Floating or Sump'n Else?

Warm season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Centipede & Paspalum
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JayGo
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Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JayGo »

I experienced the weirdest thing today during my mow. I'd never had this happen.
I'm guessing it may be the thing everyone calls "floating."

My mower felt like it was sliding over the turf in my front yard. Easiest way to explain it is that it was tough mowing a straight stripe, because it kept wanting veer off to one side. I'd try to steer it back on to the stripe, but I'd end up over compensating and go too far.

Is this what "floating" is?

(my mower weighs only 120-ish pounds.)

rjw0283
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by rjw0283 »

YUP! You've explained my every mow in the late summer. I am on a hill so once the grass really thickens up it aids in the floating, because of hills and gravity, and science :lol:

rjw0283
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by rjw0283 »

also check your mower to ensure belts aren't slipping and whatnot etc etc etc, mine has a split drive drum that I speculate spins better on one side. It's probably my stupid hill though

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Austinite
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by Austinite »

My Allett does that sometimes when grass is super thick, usually on very level spots. The Allett is a lot lighter than the swardman, I did not have that issue with Swardman. So I think the weight has something to do with it.

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JayGo
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JayGo »

rjw0283 wrote:
Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:30 pm
....and science :lol:
Image

By my standards, I did a super aggressive scalp before I leveled in mid-July. The turf isn't as thick as it normally is. But checking the drive belt is not a bad idea. Haven't had to do that before.
Yep @Austinite, I expected the weight to be an issue earlier. Just hadn't dealt with this until now. 🤷🏽‍♂️

JustinWheat
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JustinWheat »

OK I've been having this issue as well on my Meyer Zoysia. I recently acquired a Toro Greensmaster 1000 and was still floating at .5" cut on Sunday. Would dethatching help with this issue?

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Redtwin
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by Redtwin »

I've noticed verticutting helps a lot on my Tifway 419 but I would wait until the spring.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by DFWdude »

Im glad you posted this because I’ve been fighting the same thing.
I am going to verticut more next season, and toss in a midseason scalp to hopefully avoid it from happening again.
Lawn Journal; viewtopic.php?t=24210

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by AlaTex »

Other than not over fertilizing and not over watering what can be done to keep this build up to a minimum? I don’t have the floating issue because I keep my HOC at about 1 1/8” but that debris starts to become noticeable beginning in late July/early August.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by MasterMech »

AlaTex wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:07 am
Other than not over fertilizing and not over watering what can be done to keep this build up to a minimum? I don’t have the floating issue because I keep my HOC at about 1 1/8” but that debris starts to become noticeable beginning in late July/early August.
Regular verticutting. Anything you can do to thin out any horizontal growth. Power rake, scarify, verticut, etc.

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JayGo
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JayGo »

MasterMech wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:58 am
Regular verticutting. Anything you can do to thin out any horizontal growth. Power rake, scarify, verticut, etc.
Interesting you mention scarifying, @MasterMech. In previous seasons,, I normally did a light scarify every 6-ish weeks. I actually haven’t done that since I scalped and leveled this past July, because last year when I scalped, I wound up getting a lot of sand in my catcher. I wanted to avoid that this year, so I've skipped out on scarifying.

This is probably the reason I’m seeing this for the first time in my lawn. Can't believe my dumb @ss hadn't thought of that.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by Redtwin »

I did a lot of verticutting late in the season last year and it made a serious difference in the after-cut appearance. My 419 has been on the struggle bus all year so I have not had the issues with floating this season.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by swilly »

I have Zoysia mowed at 1" and have been "floating" for the last month. I currently have a smooth roller on the front of my Cali trimmer but have been reading that a grooved roller can help to stop this from happening. There are a couple of discussions about this in the forums. I think I will give that a try next year and if it doesn't help, I will do a mid season scalp / scarify to see if that solves the problem.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by MasterMech »

swilly wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:22 am
I have Zoysia mowed at 1" and have been "floating" for the last month. I currently have a smooth roller on the front of my Cali trimmer but have been reading that a grooved roller can help to stop this from happening. There are a couple of discussions about this in the forums. I think I will give that a try next year and if it doesn't help, I will do a mid season scalp / scarify to see if that solves the problem.
On a Trimmer, I can see that helping. On a greensmower, we have the full width traction drum (which is weight-bearing) to contend with as well. Installing a grooved roller can help prevent the floating or "mower bob" by preventing the lighter front-end of the cutting unit from floating on the turf canopy and effectively raising HoC which only exacerbates the issue if the turf is growing and thickening actively. But swapping to a grooved roller after the problem is apparent rarely mitigates the issue. Installing a grooved roller in combination with doing a verticut on the other hand....

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JayGo
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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JayGo »

I'd like to try out a grooved roller, but no one makes them for Allett mowers (at least for homeowner models). There was a guy on here who offered to possibly machine one, but he ghosted me. 👻
I've only used the smooth roller that came with my mower.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by FATC1TY »

AlaTex wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 8:07 am
Other than not over fertilizing and not over watering what can be done to keep this build up to a minimum? I don’t have the floating issue because I keep my HOC at about 1 1/8” but that debris starts to become noticeable beginning in late July/early August.
As mentioned, add in a verticut, aeration, scarification, etc.

If you have a mower with a groomer this can really help to engage periodically during the mid summer to thin out and prevent a grain to form. Ensure you change up the direction of your cut.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JustinWheat »

This is a result of cut I get with all the floating. Top dressing and power raking are due in the spring for sure. Is that going to help??

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by MasterMech »

Are you putting weight on the handles or allowing them to float in the middle of their travel? A little forward pressure?

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by JustinWheat »

No weights just a tradition toro greensmaster 1000.

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Re: Floating or Sump'n Else?

Post by Redtwin »

I will hold the handle up on my GM1000 so that it doesn't take weight off the front. I'm not pushing up against the stops but just lifting it a little.

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