Posts Tagged ‘lawn maintenance’

Lawn Tractor Zero-Turn Comparison: Productivity of $13-14,000 Mowers

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Exmark Lazer Z X-Series

A commercial zero-turn rider not only gets mowing done faster, it delivers aa better quality of cut.

For mowers in the $13-14,000 price range, the productivity gap grows significantly when comparing lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. Productivity for zero-turn mowers nearly doubles, from 3.87 to 6.68 acres per hour, and increases from 3.14 to 4.11 acres per hour for lawn tractors.

The productivity gap between the ZTR and the lawn tractor is nearly 1.45 acres per hour for 60-inch cutting width machines (the widest deck offered on the X739 lawn tractor used for comparison). When you bump up to a 72-inch cutting deck on the Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn mower, the productivity gap further increases to 2.57 acres per hour!

A homeowner with a 72-inch Lazer Z X-Series ZTR could mow five acres in less than 45 minutes. The lawn tractor example would mow the same area in about one hour and nine minutes, saving the homeowner on the Exmark zero-turn mower nearly half an hour in mowing time.

Maneuverability: Mow More; Trim Less

Exmark Lazer Z DS-Series zero-turn riding mower

A zero-turn rider can quickly mow around landscaping thanks to its enhanced maneuverability.

Raw productivity is one thing, but when you add in landscaping, lawn furniture and kids’ areas, the maneuverability of a mower quickly becomes an important component of real-time productivity. As a result, maneuverability is one big reason more landscape pros choose zero-turn mowers. A ZTR isn’t just able to mow more quickly in a straight line, it can also mow closer to landscaping with greater control thanks to its ability to turn-on-a-dime. You’ll finish mowing quicker and reduce the time spent completing trim work – a true win-win situation.

As you move above $10,000-11,000, lawn tractors begin to offer maneuverability-enhancing features, such as four-wheel steering and/or four-wheel drive. But even with those features, the maneuverability still does not compare to the performance of a true commercial zero-turn mower.

Dig Deeper at

  • Learn more about the advantages of Exmark zero-turn lawn mowers.
  • Learn more about how to determine mower productivity.

*Productivity rating in gross acres per hour is based on the published specifications for each product. Actual performance may vary from specified performance based on conditions.
Formula for calculating acres per hour at 80% efficiency: (MPH x width of cut in inches)/124

When to Stop Mowing Your Lawn for the Season

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

In most parts of the country, turf grass growth slows to a crawl as the temperatures cool in the fall. A common question from our customers is when to stop mowing their lawn for the season.

As you might imagine, there’s really not one date where you can say “it’s time to stop”. That said, with a little knowledge of what to look for, it can be a relatively easy question to answer for yourself.

What to Look For

As with many lawn-related questions, the answer to when you should stop mowing is rooted in your geography and the prevailing weather pattern your area is experiencing.

Aeration -- when to stop mowing

Aeration in the fall helps reduce soil compaction and encourages root growth of cool-season turf types.

According to research published by Cornell University, top-growth (growth above ground) of the lawn slows to a virtual standstill after about 10 days with average daily temperatures below 50 degrees F. At this point, the turf grasses will focus on root growth until the ground freezes.¹

You’ve likely notice the decrease in your lawn’s growth as cooler fall temperatures settle in. By keeping tabs on your local weather, you’ll be able to determine when your daily average temperature goes below 50 degrees F.

Though mowing frequency may decrease significantly, folks who live in warmer parts of the country may end up continuing to mow throughout the year, if simply to keep the lawn looking well-kept. That said, those of us in the upper two-thirds of the country will inevitably end up putting the mower away for a few months.

Cooler Temps = Less Frequency & Lower Cutting Height

when to stop mowing lawn

The annual growth cycle of cool-season grasses. Source: Cornell University

As temperatures drop and your mowing frequency decreases, you’ll want to finish the transition to the low-end of the cutting height window for your turf grass type. This prepares the lawn for winter by reducing its exposure above ground and encouraging the active root growth that takes place in cooler temperatures.

According to the Iowa State University Extension, you should cut your lawn to 2-2.5 inches for Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, and 1.5-2 inches for perennial ryegrass or creeping red fescue.²

Fall is a Good Time to Fertilize

Fall dethatching -- when to stop mowing

Early-fall is also a good time to perform dethatching on cool-season grasses.

As you transition your cutting height to the lower end of your cut height window, you might also want to consider fertilizing your lawn. This supports the active root growth that’s taking place and fortifies your lawn so it stays healthy through the winter and greens up quickly next spring.

If you still have questions about when to stop mowing, or how to prepare your lawn for winter, contact your local Extension agency or a local landscape professional. Both can be valuable references as you work towards a more beautiful lawn.

Citations and References:

  • ¹ “How Grass Grows“, Cornell University. Cornell University, n.d. Web. 31 Aug 2015
  • ² Agnew, Michael and Christians, Nick. “Mowing Your Lawn“, Iowa State University Extension. Iowa State University, revised August 2009. Web. 31 Aug 2015

Why You Should Aerate Your Lawn this Fall

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

(StatePoint) Fall is a great time to aerate the lawn. Whether you do it yourself or hire a lawn care professional to do it for you, aeration at least once per year provides a number of benefits to your lawn, say experts.

Exmark Aerator

An increasing number of landscape professionals are turning to productivity-enhancing machines like this Exmark 30-inch Stand-On Aerator. The stand-on design also reduces operator wear and tear significantly.

The main benefit is to relieve compaction and increase pore space, which promotes gas exchange and microbial activity in the soil and creates a better, more supportive environment for lawn health and vitality. Aeration also promotes better soil drainage, which helps keep disease at bay and allows more water to percolate into the soil from rain or irrigation, meaning less runoff and more water getting where it needs to go.

“Ideal aeration timing depends on turf type and geography,” says Lloyd Von Scheliha of Exmark Manufacturing, a manufacturer of turf care equipment. “But annual aeration provides valuable agronomic benefits to virtually any turfgrass.”

With that in mind, here are some tips from the experts at Exmark to get the most benefits from aeration:

• Timing: Ideally, aeration should take place during times of active growth to help with recovery. Avoid aeration during times of heat stress or times preceding dormancy. It’s typically best to aerate cool season grasses in the spring or fall, while with warm season grasses, it’s best to aerate in late spring or early fall.

• Proper equipment: Use gear that meets the needs of your lawn. For example, Exmark offers a 30-inch Stand-On aerator that makes quick work of even large properties with the ability to easily maneuver around landscape features.

• Follow-up: After aeration, it’s a good idea to water the lawn, as well as a good time to apply fertilizer or overseed if needed. Be careful not to apply a pre-emergent if you plan to overseed, however, as it will prevent the new seed from growing.

Don’t let this important, but often overlooked lawn care task escape your attention this season. At the ideal time for your lawn, either take it upon yourself or hire a professional to give your grass a better chance at thriving.

Zero-Turn vs. Lawn Tractor: Other Factors to Consider

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Quality of Cut: A professional’s calling card

Exmark Pioneer E-Series zero-turn riding mower

An Exmark zero-turn mower makes it easy to give your lawn a professionally maintained appearance.

Landscape professionals earn their living delivering a consistently superior cut quality for their customers. That’s why Exmark has worked hard to engineer the best cutting decks on the market.

Exmark’s patented flow-control baffles and exclusive blade designs deliver an unmatched quality of cut that’s optimized for the increased cutting speeds Exmark mowers are capable of achieving. When it comes to quickly making tall grass short, with a beautiful finished appearance, no lawn tractor can match an Exmark Lazer Z zero-turn rider. That’s one reason landscape pros choose it two-to-one over the next leading competitor.

Durability: The definition of commercial-grade

One thing we’ve learned in our more than 30 years of building mowers for landscape professionals is that stamped steel decks just don’t cut it when it comes to the demands of mowing sun up to sun down. That’s why every zero-turn mower we build comes standard with a heavy-duty fabricated steel cutting deck. Each of the lawn tractors in this comparison feature stamped steel cutting decks.

Exmark UltraCut Rear Discharge cutting deck

Exmark UltraCut cutting decks use high-strength steel that’s fabricated and welded for unmatched durability.

Fabricated decks are stiffer, stronger and more durable than stamped decks, even reinforced models. And with features like no-maintenance sealed bearing spindles and hex-style blade drivers, the Exmark durability advantage extends to the components as well as the cutting deck itself.

Exmark zero-turn commercial mowers feature state-of-the-art powerplants with gasoline, diesel and propane fuel options. With commercial-duty features such as multi-stage canister-style air filters, pressurized lubrication, oil coolers and cast iron cylinder liners, the engines powering Exmark mowers are as cutting edge as the mowers they power.

Our exclusive unitized hydro-drive components and welded, heavy-duty tubular steel unibody frames are two more features that help Exmark machines deliver the durability landscape professionals need to stay productive and profitable season after season.

Bottom Line: Choose the tools the pros use

When compared head-to-head, it’s clear a zero-turn riding mower offers the most compelling combination of productivity, maneuverability and quality of cut available today. And while innovations such as four-wheel steering and four-wheel drive have helped to increase the productivity of high-end lawn tractors compared to earlier models, at every price level examined, Exmark zero-turn riding mowers are clearly the more productive machines.

When it comes to durability, Exmark scores big with true commercial-duty frames, cutting decks, drive systems and engines designed to stand the test of time.

Bottom line: an Exmark zero-turn riding mower very well could be the last mower you need to buy.

Dig Deeper at

  • Learn more about the advantages of an Exmark zero-turn riding mower.
  • Learn more about how to determine mower productivity.