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Roman27
09-08-2006, 04:14 PM
I have a Simplicity Citation ZT with a 48" deck. After getting tired of the side discharge blowing grass in my face, in my mulched areas, or making stripes of hay on the lawn surface; I decided to look into buying a mulch kit. I went to the dealer, who called the manufacturer, who sent me a kit for Ferris mower for $170 that contained 3 pieces of metal: 2 baffles and a side discharge block plate. There were no blades included in the kit.

Attached are 3 pictures showing you what it looks like on my first mowing:

IMG_3581 shows my driveway. I was mowing across the driveway to complete the striping pattern on the other side. My wife and I swept up the driveway afterwards. It filled our 40 gallon trashcan about halfway. :-(

IMG_3582 shows some nice stripes, but there are also strips of uncut grass. It's kind of hard to see it properly in the picture, but you can see the uncut grass in the left 2/3rd of the dark stripe. :-(

IMG_3583 shows a little closer up picture of the stuff on the driveway. It is actually mulching the grass. The mower never cut that finely when using the side-discharge. The grass pieces are mostly 1/2" and under. So, that's a good sign. :-)

Is this what mulching is all about?

I will admit that the grass was a little long. It took me a while to put on the mulch kit, so the lawn was put on hold for a little while. Unfortunately, it did not obey my command to pause during that period of time. But, I did cut it at 4" on Monday. The pictures were taken on Thursday and the deck was at 3". So, there couldn't have been more than 1.25" to 1.5" of grass.

Any suggestions?

fulano
09-08-2006, 04:22 PM
I mulch the yards I cut and I only cut bi-weekly. My grass looks nothing like that when cut unless I'm cutting off about 1/3 or more the length or try going too fast. I really like the cut and clean up with the mulch kit. My competitors all use exmark and they side discharge. Their lawns look bad with all the leaves thrown everywhere while my yards have none.
I have emark 36" tthp trivantage deck and 52" tt ultra deck with mulch kits.

John Gamba
09-08-2006, 04:48 PM
I have a Simplicity Citation ZT with a 48" deck. After getting tired of the side discharge blowing grass in my face, in my mulched areas, or making stripes of hay on the lawn surface; I decided to look into buying a mulch kit. I went to the dealer, who called the manufacturer, who sent me a kit for Ferris mower for $170 that contained 3 pieces of metal: 2 baffles and a side discharge block plate. There were no blades included in the kit.

Attached are 3 pictures showing you what it looks like on my first mowing:

IMG_3581 shows my driveway. I was mowing across the driveway to complete the striping pattern on the other side. My wife and I swept up the driveway afterwards. It filled our 40 gallon trashcan about halfway. :-(

IMG_3582 shows some nice stripes, but there are also strips of uncut grass. It's kind of hard to see it properly in the picture, but you can see the uncut grass in the left 2/3rd of the dark stripe. :-(

IMG_3583 shows a little closer up picture of the stuff on the driveway. It is actually mulching the grass. The mower never cut that finely when using the side-discharge. The grass pieces are mostly 1/2" and under. So, that's a good sign. :-)

Is this what mulching is all about?

I will admit that the grass was a little long. It took me a while to put on the mulch kit, so the lawn was put on hold for a little while. Unfortunately, it did not obey my command to pause during that period of time. But, I did cut it at 4" on Monday. The pictures were taken on Thursday and the deck was at 3". So, there couldn't have been more than 1.25" to 1.5" of grass.

Any suggestions?


Slow down when you come to the driveway and cut two to three times a week.

Roman27
09-08-2006, 05:06 PM
Slow down when you come to the driveway and cut two to three times a week.
;)

It takes me about an hour and a half to cut and trim now. Slowing down and doing it 2 to 3 times per week... Uhg... I'm gonna have to invest in a sulky just to spend time with my family!

DJ Contracting
09-08-2006, 06:39 PM
Thats what happens when it (grass) gets to long and wet. I bought mulch kits for my mowers and they only stayed on for two weeks, they'll go back on in the fall well at least one mower will have it install while the other picks up. I spent 253.00 on a Gravely grass catcher and am very pleased with it.

John Gamba
09-08-2006, 09:27 PM
;)

It takes me about an hour and a half to cut and trim now. Slowing down and doing it 2 to 3 times per week... Uhg... I'm gonna have to invest in a sulky just to spend time with my family!



Just side discharge when the grass is not as high.

sheshovel
09-08-2006, 09:28 PM
Gamba sighting!

ed2hess
09-08-2006, 11:03 PM
What is the problem except the fact you ran the mower up over the drive and all the clippings drop out. If you don't drive up on the drive all that stuff would disappear in the lawn. We mulch 100% with plate over exit and no problem. Just raise the deck when it is high, most grasses have a limit on how high they will grow....unless it is different up north?

rocksrscott
09-08-2006, 11:26 PM
Quote "sent me a kit for Ferris mower for $170 that contained 3 pieces of metal: 2 baffles and a side discharge block plate. There were no blades included in the kit. "
Did you get any mulch blades for it? Next trip if you don't have one already look at their blower's for your driveway.

Good Luck

TAZ
09-08-2006, 11:55 PM
you're going to get that dumping of the deck when you go over the driveway. You can a) stay in the lawn and avoid going over the driveway or b) like stated above get a blower and blow that crap back in the yard. My muclhing doesn't look like that though. Lie the others I cut it high 3 1/2" and try to avoid too wet of condtions.

-TAZ

DBL
09-08-2006, 11:56 PM
regardless in the end sweeping the driveway isnt that bad but a blower is so much better and also if the grass is too high will your mower let you discharge instead of mulch

jeffinsgf
09-09-2006, 01:37 PM
I don't think you're going to be happy with the results of the mulch kit as long as you're trying to cut an inch and a half of grass. On the other hand, you're not going to like discharge either. You either need to cut more often, slow down your watering, or get a bagger -- maybe all three. Trying to mulch more than a half inch at a time is going to be a challenge.

ed2hess
09-09-2006, 06:56 PM
I don't think you're going to be happy with the results of the mulch kit as long as you're trying to cut an inch and a half of grass. On the other hand, you're not going to like discharge either. You either need to cut more often, slow down your watering, or get a bagger -- maybe all three. Trying to mulch more than a half inch at a time is going to be a challenge.
I guess it may depend on the type of grass and the mower but we mulch down a lot more than 1/2 inch on a lot of lawns in the spring. Sometimes we may double cut. The mowers are Scag, Snapper, and Wright Sentar and no problems.

Roman27
09-11-2006, 10:33 AM
Thanks for all the replies.

I contacted the dealer about the poor performance and missing mulch blades from the kit. He contacted Simplicity Mfg. who responded by saying that the kit doesn't include blades and are aware that mulching doesn't work the best.

So, the dealer offered to sell me Exmark Excalibur mulching blades at his cost. I'm so glad I have a caring dealer that takes the time and trouble to deal with home-owner issues. Anyway, I took him up on that offer and installed them. Unfortunately, the grass hadn't grown that much since the cutting in my first post to really compare the two mowings; there was only about a half-inch of growth versus the previous 1.25" to 1.5". But, I mowed the entire lawn anyway, if for no other reason than to try to remulch/disperse the clumps that I had on the lawn.

The Exmark blades seemed to work better. But, as I said above it's hard to compare. Maybe after this 3-day rain we're having here, I'll have a mowing closer to the original mowing to compare.

It's interesting how the sharp edge on the Exmark blade runs all the way to the center of the blade, whereas the standard blades I was using had only the outer 3 or 4 inches sharpened. Hopefully that results in better mulching.

ed2hess
09-11-2006, 06:02 PM
Thanks for all the replies.
It's interesting how the sharp edge on the Exmark blade runs all the way to the center of the blade, whereas the standard blades I was using had only the outer 3 or 4 inches sharpened. Hopefully that results in better mulching.
That doesn't matter at all on Scag or Snapper....got both and both mulch just fine.

dfischer
09-13-2006, 11:02 AM
Roman:

1) As has been mentioned, you can't run over your drive. It will dump the mulch onto the drive. No fix to it, change your pattern.

2) Also as mentioned, you're cutting too high. It's a fairly fine line, but it seems clear to me you were rather tall.

3) You'll find mulching seems to look better if the grass is cut a bit lower. I cut to about 3.5" in the heat of the summer (it's growing slow anyway) but come down to 2.5 to 2.75 spring and fall. It just seems to look better.

4) I did NOT like the looks of mine when I first starting mulching either. I did a fair bit of underdeck work (cleaned, primed, painted, ez-slide, and 2 coats wax), then went to doubles, (1 gator + 1 deere) set so the taller was on the bottom (gave them nearly equal cutting height). Unless I've skipped a week (or only cut once in the spring) it looks amazing now.

5) I've found dull blades to be an issue. Razor sharp seems to mulch better

So: It's all in setup and management of the pattern and cut height. A little effort and it can look very good. I really think mulching has a por rep for homeowners only because most don't take the time to figure it out.

Roman27
09-13-2006, 11:17 AM
Thanks for the reply.

I'll have to experiment with cutting the grass that low. I thought I read somewhere that most grasses prefer 3", which is what I usually do.

I might look into the double blade idea as well.