at the ugly utility pole and transformer back there. 😉

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12 hours ago, Biometrix said:

Respectfully disagree. You can let it grow and still mow to the edge of the the "lawn" to keep new trees/bushes, etc. from sprouting. If branches start encroaching you can prune them. Seems to me like you're just making more work for yourself mowing an area that has no practical use and would look just as good or even possibly better if the vegetation were allowed to mature. Throw some wildflower seeds out there, plant a couple blackberry bushes. Eventually you won't have to look at the ugly utility pole and transformer back there. 😉


The stuff that sprouts up makes it more work too keep things pruned.  Then you have to Wade through brambles to get to them.  The natural landscape will make saplings encroach closer and closer, and removing trees once they reach a given size gets expensive.  It also serves as a fire break between the treeline and the house.  The utility pole has to be accessible for the power company.

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Making progress….

 

The unit struggles with the incline in the sense that if it’s rained the day before, the ground will slip under the tires.  So, I’ve been tackling the hill about 30-60 minutes at a time…early morning before the heat kicks in.

 

Got this done in about 3 sessions.  It’s getting easier (sic) as I clear sections that are easier to ascend.

 

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I called it quits yesterday after the wheel caught on a stump and the mower rolled over me and tumbled down the hill.  Nothing serious, but for a moment I wondered if I broke my arm.  Happened so fast that I barely had time to let go of the mower before the tumble.  Mower’s okay…slightly bent shift lever.

 

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I'm sorry now that I ever suggested that you simply don't mow it. Your exploits of how you've turned an unnecessary job into a multi-phase project that has now included expense, effort and injury is far more entertaining. Don't get me wrong, I am happy that your new DR didn't turn you or any parts of you into mulch but perhaps you could video your next session? I mean solely as an instructional video of course...not for amusement.😉

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1 hour ago, blackhawkxx said:

Took the words right out of my head.  

 

Zero, after completion, how long before you have to do it again?  

 

Hard to say.  I think it's safe to say normally one would do two cuttings...before summer and before the first frost...mostly depending on how much growth you get.  I worry more about saplings than grass....the saplings are harder to mow down when on an incline.  I intend to tag team the stumps with ground kill and prying out the roots as best I can.  I did that to a stump along our drive that was starting to blossom.  Drilled holes and poured straight ground kill in.  Now it's decomposing.

 

Still, there are other areas along the property the mowing crew don't touch that we can clean up with the brush mower.

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