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Simpleton7016

Stripes - as good as I can get

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Simpleton7016
Well, these are about as good of "stripes" as I am going to get. The might be a bit better later in the summer when the grass is a bit thicker. But what you see in these pictures is the "whole ball of wax". These were made by a fully restored 48" deck with brand new rollers and freshly sharpened gator blades - dethatcher on the front of the tractor and everything vacuumed up with the collector on the back. The blades were set as 2 and 1/2 inches. I think next time I will raise it up to 2 and 3/4 inches and see if that has any effect. Many have said that a 42" or 36" deck leaves better stripes....I have to agree with that. I have seen other members pictures and their lawn stripes appear much crisper. Maybe I will watch for a 42" deck as a spare.
[img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/Stripes11.jpg[/img]

[img]/club2/attach/Simpleton7016/Stripes21.jpg[/img]

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MPH
Judging from the first picture I'll bet they look better when the grass gets a bit thicker, esp if you mow the same direction each time all summer, they become almost permanent.

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Simpleton7016
Oh, and I wanted to add one more thing. I have used essentially restored decks before, but not with brand new rollers. I think that NEW rollers are the most critical part of the equation. I see "restored" decks advertised all the time, but if the rollers are not new or near-new, you won't get the stripes. I also don't like those honeycombed plastic rollers, just the solid rubber ones. Just my two-cents.....probably seems pretty intuitive, but to me a 30 year old unrestored deck with bad rollers will give you exactly the same stripes and a fully restored deck with used rollers.

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Vassal
Looks great! I'm getting ready to give the stripes a try for the first time this weekend. I'm glad you mentioned the new vs old roller comparison, now I know not to get my hopes up:Y I guess I'll have to move the rollers up a little higher on the wish list. Thanks for sharing.

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dentwizz
I have uneven rollers on mine. If it gets on a slope it will offset about 1/4". My wife rolls her eyes when I point it out but it bothers me. New rollers are in order soon. Kudos on the mow.

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bobj
Beginners Luck: First, you did a great job, grass needs to be 3" - 3 1/2" tall. This is good height for healthy grass and considered minimum for good stripes. The head greens keeper at Boston's Fenway Park, home of Red Sox, is considered the guru throughout the country on this subject. I happened to catch him on tv a number of years ago and recently bought his book for my son's Christmas present. I remembered three things from that interview: 1. Grass height as previously mentioned. 2. Use Simplicity mower. 3. They water the grass for about 1 hour at 3:00 PM in the dead of summer. Now for my first attempt at making stripes yesterday: I mowed it 3 or 4 days ago w/o stripes using MTD Yard Man riding mower at about 3 to 3 1/2 inch height. I brought home the 48 inch deck and hitched it up to the 3416H which was used during the winter with its snow blower. The rollers are pretty good but not perfect. It had just rained for about 1 hour. Not knowing anything about this stuff, I tried out making stripes after hitching up the deck. I went real slow and pretty much stood on the deck, did not engage mower. I think the wet grass help the stripping effect. The grass could very well have been 4 inches tall and wet when stripes were made. Bob J.


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