Posts Tagged ‘mowing’

Hot Weather Lawn and Grass Care

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

EX16_Pioneer_S-Series_InUse_6_web72With temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees and drought advisories in effect across the country, summertime lawn care can be a challenging task. However, maintaining a healthy lawn is not impossible—especially if you have the right tools for the job and know how to manage turf in the heat of summer.

From changing your mowing times to adjusting your mower to meet your lawn’s demands, here are a few tips for taking care of cool-weather grasses in seasonally high temperatures.

Set Your Mower Blades Higher: Longer grass tends to hold moisture better than short grass, especially in areas of high sun exposure. Instead of setting your lawn mower blades to remove the top 1/3 of the blade, raise it even higher. Although you’ll have to mow more often to keep your yard looking neat and trim, the higher cut will help the grass be less susceptible to stress.

Change Your Mowing Time: In order to minimize the stress on your lawn, plan to mow either early in the morning or late in the evening (provided your neighbors won’t mind). You might also want to mow after a rainfall or good day of watering. This way, you can avoid inadvertently causing stress to the grass from the combination of shorter grass and midday heat. You should also make sure your blades are sharp and working well. Dull mower blades can add an unnecessary strain on the grass, as they can cause tearing.

Mulch Grass Clippings: Instead of bagging or blowing the grass after you mow, mulch the clippings back into the lawn to become part of the life cycle. These nutrient-rich clippings provide moisture and other necessary nutrients to help keep your lawn healthy.

Avoid Foot Traffic: Keep your kids and pets off of any grass that’s struggling under stress. The less traffic you allow on your lawn, the better it will look overall.

Research Grass Varieties: Cool-season grasses include varieties like fescue, bluegrass, and rye. Warm-season grasses include zoysia, St. Augustine, centipede, and Bermuda. Cool-season grasses tend to fade a lot faster once temperatures move up over 60 degrees, and are much more likely to fall into a dormant phase. Know what’s in your yard and tailor a care plan accordingly.

Let the Grass Go Dormant: A dry, brown, and dusty yard isn’t necessarily dead. Many varieties of grass are designed to “go to sleep” when weather conditions are especially hot or dry. This state of dormancy allows the grass to go up to two months without water. Yes, it won’t look nice, but you don’t need to tear up the lawn and start all over next year. As soon as temperatures drop and rainfall picks back up, your lawn will start return to its former glory.

Avoid fertilizing during the dormancy stage and high heat. Because your grass is taking a break until cooler temperatures prevail, it’s not likely to soak in the nutrients in the right proportions. And don’t aerate during long hot, dry spells, as this can create additional stress to the turf.

Once temperatures cool off, water your lawn deeply and infrequently to rehydrate the turf. Proper soil moisture will also promote healthy root growth. Proper rehydration will help bring your lawn back lush and green through the fall

How To Maintain Safe Operation When Mowing Hills

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

If you own a property with steep hills, you know the challenges mowing and lawn care present. And when you add in walls, planters and other landscaping, and kids’ equipment such as trampolines, all of the sudden, mowing becomes akin to navigating an obstacle course. Which mower you choose for hills is an important factor in mowing your lawn safely and sustainably over time. In addition, taking the time to learn about all of the important safety features on your machine and how to safely navigate your mower on slopes and around obstacles is critical in helping prevent accidents.

Choose the Right Mower for Hilly Terrain

Exmark Lazer Z zero-turn riding mowers are the #1 choice of landscape professionals because of their unmatched ability to quickly and safely maintain a wide variety of properties. That said, zero-turn riding mowers should not be used on slopes of greater than 15 degrees, or a 26.8 percent grade. (Learn more about calculating slope and grade at Maintain hills or surfaces with slopes of more than 15 degrees with a walk-behind mower or hand trimmer.

Mower safety -- mowing at the water's edge

A walk-behind mower is a better choice than any riding mower for cutting grass near drop-offs or retaining walls, or at the edge of ponds.

While it may be tempting to mow close to the edge of water or retaining walls with your zero-turn mower, doing so can result in significant injury or death if the machine were to roll over. It’s better to keep a safe distance from these hazards, and come back with a walk-behind mower to trim near the edge.

Please take a moment to watch these “Driving in the Safety Zone” videos, which Exmark produced to help you identify safety hazards and how to safely operate your Lazer Z in hilly or uneven terrain, or around walls, water and other lawn hazards:

Exmark Lazer Z Introduction and General Safety

Exmark Lazer Z Safe Mowing of Slopes and Rollover Protection

Exmark Lazer Z Controls and Operation:

View more safety and operator training videos on the Exmark YouTube channel.

Other Considerations

  • Use Protection: the rollover protection system (ROPS) on commercial mowing equipment should always be deployed in the full upright position during operation — along with the lap belt securely fastened low and tight around the operator’s waist. Failure to do either of these steps increases the risk of injury or death to the operator in a rollover situation.
  • Proper rollover protection use

    Always deploy the rollover protection system (ROPS) in the full-up position during operation (as shown). Never operate the mower with the ROPS down or partially-deployed.

    Moisture: avoid mowing hilly terrain when grass is wet from rain or dew. Not only is mowing wet grass sub-optimal for the turf itself, the reduced traction on wet grass increases the chances of your mower sliding on uneven terrain. Instead, wait until later in the day when the sun has burned the moisture off.

  • Unstable ground: survey the property and identify any ponds, drop-offs (pay particular attention to fence lines) and retaining walls to ensure the stability of the ground being mowed.

By taking a little time to understand the slope and terrain of your property, you can choose the right mower to maintain every inch of your lawn safely.

Learn more about safe mowing at

Morton Buildings and Exmark are “Giving Away the Farm”

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Register to win a prize package worth more than $76,000


Morton Buildings presents its “Giving Away the Farm” event for the fifth consecutive year. The winner will receive a $50,000 Morton building, and for the first time, will also receive an Exmark zero-turn mower and a Bad Boy Buggy.  Total value of the prize package is more than $76,000.

Morton Buildings is giving away a more than $76,000 prize package including a top-of-the-line Exmark Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn rider.

Morton Buildings is giving away a more than $76,000 prize package including a top-of-the-line Exmark Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn rider.

The building will be awarded to the winner as a $50,000 credit towards the construction of a Morton building of the winner’s choice.  The recipient must be 21 years of age or older and own land within the Morton Buildings service area to be eligible.  Individuals may register for the sweepstakes at any Morton Buildings exhibit at participating trade shows, as well as

Participating Trade Shows

  • Dakotafest – South Dakota (August 19-21)
  • Minnesota State Fair (August 21-September 1)
  • Iowa Farm Progress (August 26-28)
  • Kansas State Fair (September 5-14)
  • Clay County Fair – Iowa (September 6-14)
  • Big Iron Show – North Dakota (September 9-11)
  • Husker Harvest Show – Nebraska (September 9-11)
  • Ohio Farm Science Review (September 16-18)
  • World Dairy Expo – Wisconsin (September 30-October 4)
  • Sunbelt Expo – Georgia (October 14-16)

The Exmark Lazer Z X-Series Mower, valued at $11,899, boasts a Kawasaki FX801FV commercial grade engine.  It also features a 60-inch UltraCut Series 6 cutting deck, an exclusive Iso-mount seat isolation system and an exclusive hydro-drive system.  Additional information can be found at

The Bad Boy Buggies Ambush iS 4×4 ATV has 28 horsepower, a 720cc air-cooled V-twin cylinder gas powertrain on the rear axle and a 48-volt AC electric drivetrain on the front axle.  The buggy, which has a 9.6 cubic-foot cargo bed, will also feature independent suspension and on-the-fly battery recharge.  The ATV has a retail value of $14,399.  More details are available at

The sweepstakes will end at 11:59:59 p.m. CDT on Thursday, October 16 and is available to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and Washington, D.C.  No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter. Additional information, rules and restrictions for the sweepstakes can be found at

Garry Busboom talks cutting platforms

Friday, March 18th, 2011

If you’ve ever wondered who’s behind the industry’s top-notch cutting platforms, we’d like to introduce you to Garry Busboom. He was one of the masterminds behind the original Lazer Z and the redesign of the Exmark deck, including the patented Flow Control Baffles.

We sat down with Garry and picked his brain about cutting platforms. Here’s what he had to say:

Exmark: What are the different elements that can affect the cut quality?

Garry: The list can seem limitless … cutting fast or slow, high or low …  spring, summer, fall, morning, noon or night and types of grass — just to name a few.

Anything environmental…from morning dew to rain or shine, no matter how slight, can have a big impact on the results.

E: How do environmental conditions affect the cutting platform?

G: Any variation in the environmental conditions affects the physical properties of the grass and in turn may have a significant impact on how the mower deck performs. Our goal is to design a deck that will perform at an exceptional level in as many conditions as possible  to be able to provide a product to our landscape pro’s that meets or exceeds his expectations.

E: What were you doing before joining Exmark?

G: I used to design combines and had great fun doing it, so working with mowers seemed like a natural next step. You think about a lawnmower, it’s just a mini combine.

E: If you were a mower, what mower would you be?

G: An LZX29KA606 because I believe it’s the most versatile and productive machine we offer.

E: What does the future hold for Exmark cutting platforms?

G: We’re constantly working to improve the performance of our cutting platforms …it’s always a journey, not a destination.  Our job is to give the landscape pro the best tool for his job and continuously seek for better ways of doing things–that vision and mission will never change.

Have a question for Garry, have a comment or want to share what kind of mower you would be? Leave us a comment below.

Keeping your mower safe.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

While doing some research online, we came across a very interesting post by a part-time landscape pro, Sherri Joubert.

In her post, she talks about the fact that mower theft is on the rise. We were actually quite shocked to read what Sherri’s discovered is behind these thefts.

Sherri writes that the slumping economy and the rising unemployment rate are forcing those who are out of work to find alternative means of making money so they can provide for their families. Basically, some people are stealing mowers to start their own landscaping businesses.

Those caught in-the-act explained they were planning on returning the mowers once they’d made enough money to buy their own used equipment.

At this point we started thinking about your mower security.

To keep your mowers, well, yours, there are a few steps you can take to protect them:

  • Make sure your stored equipment is hard to get to. Reinforce your locks with heavy-duty chains.
  • Don’t leave any of your equipment unattended curb-side, even if you’re taking a quick lunch break.
  • Buy a covered trailer or a trailer with high walls.
  • Always check to make sure locks are secure.

Our final piece of advice on what you might do comes from Sherri’s own personal experience. Instead of putting her mower under lock and key, she rents her equipment for a nominal fee to a single mom in the neighborhood. The mom has access to the mowers on days Sherri is off.

Within the last couple of months, the mom saved enough money to buy her own equipment, something she couldn’t have done without Sherri’s compassion. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

What do you do to keep your mower safe? Leave your comments below.

Bagging Done Right for Perfect Results

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Believe it or not, there’s a low-maintenance way of bagging your grass and leaf clippings. We know what you’re probably thinking, but trust us on this one. There are certain things you can do to streamline the bagging process without disrupting productivity or cut quality.

First, you must remember three things: airflow, airflow and airflow. Airflow plays a major role in bagging. It’s the little things that make all the difference, from high blade tip speed to the right “breathability” in the system. The more your deck is able to breathe, the smoother the bagging process will be.

It’s a good idea to maintain a clean cutting deck.  If the underside of your deck is packed with grass, it won’t breathe as well.  Clean it out, and you will process more material. And keep the deck at ¼” positive rake.

Every bagger can get clogged with material.  Plugs normally start closer to your deck discharge, but check your hopper along the way.  To keep this clogging to a minimum in tough conditions, slow your forward ground speed while keeping engine throttle and rpm high.  This gives your deck the best opportunity to process material through the system to your hopper.

Also remember to keep your bag and hopper screen clean so more air passes through them. If your system does plug up, always shut down your mower completely before trying to clear material.

Keep your engine speed up.  Higher blade tip speed created by running your engine at full throttle will maximize air flow.  Engage your blades at ½ throttle first, then power up to full throttle for bagging.

For spring grasses, use a notched airfoil blade to increase air flow. In the fall, use blades that will process leaves to a finer grade, such as Exmark Extreme blades.  Also, blades with a higher sail lift (the upturned portion at each end of your blade) require more power from your engine, but also create more vacuum within your deck to pick up leaves.

We’d love to know if this post has been helpful. Leave your questions, comments and anything else on your mind below.

This post is by Mark Aldendifer, parts and accessories marketing manager at Exmark Manufacturing.