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rich_kildow

Gator blades with vac?

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rich_kildow
http://www.ebay.com/itm/170752514333?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 I need some new blades. The ones that were on it when I bought my 7116 this spring are getting down there. Are blades like the ones above any good, particularly for use with the vac collector? I have a ton of pine needles and oak/maple leaves to pick up and the smaller they get chopped the fewer trips to the back of my property I have to take to dump 'em. If not, any other suggestions? $10 a blade is outstanding as far as cost, but I'm not above paying for quality.

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DanD
Not telling you what to do, but one of the best things you can do for your lawn is to make a couple of passes and chop up those leaves with your gator blades right where they are and leave them. Then you have no trips to the back of your property. I never rake leaves and never vacuum them either. Check out this link. There are lots of similar ones on the net besides this one. This is one time where being a lazy guy like me is actually a good thing!! :D [url][/url]http://www.scotts.com/smg/learn/infoHowToArticle.jsp?detailId=11800002

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rich_kildow
Does that go for areas where they are going to sit under 3 feet of snow for the next 4 months? If so, I might take a go at this and try that winterguard stuff if it isn't too crazy expensive. Will I need to build some sort of outlet blocker for my 48" deck?

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DanD
The winterguard stuff isn't necessary. Scotts is just trying to sell you fertilizer. The fertilizer is good for the lawn, but rather expensive, but has nothing to do with mulching your leaves and just leaving them and reaping the benefits of the nutrients in the leaves. Having said that, if you're inclined to fertilize your lawn and just want to do it once a year, they say that the best time of year to fertilize in Wisconsin and other northern states is Halloween. Hard to believe but true. You don't need to do anything for your deck. Just mow them on a dry day and they grind up to dust. I usually mow the first time so that I'm throwing the cuttings into the unmowed leaves, then mow again so that you're throwing them out. They literally disappear. I've ground up maple leaves where they were piled as high as the front tires. You'll have to have the mower in a high setting with that many leaves so that they go under the deck and don't just push ahead.

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DanD
Here's a link to 9 Gator blades for the newer Sovereigns for $75! Do one or two people want to go together with me on this deal. I'd buy a set, but don't need three sets, but this price is great. Only $25 for a set. I've seen single blades for almost that much. [url][/url]http://sleequipment.com/72-oregon-lawnmower-blade-fit-grasshopper-oem-320250-oregon-90-778-96-778-mulching-set-of-23.html

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rich_kildow
DanD, I'll go in on the blades and take 1 or 2 of the sets, your call. I have my deck set rather high as is but I'm definitely going to give this a shot. The wife isn't going to be happy about the vac sitting idle, but as long as she isn't raking all will be well. My lawn could use some TLC, so this and some sort of fertilizer might be helpful for it. Any recommendations?

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DanD
How large is your lawn? I use Milorganite on my lawn and like it a lot, but one bag only does 2500 sq. feet and it costs as much as using Scotts fertilizer. If you have a Menards close by (there's on in Rice Lake isn't there?) they have their own brand of fertilizer that I think is made in Eau Claire. It's very cost effective and I have used it in the past with no problems. They even have the winterizer formula if you want it. Otherwise, most hardware stores like Ace have great selections of fertilizer and spreaders. Do you have a Fleet Farm or Farm and Fleet or Ace or True Value or other hardware store? Any would have what you need. As far as the blades go, I'd take one set. I've had a set on my Sovereign for a couple of years. They have a lot of life yet, but for $25, a second set could set on the shelf for a few years. You have the gull wings blades on your mower, correct?

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rich_kildow
Blades: Yeah, gull wing blades on a 48" late 80's 7116 deck (I think that's a sovereign.) Do you want me to order them and send me money, or vice versa? Paypal works for me if you have it. I'm in Trego/Spooner area, so we have an Ace in town, a Menards in Rice Lake, and an L&M in Hayward. The local ACE guys are pretty awesome, so they might just be able to point me in the right direction for our area.

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MysTiK
Leaves are earthworm food. Earthworms are good for your lawn. So is organic matter - such as mowed leaves. I did the math, kinda, roughly - mow once, 90% reduction in particle size, mow again, same thing = small. done. You don't need to pay attention - just mow your lawn - a week later mow your lawn. You get more leaves every week, so mow the lawn. Ignore them. Block the chute with a chunk of heavy cardboard (plywood, etc.) and schtick it with duct tape. easy. As for $cott'$ - omg - they advertize to moronic 8-year-olds. took 5 clicks to get to the facts. The glorious 'wintergrab' is just really high 32 Nitrogen, ZERO Phosphorus, 18 K= Potassium aka = NPK = 32-0-18 (the numbers are all that matters) Funny = it's true = Phosphorus promotes root growth - (they even said so) and there is "ZERO P" in the grossly expensive bag of wintergrab. hilarious - omg they just suck - they are on glue - and they lie. Note that 10-10-10 is same as 20-20-20 if you apply double the dose. Or 5-5-5 is same as half the dose. Keep the numbers low to middle generally. Minimize ferts if seeding (will burn seedling babies). (but you can hide phosphorus in the soil). If you haven't fertilized much lately, or ever, try something like 15-15-15 from ANY STORE CHEAP - the grass does not give a hoot what the bag says for brandname - it's the relative concentrations that matter. the N P K numbers - Nitro Phos Potassium Lately I am using s "SLOW-RELEASE 21-7-7" - I love this fertilizer. I buy it cheap from local ferts manufacturer. or a local store. cheap. less than 20 bucks for 50 pounds. (approx). The slow-release thing just slows down the release, makes it last longer, linger longer. You don't need N numbers = 30 EVER !!!! UNLESS you want really stupid rocket growth - I have a neighbour who does this. The grass, on a weekly mow, is always too long, and stacks up, and looks like crawp. Also the grass will deplete micronutrients in the soil due to insane accelerated growth process. Result - drought death and/or weak grass vulnerable to disease and no roots, it's a crime. $coot$ trf.killah The LATE FALL FERTS concept is valid and a great idea. It's considered to be the first of a 4-part ferts program. (late fall, spring, early summer, fall). I think it's excessive, and I usually do 2 ferts or maybe 3, it depends on other conditions, activities, plans, overseeding, aerating, etc. Get a tow-behind PLUG aerator for spring and fall. Usual water s/b once a week, total of 1" including rain. Mow it as tall as you can. You can read all about it on Purdue University's site = see TURF TIPS. also U.of Minnesota is excellent. I did Turf School and worked Golf Course for a decade. Golf courses have high traffic and require high fertilization rates to maintain very strong growth and tolerate DAILY mowing. Your lawn is not like that. ABOUT THE BLADES on ebay - nice price - BUT - they have hole size = 1". Is that correct? I haven't measured mine lately. Maybe it is correct. Just checking. I thought the hole was smaller that that.

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rich_kildow
We bought this place in the spring and I don't know that the lawn has ever been what we would like. It's there, but its never particularly green and is splotchy in some places. Yes, 1" is correct so that large spline washer fits.

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MysTiK
I hear ya. Mine started like that too - splotchy, bare spots, what's this stuff?, omg, etc. etc. I just aerated and threw seed at it and fertilized and mowed tall. (repeat) one day it looked pretty good. Mine's on pure clay. Clay holds water forever - stayed green in drought. But clay has zero organic matter - so the leaves, combined with aerating, intros o.m. into soil improvement, (enhanced soil profile) - good top soil just means high organic matter. so I'm doing a long term conversion of clay to t.s. EDIT again = this is also why I want a revitalizer - max depth is 1 1/4" = the top soil region. And double aggressive aerating also will mimic dethatching by mixing the thatch into upper layer of soil profile.

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