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Preparing for a future reel mower purchase

1421 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ABC123
I'm in the market to purchase my first reel mower. In preparation, I am trying to do my due diligence to see if a nice greensmower is feasible for my yard. My main concern is the presence of rock/gravel. I have approximately 3500 square feet of common Bermuda/unidentifiable hybrid Bermuda.

I have about a 500 square foot section in the front yard that was 100% gravel, as gravel is a popular "lawn" choice here in the valley. I can't stand the gravel so I removed it with the intentions of planting tifgrand sod. If the tifgrand is a winner, the end goal would be to reno the rest of the front and back yard with sod. I have my hopes set on a greensmaster 1600, but my huge concern is the gravel. Below is the 500 sq ft section that was formerly gravel as it sits today. I installed an irrigation zone and also tried to lower the dirt so that a future sod install would be close to level with the concrete (more dirt work needed for sure). I have not used a drag mat yet, but so far there seems to be quite a bit of gravel left behind in the soil.

The rest of the front and back yard have some gravel landscape beds that inevitably have had gravel kicked into the grass. Is a greensmower a possibility? If so, how's the best way to minimize the chances of reel/bedknife damage in the future?

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I look for rocks every time I mow, and usually find a few each time. Most of the time the mower rolls right over them at .75 inches, but I have on occasion gotten a knick on the reel from one. These can typically be buffed out pretty easily with a quick backlapping. BTW - go ahead and get a 10lb tub of compound from R&R. I went cheap initially with a small tube of valve grinding compound, but it didn't last but a few backlaps and wasn't half as effective as the lapping compound I got from R&R.
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