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Lawn dicer

High-pressure water knife
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
  [vote for,

Despite my gardeners' best efforts, the lawns at Buchanan Towers are less than completely perfect. Most weeds, of course, can be kept down with suitable chemicals, but some (such as speedwells) are resistant to almost everything. Worse yet, weed grasses creep in amongst the fine grasses, and are impossible to eradicate chemically.

However, my Head Gardener has developed the MaxCo Lawn Dicer in his spare time (though this time is limited - growing heads is a round-the-clock business).

The Lawn Dicer connects to the garden hose and a power supply, and looks rather like a wide lawnmower. As it is pushed across the lawn, 47 very high-pressure water jets cut 47 narrow slits in through the turf, slicing the lawn to a depth of a couple of inches or so, into strips about an inch wide. With two passes at right angles, the lawn is effectively diced into one inch squares.

Fine grasses are little troubled by this aquascarification. Each such grass plant is a little self-contained shrublet, and only those which lie directly in the path of a water jet are destroyed.

Coarse grasses and weeds, however, are far more damaged. A typical coarse grass is a sprawling, trailing affair with a wide rosette of stems spreading from a single root mass. This is why such grasses tend to prosper in areas of compacted soil or heavy thatch, where one sturdy root can serve a large area of leaves. The Lawn Dicer will remove most of the leaves of such a plant (even if it misses the central root), putting it at a disadvantage compared to its more compact brethren. Trailing weeds such as speedwells are equally disadvantaged, and even simple nuisances such as dandelions are penalized by having large, horizontal leaves.

The Lawn Dicer also performs a valuable aeration task, slitting the lawn and allowing it to breath, and also helping rainwater to penetrate the surface. Better yet, large lawn pests (particularly chafer grubs and leatherjackets) stand a very high chance of being killed.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2009

Toro Hydroject http://www.toro.com...tor/green/3010.html
uses 5000 psi water [ldischler, Jun 06 2009]

Disc harrow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_harrow
[bungston, Jun 08 2009]


       Can I borrow this to dice up the carpet, which I need to lift in my flat in order to lay a wooden floor? I'm sure with a vacuum attachment that the water could be recovered, so that the underlying floor did not stay saturated.   

       Apart from that I would definitely use this on the lawn at my other house... yes I have a house AND a flat, and when I win the lottery later tonight, I'm going to flitter all the money away financing mad, but great (+), ideas like this, and if I don't win, I'm going to have to cover myself with red gloss paint and roll around in coal dust as penance for being greedy.
xenzag, Jun 06 2009

       Okay, but I don't think it will work unless you take out the roots.
phoenix, Jun 06 2009

       Re roots - I agree, it's best if you can. This won't eradicate weeds or weed-grasses in a single pass.   

       However, lawns generally establish a balance of plants depending on the environment. For instance, if the lawn is compacted and thatchy, creeping grasses and weeds gradually dominate because they have lots of leaf area from a central root that only has to penetrate the ground in one place, and they can sprawl out over adjacent hard spots or dense thatch. If the lawn has good soil and regularly scarified, then smaller more compact grasses tend to take over because they are less damaged by scarification.   

       So, dicing a few times a year would slowly discourage bad plants and favour good ones, allowing the balance to be shifted over the course of a few seasons.   

       I think.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2009

       Cubed roots for a quaderadicate function.   

       Excellent comment.
xenzag, Jun 06 2009

       [ldischler] well, bugger me. Though their gadget seems to make holes rather than slits.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2009

       //checkeredlegs and pringlejumpers// Did you just make those up?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2009

       Ah, right. That'd be Fashion and Golf - hit both my blind spots at once.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 06 2009

       I think I like yours better [+]
FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2009

       The de luxe model could trail an extra set of water jets and push these down into the grooves created by the main slicing jets, to slice your lawn horizontally, a couple of inches below the surface. This will cut through the deep tap-roots of certain pernicious weeds. Then, once your lawn is sliced into these neat blocks, a small robot will randomly rearrange all the blocks in your lawn, thus evening out uneven lawn growth resulting from uneven wear of the lawn, or uneven sunlight or watering.

I'm still trying to think how the phrase "I fought the lawn, and the lawn won" could be worked into the marketing.
hippo, Jun 07 2009

       //into strips about an inch wide// if the next application, afew months hence does not use the same strips, the remaining grass-plant is destroyed. If it uses the same strip, the dices will be made permanent, resulting in a lawn with inch-wide hills, that get crushed whenever someone walks on the lawn.   

       This idea is not the same as an aerator, as the soil gets sliced by something pushing down, not tangentially.
loonquawl, Jun 07 2009

       perhaps something like a roto-tiller but with thin discs instead of a screw/spiral... whatever-the-word-is thing.
FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2009

       [loonquawl] I don't think that's an issue. After all, hollow- tine aeration removes half-inch cores. Within days to weeks (depending on soil and rainfall), the holes have essentially healed up and grass re-establishes itself. I think the same would be true of these thin slits. The point is that "good" grasses are less damaged than "bad" grasses or weeds, and hence gain an advantage each time the lawn is diced. I'm assuming this treatment would be done every few weeks, or a few times a year.   

       [hippo] Robotic rearrangement of removed rectangles is really ..ah.. runderful. Coupled with some smart software, you could even create subtle ghostly images by tesselating with slightly lighter or darker shades of grass.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 07 2009

       Since seeds can be planted along with the hydraulic injection, a slow developing pattern could be applied if the injector is scanned across the lawn. Useful for practical jokes: Karl Marx on the eighteenth green, or Mohammad in the lawn of the local Baptist church.
ldischler, Jun 07 2009

       You have invented the disc harrow, long used for this purpose. See link for further edification. Your version has the added benefit of washing out all loosened dirt and depositing it in new, adjacent areas. From there, depending on the weather, it can go back into the cracks, or into nearby streams, or up into the air and from there into your neighbors pool.
bungston, Jun 08 2009

       Hmm. A disc harrow seems an entirely more disruptive affair, and I doubt it could neatly slit a lawn without also churning up quite unaesthetically.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 08 2009

       I would like to dice my belly fat.
marquisdenet, Jun 08 2009

       May I be the first to ask if one of the gardeners in your employ is named Andrew?   

       If so, when he uses this new tool on soil with a high clay content you could watch Andrew dice clay.   

       <runs away and hides, dodging flung tomatoes>
Canuck, Jun 10 2009


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