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View Full Version : Mulching vs. Bagging


jcroskey
12-26-2005, 10:30 AM
I am new to professional lawncare and I was wondering what is more popular, having a mulching deck or having a bagging system on the unit. Thanks

muddstopper
12-26-2005, 03:10 PM
I think it all depends on the type of turf and the fertilization schedule it is on. Heavily fertilized turf is going to require bagging to reduce thatch buildup. Lawns that see little or no fertilization can/will benefit from mulch mowing.

marko
12-27-2005, 11:03 AM
Side discharging or mulching, if done at the proper interval, have nothing to do with thatch build up. It will also save your customers a fertilization per year, save them on a per cut basis, and make your life much more easier. Don't get caught up in the bagging trap. Educate your customers on the benefits of mulching. If done correctly, you can not tell the difference.

Here are some links:

http://www.hrclean.org/Mulchmow.shtml
http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/Landscaping/KeepGreen/Manage.htm
http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/mg/manual/lawn2.htm

muddstopper
12-27-2005, 12:33 PM
Great links marko. I agree in part with your statement that "Side discharging or mulching, if done at the proper interval, have nothing to do with thatch build up."

Thatch is a buildup of clippings and yard waste, and if the area is properly mowed and maintained, thatch shouldnt be a problem. The thatch buildup usually occurs from over fertilization that results in more waste than can be controlled by the natural decaying process. The addition of fertilizers contributes to the decline in microbial activity that feeds on the waste clippings. Fertilizers dont really harm the microbes per si, as much as it destroyes the humis that some of the microbes feed on, affecting the balance between the benefitual microbes and the harmful microbes. When you have more clippings than the microbes can eat, you then have a thatch buildup. When this happens, bagging the clippings helps reduce the thatch and restores the balance between benefitual microbes and their food source. When you remove the clippings you are also removing the fertilizers that caused the problem in the first place. Along with removing the fertilizers is also the chemicals that where applied to the lawn to control pests. These same chemicals also kills microbes so by removing the chemicals you are helping the microbes recover and you restore the natural balance between microbes and their food source. Proper mowing and fertilization will control thatch buildup but if you neglect one or the other, thatch can become a problem, and bagging occassionaly will help control it.