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Old 05-30-2013, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,337,292 times
Reputation: 396

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I bought a house with a beautiful St. Augustine lawn and I need advice on what type of self propelled mower to buy to cut it. The previous owner cut the lawn at 4 inches and the lawn is like a thick carpet. I have a riding mower that works but I also have a self propelled Craftsman front drive mower that cannot get thru the lawn without a good push. I am told to keep the lawn from burning in the hot south Florida sun that I need to cut the lawn long but in that case what kind of self propelled mower should I buy. I am disgusted as the Craftsman is almost new and is the fancy model with electric start and large rear wheels. Perhaps I need a rear drive mower. I can not afford to make another mistake so I would appreciate input please.
Thanks,
Sid
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:47 AM
 
32,524 posts, read 33,857,415 times
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You just described the reason we kept our St. Augustine short. And we aerated it 2-3 times a year. It's beautiful grass but keeping it that long is a lot of work.

Sorry. Wish I could give you a recommendation on a mower.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,337,292 times
Reputation: 396
I have an observation. The St.Augustine grass is a grass made up of long stringy runners and is not a typical grass. As the grass grows it becomes a basket weave of runners laying atop the soil, almost like an air plant. Imagine layer after layer of grass runners making a mat just below the visible blades of grass. My theory is the lawn needs soil or sand added to the lawn surface that will in effect raise the soil level toward the top and eliminate the tendency of the narrow lawnmower wheels from sinking into the mat. My grass is 4 inches thick and my theory is to add enough sand to reduce the depth of the lawn to 2 inches.
Make sense? or am I crazy?
Sid in South Florida
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,337,292 times
Reputation: 396
Is there a way to modify a Craftsman lawnmower to add balloon tires or wider tires to prevent the heavy mower from sinking into the thick lawn?

Maybe fill dirt to raise the soil level?
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Richmond, TX
183 posts, read 347,170 times
Reputation: 298
Just buy a self propelled push mower. I have a troy bilt w/ a honda engine and it works fine through my st. aug. Dont worry about adding extra dirt or sand. That could affect your drainage when it rains.

edit , Sorry...I see that you have a self propelled. Mine is also front drive and I have no problems.. maybe try a different brand.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,337,292 times
Reputation: 396
Dear Bayou Bengal 1982,
I recently moved from New Orleans where I had no problem cutting the lawn but here in South Central Florida the house that I bought has a THICK carpet of grass, for instance the popup sprinkler heads are two inches below the surface of the grass. When I got here someone suggested to maintain a nice lawn to cut it at the maximum height of my riding mower and my self propelled mower( for trimming around trees and back yard and swale- I live on a corner and have 250 feet of ditch). The issue is the self propelled mower does not move in the thick grass. My theory based on observation is the self propelled mower wheels sink into the lawn and the mower deck rests on the surface of the lawn. I can get the self propelled mower to move but with some effort- sorta defeats the SELF PROPELLED feature having to push the darn thing. Balloon tires would solve the problem or dual wheels but I cant figure out how to do that.
All ideas are welcomed. I have lowered the blade on my riding mower two notches but now the lawn looks scalped, especially where I make turns. Raising the soil level would work but then my sprinkler heads might be impacted.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:32 AM
 
4,280 posts, read 4,826,500 times
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I have SA grass too, Florida, and keep it long. I use a Toro mower and have no problem cutting the grass.
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,337,292 times
Reputation: 396
I knew better than to get the Craftsman. What model Toro do you have, please because they make so many models.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:16 PM
 
4,280 posts, read 4,826,500 times
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Toro GTS SR 4, about 500 dollars...All the Toro dealers charge about the same price...It is 3 years old and not a problem with it....I would recommend checking estate sales and craigslist if you have time..I won't buy another new mower since there are many available on CL and estate sales....but Toro is a great brand....
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