View Full Version : mulching ... interesting reading

11-03-2001, 10:39 PM
When leaves turn into litter


I edited out the article to protect Lawnsite.com since it is copyrighted and at the bottom of the article it says: This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. Above it the link so you can read it in itís entirety.

Edited by Eric ELM 11/06/2001

11-04-2001, 01:35 AM
Execellent, were is the web address I can find this at?

Richard Martin
11-04-2001, 07:05 AM
One of the most interesting statements is this one:
Turfgrass quality increased on plots that had maple leave treatments due to the fact that less broadleaf weed growth was observed in those plots.

This stands to reason since most weed seeds must be struck by sunlight in order to germinate. If the weed seeds are covered up by leaf litter then no sunlight will strike them.

One of the things that this report did not address was the effect(s) that localized fall season rainfall droughts and deluges would have on broadleaf weed growth.

For example if you have a fall drought like we are having in the Maryland area than will weed growth prevention be of limited value since the weed seeds never get stuck (by moisture) to the ground? If the weed seeds are not stuck to the ground then they can be circulated and mixed in and on top of the leaf litter allowing sunlight to strike them.

Of couse to those of you that have customers with irrigation systems this should not be a problem.

This report is interesting but far from complete. It didn't even discuss the effects that Black Walnut leaves have on turf grass.

Double D
11-04-2001, 12:30 PM
Great reading, thanks for taking the time to post the article.

11-04-2001, 03:27 PM

11-04-2001, 03:34 PM
Here's the website for the article "When Leaves Turn Into Litter":


11-04-2001, 07:18 PM
Great article. I used to bag etc, then went to double blades and or gators 4-5 years ago and have just ground everything up since. My impression has been that my yard has never looked better with very minimal maintainance. The above article would seem to make this observation true. Thanks, Brad

11-04-2001, 09:49 PM
Brad, I would agree with you. Several of my customers last year I mulched most all their leaves. This year they had a much nicer lawn, and it also made them grow all year and I got to cut them more often. :)

This article and other info you can find will give you the abiltiy to educate yourself and your customers on the positives of mulching them.

11-06-2001, 10:59 AM
I experieced the same results with mulching leaves.

I put the micro-mulch kit and blades on my Lazer as soon as the leaves start falling and mulch the lawns up every week to 10 days as to prevent too much build up.

The lawns get healthier and have less broadleaf every year. The seem to grow faster and a little longer each season...thus more cuts! :D

11-06-2001, 11:57 AM
You do realize that is a copyrighted article and shouldn't be posted here in its entirety. Should've just posted a link. Also, there was an article just like this one last year around this time. It has been shown that mulching has no detrimental effects.

11-06-2001, 12:36 PM
Why would you think that just because it is a copyrighted article that it shouldnt be posted here. Thom Nickolai is my professor here at Michigan State, and believe me, he wouldnt care if his article was on lawnsite, in fact, he probably would be happy. And this article is very true, i dont know about the one you are talking about. Thanks anyways though.

11-06-2001, 12:43 PM
GM50 ...There are laws and people must abide by them. This article is copyrighted by Grounds Maintenance and therefore is their property. Stay in school chap.

P.S. Go to the link and read the article on Grounds Maintenance's page. At the bottom is the copyright designation. I doubt as if Dylan received permission.


Eric ELM
11-06-2001, 01:02 PM
I fixed it to protect Lawnsite.com so we won't have any problems. I did not see where he had permission to post this, but if he has, I can put it back up in it's entirety. ;)

11-13-2001, 01:03 AM
k scraper, you learned something from the mulch post why are you complaining that its here? Just read it and be happy you are provided with the knowledge and quit whinning about the copyright crap.

Kent Lawns
11-13-2001, 09:11 AM
Thanx for the great post. Something those of us familiar with MSU have known for some time.

BTW: The writer is not necesarily the owner of copywright material. Publishers get funny about that.

11-13-2001, 09:14 AM
Didn't learn anything I didn't already know GM...it is not the point that it doesn't belong here, but that it copyrighted material from a magazine with which Lawnsite is not affiliated...you are pretty mouthy for someone who has only been here a month with nothing to offer... I'm thru with your juvenile comments...so go back and keep reading those books and attending class...I'm sure your professor would be happier to see you in class than I am to see you here....

11-13-2001, 09:29 AM
great reading, just two points. #1 it states that the ph did not change during the remainder of the FALL EXPERIMENT, im thinking tested again in 3 months would show a dramatic change. also, i still cant convince customers that having ground up leaves on thier lawn and having it look messy, will benefit them in the long run. leaf cleanup is a visual thing. they like to see a clean property.

Kent Lawns
11-13-2001, 09:37 AM
They've done the test for years. pH doesn't change much. pH is messed up under heavy leaf canopy anyways in most cases.

You never leave gound up leaves ON their lawn. It's always IN their lawn, in the thatch layer. Kinda like a topdressing.

If done properly, customers never notice. The only way is for them to get on their hands an knees and look down in the thatch layer like they're doing a Chinchbug inspection.

My finding is that most of the opponents of leaf mulching have limited experience with it.

11-13-2001, 09:43 AM
I'm sooo sorry scraper. I just DONT want to ruin my reputation with lawnsite.com, cause someday i want to be just like you, a senior member on lawnsite.com and beause you are a senior member, i look up to you, cause you are sooo important, and you know everything to. Everyone at lawnsite should bow to you!!!:D

11-13-2001, 09:55 AM
i know what youre saying, but i just dont believe that its not noticable. also, as a selling point, i cant tell the client when they ask how we do leaves: i grind them up, and leave them in your lawn. i think they prefer to hear: i remove the leaves from your property and dispose of them. ive never ground them up and left them, but i also dont have the equipment alot of u guys have, i only have walk behinds. id love to see a property that has ground up leaves in it though, maybe L.J. services would be nice enough to allow me to check out one of his jobs when hes done.

11-13-2001, 10:00 AM
Bobby, I leave (no pun intended) for you an open invite to inspect one of my mulched lawns. A little late in the season now as we have experienced our major leaf drop, but the proof is in the thatch layer that I didn't haul off one leaf! This property 3 years ago prior to mulching would equate to about 100 bushels of leaves at least. No complaints and to say it is in an elitist neighborhood is an understatement....the houses start at $1.5M. I too was skeptical at first, but after doing this for 3 seasons now I will never haul a leaf away again. Yes sometimes it takes 2 or 3 passes at one stop, but I add that to the cost of service as the customer is not having to pay an exorbitant cleanup fee.

11-13-2001, 10:28 AM

I mulch everything in using nothing bigger than a 36" Walk-Behind, and most of my properties are maintained with a 21" Toro (small lawns out this way!). I tell the customers exactly that: I'm mulching the leaves and they're staying in the lawn. Occaisonally I get a glossy stare, but I follow that up with a brief explanation of the benefits of mulching.

11-13-2001, 11:16 AM
ok, i believe you, but would still like to see it. pennsy just too far for me, thanx for the invite. now, this will only work on lawns that are maintained and visited weekly , right? in my case, in addition to our regular clients, we place an ad in the paper for cleanups and alot of them are one timers whos lawn has a major amount of leaves, cant mulch when its like that, or can u?

Kent Lawns
11-13-2001, 04:24 PM
That becomes a little trickier, bobby.

But generally those folks that call out of the paper are not your really fussy customers.

I used to carry a publication with me from MSU that was generally the same info as started this thread. I always had a few copies with me, prepared to hand them to customers who had qualms about us mulching.

I never used them. No customers asked! But we don't do 1 time clean-ups, though.

I surmise that with some customer education and some experimentation, many contractors will see the benefits of mulching.

11-13-2001, 06:10 PM
ill tell u what, im gonna try it. hauling away leaves is a pain in the butt!

LJ lawn
11-13-2001, 10:02 PM
anytime you want to stop by and scope out a mulched lawn just let me know.

11-13-2001, 11:47 PM
sounds good L.J., how bout friday morning? oh wait, u dont even get out of bed till 11:30. how bout friday afternoon? call me, u still got the number, dont u?

LJ lawn
11-14-2001, 10:20 PM
no, i get up early every day.BUT when it's the WEEKEND and my work is done for the week and i don't HAVE to get up i don't appreciate phone calls at 8:30 in the morning.i called you back last week but i guess you didn't get the message.

11-15-2001, 08:47 PM

11-15-2001, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by LJ lawn
anytime you want ...You did opent the door for his call at the early am hrs -LOL!!! I would have taken this to mean biz hrs too, but since you didnt specify m-f you kinda left yourself open for an eager response.

Weve all been there and had those calls at the least opportune times too. :( Its just part of helping each other out. BTW might I suggest that you turn the ringer/volume down friday evening so not to be disturbed. :D

This is also the reason why the office line is a cellular number so that when the nextels off, so am I. ;)


11-15-2001, 10:39 PM
bobby ,i believe mulching to be a learned skill.
ive been doing it 15 or more yrs,and im still learning new tricks to make mulching work better. its so dry here i could probably just blow them to the curb like the others do easier. but then im stuck waiting on the city pick up.better to just makeum disappear.
in short give yourself some time to learn how to work them best,
when u try it. later now.