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View Full Version : Is grinding leaves a good thing.. or bad?


Lawn-Scapes
11-03-2002, 09:04 PM
I know you are giving the nutrients back to the soil.. but does it make the soil acidic too?

Flex-Deck
11-03-2002, 09:09 PM
Been grinding leaves for years now - grass has never been or looked better

Thanks, Brad

greenman
11-03-2002, 09:15 PM
i cant remember the link right off hand, but its proven that even continously mulching acidic leaves into the turf hardly effects the pH level. Dead leaves are not much more than carbon.

Lawn-Scapes
11-03-2002, 09:32 PM
Greenman (or anyone else).. if you can find/provide info that references this let me know...

Thanks

greenman
11-03-2002, 09:37 PM
Here's one-http://home.att.net/~Tillandsias/Mulching.htm

greenman
11-03-2002, 09:48 PM
another


http://gti.uoguelph.ca/advisor/Volume4/Vol4No15/item3.html

LAWNGODFATHER
11-03-2002, 09:58 PM
I know most have seen my no (now) way thread, but how fast and how many leaves can a yard eat and break down.

Like the name is, ground up leaves become "mulch".

KLMlawn
11-04-2002, 12:01 AM
LGF, I think it reallt depends on the volume and quantity of leaves first off, if you have just a dusting to maybe 2" of leaves, or whatever amount can be mulched with maybe 2-3 passes and still look presentable and neat, then that would be fine, but 6" or more where it would take more passes and there is a good volume of leaf litter still present in the lawn upon close inspection to the point where it would lay and crowd out the existing grass, then it has to be either mulched and picked up or picked up period.
I mulch to a point, then it is bagging all the way, unfortunately there are just some prop's that can't be mulched and left due to the volume and type of leaves present ... such as oak and the like. They just don't mulch well and leave an unfinished appearance when you are done running them over half a dozen times even with Gators ....

SLS
11-04-2002, 04:56 AM
Another study concerning leaf mulching and it's long term effects on lawns:

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/report/1997/leaf.htm

I think the trick is to do them regularly (5-7 days) so that they are not allowed to smother the turf. It sure is easier to do them at least on a weekly basis.

Just go to yahoo.com, type "Leaf Mulching" into the search box, and you will find tons of ag studies touting the beneficial aspects of re-depositing organic-rich leaves back into the soil.

greenman
11-04-2002, 09:27 AM
Thats the site I was oringinally talking about and looking for. Thanks for posting it.

Gravely_Man
11-04-2002, 11:31 AM
I have to agree with everyone else. Mulching up the leaves is the way to go. Not only is it easier but also we do get paid for our time so the biggest benefit is that it puts green matter nutrients back into the soil. The real key is to keep up with the mulching and not let leaves lay for a long time on the grass.


Gravely_Man

LAWNGODFATHER
11-04-2002, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by SLS
I think the trick is to do them regularly (5-7 days) so that they are not allowed to smother the turf. It sure is easier to do them at least on a weekly basis.

That is just not possable. Even the 2 week schedule wont work.

lawnworker
11-04-2002, 09:17 PM
The mulched leaves,in zones 6 and 7 will decompose by the end of winter. Iv'e mulched my own yard for four years straight,the lawn looks real good in the spring.

dmk395
11-04-2002, 09:31 PM
Make sure u lime!

greenman
11-04-2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by dmk395
Make sure u lime!

Mulching leaves into the turf/ground, even for a long period of time, has no negative effect on pH levels. Lime may need to be applied,but not because of the leaves.

LawnSmith
11-04-2002, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
That is just not possable. Even the 2 week schedule wont work.

i dont understand....whats not possible?

i havent changed my schedule since i started almost 6 years ago. when the leaves start falling i just throw on the mulching plates and continue my weekly mowing/mulching until the leaves stop falling, are gone, or the customer is kicking my *** off the property because its the middle of january and i am still mowing....lol. no seriously, i dont adjust anything besides mowing height and the addition of the plates.

dr grass
11-04-2002, 10:10 PM
klmlawn - i agre with you totally. once the leaves get to be so thick, it is just not feesable to chew them up and go over them "a half - dozen" times. it leaves a messy "dirty" appearence. just not the kind of job i like to do. i am not scared to use the vacuum like it sounds that most on here are!!


shep :confused:

LAWNGODFATHER
11-04-2002, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by LawnSmith
i dont understand....whats not possible?

i havent changed my schedule since i started

There is not enough daylight to do it. You have to double, tripple and quadupal cut the lawns. Not enough light. Then I can't charge my prices.

I will take my $75 a man hour thank you.

LawnSmith
11-05-2002, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
There is not enough daylight to do it. You have to double, tripple and quadupal cut the lawns. Not enough light. Then I can't charge my prices.

I will take my $75 a man hour thank you.


i see....different strokes for different folks i guess. whatever works for you is key.

SLS
11-05-2002, 07:54 AM
LGF,

It's good to know that I am doing the "impossible". :)

Yep, the days are shorter....but so is the list of people who want me to continue showing up to mulch their leaves. And having halogen lights on my Lazer does not hurt a bit.

Maybe our leaves are different than yours, but at 7 to 10 day visits I never have to hit them more than twice. Usually one slower pas takes care of most of my leaf accounts. I guess I'm lucky.

Don't forget, not everyone has over 1000 clients either. At the moment I'm rotating only 28 accounts out of 36 total. Some every week, some every 10 days, and a couple of 'light' ones at 2 weeks. The rest either have no leaves, or are going to do it themselves, ect.

Something else that makes this work for me is that I do NOT take on "one timers". If I don't service the lawn during the season...I don't clean up their leaves either. For me, it's a "regular customer option"...period.

What works for some guys will not work for others.

Last year not nearly as many of my clients were willing to pay $250 or more for a one time cleanup "we'll just wait until spring..."...but now those same customers don't seem to have a problem letting me come 4-6 extra weeks a $50 -$60 a pop....go figure. :D



I think that it is understood that what works for some will not work for others. I think that whatever works best for someones given situation, whether it be one time clean-ups, regularly rotated visits, bagging, mulching, vacuuming, raking.........is the way to go. I never said that the way I do it is the "best way" for everyone. I know better than that. It just works for me, in my situation.

Toroguy
11-05-2002, 10:26 AM
Many good points,

Mulching,

The extra time required to make additional passes, equals time saved not needing the string trimmer. It can drag on with some properties, but average is an extra five minutes for me.

One timers,

Avoid. Being unfamiliar with a property can cause injury to you and your equipment, to many land mines under the leaves for my comfort. Im looking forward to the end of the season also, why deal with more phone calls, estimates, etc? (I realize money may factor in)

Daylight,

I have never understood why anyone who directs their own hours would want to work beyond 5PM? (I realize money may factor in)

The realization of money factoring in,

In order to be in the "rat race", you have to be a rat. Many people rush to make a fortune so they can retire comfortably. The mind and the body deteriorates during that time. Trading your prime years for money.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-05-2002, 09:45 PM
Originally posted by Toroguy
Daylight,

I have never understood why anyone who directs their own hours would want to work beyond 5PM? (I realize money may factor in)

The realization of money factoring in,

In order to be in the "rat race", you have to be a rat. Many people rush to make a fortune so they can retire comfortably. The mind and the body deteriorates during that time. Trading your prime years for money.

Some jobs you can start before dark and find out it got dark fast and your not done yet.

SLS it's just not possable for my company. All most all want leaf removal, and a lot of 3-4 acres yards you just can't spend the time double cutting with multipal 75-100 year old tree's on them.

Now here is a question; why would I offer less at a lower rate?

I think that would be like committing finacial suiside.

Phishook
11-06-2002, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
Some jobs you can start before dark and find out it got dark fast and your not done yet.

SLS it's just not possable for my company. All most all want leaf removal, and a lot of 3-4 acres yards you just can't spend the time double cutting with multipal 75-100 year old tree's on them.

Now here is a question; why would I offer less at a lower rate?

I think that would be like committing finacial suiside.

Less at a lower rate would just be variety.

I have 5 accounts one one block. The first one I wind row and tarp them to the curb. The second I side discharge with double mulchers. The small one next to it gets bagged with only one pass. Then down a couple of houses I go over once or twice mulching then again with the vac. The last one has me mow once with doubles.