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View Full Version : Leaf Mulching (YES WAY!!)


Darryl G
11-04-2002, 07:41 PM
Here's a before photo of a lawn I mowed today. I picked this lawn up recently and mowed it once 2 weeks ago. It hadn't been mowed in months prior to that. Grass is a bit long and damp, leaves are maple and are moist. Let's see how the Exmark mulching kit does.

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 07:42 PM
Here it is after one pass with Exmark 48 inch Turf Tracer HP with 17 HP Kawasaki with mulch kit on, single wavy mulch blades. Mowed at about 3 mph.

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 07:44 PM
No, here it is.

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 07:47 PM
2 passes. Looks good enough to me (I still need to mow the far rear, beyond the small stream). I don't see the need for all sorts of fancy leaf removal when I can handle leaves like this.

I have some photos taken where the leaves were deeper, I'll try to post them later.

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 08:01 PM
Same lawn, front lawn before picture.

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 08:02 PM
After one pass

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 08:03 PM
2 passes

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 08:25 PM
Curb area, heavy leaves before.

Darryl G
11-04-2002, 08:27 PM
Curb area after 2 passes.

GreenQuest Lawn
11-04-2002, 08:32 PM
I do admit it looks good, and if I had two riders I would definately have one with the mulch kit on. I would however like to see deep leaves mulched. The pics in this thread I could have piced them up in one pass with my lazer vac, and I bet I could have piced up all the leaves in the larger yard in one hopper. (at least all that I can see. I want to see you guys mulch 10-12-24" of leaves. I will have some pics later when the big drop happens and I would like to see someone mulch that many. All the pics I have seen look great but are very light leaf cover.

I have found though that even if I run over a pile without the vac on it grinds them up to where I can fit many more in the hopper.

Green Pastures
11-04-2002, 08:35 PM
The back looks great, then the side is a little messy looking and that curb area looks like you still have to clean up, only now it's a million little peices. The front and side wouldn't fly with my customers.

YEAH, what Todd said, that's really light leaf cover too. My Walker would suck those up and leave NOTHING behind.

Evan528
11-04-2002, 08:39 PM
I still say "no way". First of all Ive yet to see a before picture with the amount of leaves as alot of my properties. I work in a area with tons of 70 year old oak trees every where. This time of year zero grass is visible on most accounts. Second of all, the after pictures look ok...... but I sure wouldnt be happy as the customer If I payed for a fall cleanup and got that as a result. When Im done a "fall cleanup" at a property the lawn looks vacumed and immaculate!! I guess theres a reason why not a single landscaper in my area mulches leaves.....we have so many it would stall the mower!!!!

Green Pastures
11-04-2002, 08:45 PM
Same here, we have so many you would have to come and mulch/mow every 3 days. If you did'nt you'ld kill your mower.

LAWNGODFATHER
11-04-2002, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by GreenQuestLawn
I want to see you guys mulch 10-12-24" of leaves.

This is what I want to see.

Plus so far I have yet to see a pic after someone blew the beds out also.

Even528
I still say "no way".

AGREED.

Also this is why I get paid the big bucks to remove the leaves.

Runner
11-04-2002, 09:12 PM
Now the way I would have done that, is that the curbside would have been gathered first, then mulched in a pile for transport. The narrow areas and tight areas like that are where the collection systems really shine. For the regular areas, I always mow first, and shuffle the stuff up to the top. Then I'll gather it, whether it be by wb blower, backpack, (for smaller areas), or by mower.

LakeSide Lawn and Landscape
11-04-2002, 09:20 PM
In my post"leaves in thick fescue"I was concerned about leaving a lawn with less leaves showing than the second picture daryl gesner showed.If some guys are leaving them like those pictures show I guess mine arent as bad as i thought they were.:blob2:

greenman
11-04-2002, 09:29 PM
darryl- looks good,man. i would have done the curbside first, then blew off the street, blowing everything towrd the side, blowing out from under the bushes, then mulched the side. Then move on to the back.
I wish I had a digital camera. I could show some great before/after mulch pics.

Turfdude
11-04-2002, 10:11 PM
We too have so many leaves that we actually do not touch beds until the final clean-up, ora clean up 1/2 way thru leaf season. For that property to passto my standards, I would have blown the few leaves from the street to the turf to start, then bagged the leaves on the whole property. The coverage wasn't that heavy that it would have slowed us down. LGF knows very well what the PECO will handle. Those vacs will hold the equivalent ofa 16'X20' tarp of leaves about 8"-12" deep. We do charge extra of course for any leaf clean up time. Like Evan said, we are in anarea wher 70+ yr old oak, elm, maple and ash trees rule. Many of my accounts w/only 3000 sq.ft. of turf have as many as a dozen of these large specimens. Even w/ weekly service, mulching is "no way" acceptable.

Bob

bilbo7021
11-04-2002, 10:37 PM
Ya missed a leaf :p

KLMlawn
11-04-2002, 10:59 PM
LGF, you gonna make me take my camera with me every day now???

LAWNGODFATHER
11-04-2002, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Turfdude
We too have so many leaves that we actually do not touch beds until the final clean-up, ora clean up 1/2 way thru leaf season. For that property to passto my standards, I would have blown the few leaves from the street to the turf to start, then bagged the leaves on the whole property. The coverage wasn't that heavy that it would have slowed us down. LGF knows very well what the PECO will handle. Those vacs will hold the equivalent ofa 16'X20' tarp of leaves about 8"-12" deep. We do charge extra of course for any leaf clean up time. Like Evan said, we are in anarea wher 70+ yr old oak, elm, maple and ash trees rule. Many of my accounts w/only 3000 sq.ft. of turf have as many as a dozen of these large specimens. Even w/ weekly service, mulching is "no way" acceptable.

Bob

Exactly
KLMlawn;.....LGF, you gonna make me take my camera with me every day now???

Might as well. Lets see em........:sleeping:

I will to and show yall the 1 pass deal !!!!!!!!!!!! None of this 3-4 time stuff.

KLMlawn
11-04-2002, 11:32 PM
Hey, as I have said before, I mulch ... to a point , there are certain prop's and amounts of leaves that just can't be mulched or wouldn't look presentable if they were. I would consider a two pass mulching with a presentable apperance upon close inspection acceptable. If you have to start the 3-4 pass deal or if the final appearance is not good, then I would maybe run once with the cut-off plate to chop them up a bit, then throw the Leaf Gobbler catcher or just do one pass with the Gobbler on and drop them by the loader.
I just choose to mulch when and where possible to reduce the time, labor, and cost of picking up when you can get a clean look with less effort and cost.
I do agree that one pass with a catcher will leave a cleaner look to that area but adds to the overall time and cost of the job.

gogetter
11-04-2002, 11:37 PM
Sorry Darryl, although I will say the back looks good, the side only looks so-so and the front looks terrible. That would be unacceptable to me, not to mention my customers.

I would have removed them from the heavier areas and just mulched the back. Then again, the time it would take to make 2 passes on that back, may as well blow them to the front and remove them too.

I can't wait to get my own leaf loader!

LAWNGODFATHER
11-05-2002, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by KLMlawn
I do agree that one pass with a catcher will leave a cleaner look to that area but adds to the overall time and cost of the job.

I charge hourly. I also charge to haul off.

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 12:56 AM
Guys - This wasn't meant as a final leaf clean-up, this was just a mow. The leaves are still coming down, so I wasn't being picky. I'm still trying to get this property in shape. This is one of those homeowners who used to mow it themselves and just wants it mowed and looking half way decent...not what I would call a high end account. The photos were taken while mowing. It was raining by the time I left, so I didn't take any photos after everything was cleaned up.

Regarding the front - I did blow the leaves from the curb to the turf before I mowed. The problem is, the area gets parked on all the time and there really isn't much turf there. Mulching doesn't work well over bare soil/trampled turf. Dont worry, I didn't leave the curb like that, and yes, I would have been better off just picking it up (which is what I did in the driveway-filled a 10 by 12 tarp). That photo was really to demonstrate what can't be done. I was plowing leaves there and had to pick up the deck twice to get them under it. I'm not trying to sell anyone on mulching over other methods, just providing some info on what mulching can and can't do.

A lot of what you see in the side area isn't leaves, there's a bare spot there.

I did blow out the beds quickly before I started.

There's now way I could have blown the leaves in the back to the front in less time than to mow twice as gogetter suggested. Besides, the lawn needed mowing. The first mow was at 3mph, the second running around 4.5 mph.

My total time on this property was 2 hours, which includes the time to take 23 photos and spend 1/2 hour in the pool area cleaning up (that hadn't been mowed in months).

I agree, sometimes there's just too many leaves to mulch, but for areas like the back of this property, it works pretty darn well with the right set up (mine). :D

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 01:35 AM
A couple more things. Based on my pricing for this account, the cost for this mow and clean-up will be $90. That's $30 for the 1st half hour and $10 for each 1/4 hour or part thereof after that. I'm sure that those of you with ztr's, vacs and leaf loaders wouldn't touch it for that. There's two areas of the lawn I didn't post photos of, so it's bigger than what you see.

I'm a one man show in my first year. My equipment budget for the year is already spent and I don't have a Lazer, Peco, leaf loader or even a box on my truck or trailer for leaves. If I did, I'm sure I'd do things differently.

I only do clean-ups on properties I mow regularly (less than 20) or where I can blow the leaves to the woods or haul to an on-site dump area. I onlyl haul small quantites of leaves off-site in tarps. It probably won't be long before I will have to take the mulch kit off the Exmark so I can start bagging with my Accelerator (not looking forward to that). As several of you pointed out, you can't mulch 6 inches or more of leaves very well. The only way I can bag right now is with my 21 incher, as the mulch kit takes a while to put on/take off.

65hoss
11-05-2002, 02:07 AM
Put a set of gator blades on with the mulch kit and it will help out tremendously.

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 03:16 AM
Hoss - I tried gators with the mulch kit and got too much blow-out. The ones I tried are the straight ones, I guess they're high lifts. I've heard they make a wavy mulcher blade too, but haven't been able to find them around here. Which do you use?

65hoss
11-05-2002, 03:24 AM
I use a standard gator blade. I put 2 spacers between the blade and spindle and that helped some of the blowout. The farther up you can get the blades the less blowout.

Kent Lawns
11-05-2002, 03:47 AM
Those lawns look like crap.

You proved your point that mulching doesn't work.

That type of work should be posted in the homeowners' forum, but even most of them do better work than that!

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 06:40 AM
Kent - What specifically looks like crap? This lawn was a field until 2 weeks ago. It's all one lawn, and the photos were taken with mowing in progress, as I've stated. And as I've also stated, I did not take photos when I was done, as it was raining. I wasn't posting "my work", I was trying to provide some demonstration photos to aid in the discussion here. In fact, it took me some time to take the photos, resize them to fit the site and post them. I had hoped that it might be appreciated, but I guess I was wrong.

Maybe you should read my posts more carefully before you go insulting me.

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 06:50 AM
Kent - Does this one look like crap too? This is one of my nicer accounts after mowing it a recently.

awm
11-05-2002, 08:01 AM
darryl just lettum keep bagging.
its their back and time. u can clean a lawn as clean mulchin as by pick up.
but u got to know how. for me its just a lot less work and exstends the season.
plus u get to see new customers faces as they try an figure where the leaves are. :) ive never had one customer complain that the mulchin didnt do as well as vac. granted it use to take me a lot longer than now. like i said, theres more to it than just cuttin up leaves.
its almost a skill in itself. if i were to use the vac method id use the machines made for that . walker . im kinda impessed w their concepts anyway.
different strokes an all.

Kent Lawns
11-05-2002, 08:30 AM
darryl,

You have time to take 7 (or more) pictures DURING the clean-up but take NONE when you're done?

btw, the last photo you took out of Cosmo Home looks nice.

Premo Services
11-05-2002, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Kent Lawns
Those lawns look like crap.

You proved your point that mulching doesn't work.

That type of work should be posted in the homeowners' forum, but even most of them do better work than that!

Not bad darryl. He stated that this is his first year
You know, They don't look like they were bagged to me also, but some people do not want to pay the extra charges for bagging all leaf season. I don't like to do it, but if they only want to have them mulched and thats all they will pay for, then that is what they get. I will use the mulch kit until the leaves get bad, then it is the lazer and ultra vac. This combo has really helped me in my times for leaf cleanup.
All of my regular customers have the leaves done weekly, but there are some that wait till they all fall or just want them cut up. They want to have it done cheaper.
As he stated he will be using a bagger on the walkbehind when they start to fall. This will do a better job on cleanup. I think the photos were good and he has a plan to do leaves. He is not as fortunate as some of us that he don't have a ztr and vac, but keep plugging at it and you will be able to get better equiptment to do your jobs.:D

Green Pastures
11-05-2002, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by KLMlawn

I do agree that one pass with a catcher will leave a cleaner look to that area but adds to the overall time and cost of the job.

Kryn,

I cannot understand how ONE pass with a catcher can possibly add more work than TWO or for that matter THREE passes with a mulching mower. Three times around the same lawn, as opposed to once around and at most two hopper dumps. Help me out here.

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 10:29 AM
Kent - You're still not reading my posts very carefully. It started to rain. I don't use my camera in the rain. As I also stated previously, I took 23 photos. That was before it started raining. I took the photos for the express purpose of posting them here, as I indicated I would in my post in LGF's NO WAY thread.

I assure you that the photo from "Cosmo Homes" in one of my accounts. I took the photo on 10/25/02 after servicing the account from 12:25 to 2:10 p.m. The photo was taken some time between 2:10 and 2:22 p.m. I have several other photos of the account, including some with my truck in it if you would like to see them.

I can understand your initial impression that the lawn looks like crap, but I can't understand your continued insults.

Thanks Premo and all the others with construtive comments. I've though about getting a Lazer but I decided not to invest any more money in mowing equipment right now. Mowing really isn't a large enough part of my business to justify it.

Well, I've gotta get mulching, it's getting late.

Jimbo
11-05-2002, 12:25 PM
I didnt read all the posts closely...it doesnt matter because I am not going to try and insult anyone. I do want to throw in my 2 cents though (my experience).

My Scag ZTR with standard gator blades would have done a comparable job (without the mulch kit, and only one pass). The problem lies where there are large pile of leaves like the front yard. There is so much debris it has no where to go. (Doesnt look good)

If someone wants to avoid buying a Vac I would recommend using a bagger. When I run a bagger I dont see any leave debris left in the yard.

P.S. I dont think mower brand has anything to do with it just wanted to post what I am using.

Jim

ranger520
11-05-2002, 01:31 PM
My issue with mulching leaves is that alot of accounts that I go to do not have thick enough turf to accept the leaves. They have to be removed. In heavily treed areas the grass is not usually that thick.

scott

Gravely_Man
11-05-2002, 01:33 PM
Darryl, Thank you for taking the time to take, post and share the pictures. I for one would like to see some pictures of this same property the next time you go back and mow.



Gravely_Man

bobbygedd
11-05-2002, 01:36 PM
dude, there were hardly any leaves there. and the job would have been unecceptable to alot of my clients

cantoo
11-05-2002, 08:07 PM
Looks to me like you weren't done the lawn when you took the pictures..


;) ;)

:D :D

Kent Lawns
11-05-2002, 08:29 PM
darryl,

I'm just rattling your chain.

I believe strongly in mulching and I think you could have (and will before the fall is over) take before and (completely done) after pictures which will more effectively demonstrate what you are trying to convey.

Darryl G
11-05-2002, 08:53 PM
And the winner is....cantoo.

cantoo
11-05-2002, 09:01 PM
Thank you , thank you I want to thank Walker for helping me win this award oops wrong thread.
After today a dump truck is next on my list, my back is killing me forking out the trailer. I am probably opposite of most of the guys here, most of my leaf customers are only leaf customers we don't cut them. Of course some of them will end up being cutting customers. Most of my regulars don't bother with leaves so that means we have to offer something the other cutting guys don't and that is clean up and removal. The Town nearest me is only 1000 people and 80% of them are over 65 years old so we cater to them.

Captain Calamity
11-07-2002, 10:34 PM
Darryl, I was forced to mulch all mine due to injuries that prevented me from lifting. I had an old Walker 48GHS deck and modified it into a 50.5" mulching deck using the mulching adapter blade from the 42"(?) deck. When the leaves are fairly dry, two passes and in looks bagged. I have some real picky clients and they still think I'm bagging. One of them last year stopped me to ask when I was going to dump my hopper. I lifted the hatch and said,"don't need to yet". They had this funny look on their face cause I'd been there for an hour an they just knew that catcher had to be full, but it was empty save for a spare belt and my hand held blower in it. I then told em I was mulching and they thought it was great.

I admit this year with the rains coming back with the leaves falling it isn't as effective, but it still does an acceptable job. Doesn't look to me like I bagged, but most of them figure since I bagged with that mower before, I must still be bagging now. So far no complaints.

Personally, bagging does look better, but until I am back in shape, I'll be mulching.

Darryl G
11-07-2002, 11:05 PM
Captain - Sorry to hear that you injured yourself. Until Tueday things the mulching kit with wavy blade was doiing fine. I did one of my regular mows with that setup and made one pass around the outside of the yard. The leaves were wet and it just wasn't picking them up, so I put on a set of gators instead. They did much better pulling up the leaves and grinding them up, but blowout from the right front corner was annoying. You're almost forced to go around in clockwise circles to keep from making a mess with the blowout. I only had to single cut most of the lawn and then blew all the stray from around the rocks and trees. This account has lots of trees, but many of them are oaks which won't be dropping for a while yet.

I'm about to pull the mulch kit off so that I can bag if I need to. It's not something you want to be putting on and taking off in the filed. I may try leaving the baffle on the left side on, and the blocking plate for the discharge is easy enough to put on or take off as needed. Either that or just run with a full bag and it has no choice but to mulch.

I'm also putting 4 foot tall wood sides on the front 8 feet of my trailer so that I can haul some leaves if I have to.

brucec32
02-14-2003, 02:36 AM
I agree some of the photos show a lawn that still needs work. All that is needed for a vac'd appearance is a 3rd pass with a big bagger (accelerator 6.2cu ft?) on a non-mulching mower if you have one, but that of course adds time. But the key to mulching is not letting it get away from you before you do. Even the heaviest leaf drops can usually be taken care of if you get back in a week's time.

For heavy leaves on better quality lawns, you can't beat a big vac, but those are bulky and not cheap and not everyone has enough big leaf accounts to make it pay. I did 40,000 ft of lawn area today with some oak trees and emptied my poor cloth bagger about 10 times. But I mulched it all fall and never had any problems. Bigger company that can spread the cost over many properties...I'd pick up a vac unit. But you'd better have a way to get rid of all those leaves you pick up! That takes time and money too.

I guess the answer is...it depends on your type of customers and the type lawns they are.

BobR
02-14-2003, 09:51 AM
Darryl -- was following this thread and feeling kind of ashamed for the way the guys were dumping on you then i noticed that you are a 'senior member ' with over 600 posts. Shame on you... I will not bore you with what my first year lawns and used equipment looked like.. enough said
BobR

Darryl G
02-14-2003, 12:52 PM
Bob R - Shame on me or shame on the other posters?

ksland
02-14-2003, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Kent Lawns
Those lawns look like crap.

You proved your point that mulching doesn't work.

That type of work should be posted in the homeowners' forum, but even most of them do better work than that!

I agree 100%:nono: :eek:

FrankenScagMachines
02-14-2003, 07:00 PM
I typically don't mulch much just collect but once I did use the Wheel Horse tractor with a 48" discharge deck to mulch. Customer wanted it at 2.5" and with a cover over the discharge, in two passes (medium leaf coverage) it was hard to tell leaves had ever been there. She called later and said looks good where's the leaves? (she wasn't home when I did the work but had told me just to mow not worry about the leaves) I said thanks, they're still there :D I mulched 'em, could ya tell? She thought it looked great. It only seems to work when dry and not really heavy coverage for me. I might practice it more this coming season than last year. Seems like most people don't care what I do with them just so they're not their problem anymore.

Darryl G
02-14-2003, 07:16 PM
Here we go again...more people who insult me without reading the posts. All I've already said, the photos were taken with mowing in progress. I WAS NOT DONE WITH THE LAWN!!!!!!!!!

The only photo that represents the finished product is the third one, which shows the rear lawn after two passes.

I was only trying to demonstrate what the Exmark mulching kit when do, as many people expressed interest. Why do you guys have to be such jerks?

IBGreen
02-14-2003, 07:19 PM
If you're going to do leaves buy a Walker. Otherwise you're wasting time.

IBGreen
02-14-2003, 07:20 PM
Done or not done in the pic, you would have been done in the first pic if you did it with a Walker.

LAWNGODFATHER
02-14-2003, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by IBGreen
If you're going to do leaves buy a Walker. Otherwise you're wasting time.
I don't have a walker, and I know I am not wasting time.

Randy Scott
02-14-2003, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by darryl gesner
I was only trying to demonstrate what the Exmark mulching kit when do, as many people expressed interest. Why do you guys have to be such jerks?

Some people need to make up for their own inadequacy with their comments. Seems everybody, can do everything, better than everyone else. :rolleyes:

Fareway Lawncare
10-25-2004, 08:39 PM
We mulch everything unless there's Curbside City Pick-Up Available , then we Just Blow them Curbside....Haven't put a leaf in a bag or hauled a load of leaves for 5 years....Sold the Walker GHS Decks & the Truck Mount Leaf Vac.... Life is Good !

If City ever stopped Curbside Mechanical Pick-Up certain Props Would Have to Be Bagged...There's a Cut-Off Point for Productive Mulching....

baddboygeorge
10-25-2004, 10:00 PM
word to the wise if ya mulch leaves get a fire extinguisher!!

proenterprises
10-25-2004, 10:10 PM
looks great daryll, im from ct as well, what town is that in?

wriken
10-25-2004, 10:19 PM
looks good, I just got a mulch kit for one of my mowers, I'm really impressed with the results. Does anyone have a letter they give to clients promoting, and stating the pro's to having you grass/leaves mulched. How many inchs of leaves can you do, without making a big mess, like having the grass look of brown? I've only mulched up a inch or 2 of leaves. :)

tinman
10-25-2004, 10:42 PM
I have a small yard that has a good bit of pinestraw fall on it & it stops up the pipe on the leaf collector on the Husqvarna pretty easy. Anyone else have this problem?

mower_babe
10-26-2004, 12:01 AM
I don't see the need for all sorts of fancy leaf removal when I can handle leaves like this.

Firstly, Yes, the pix look good.


BUTTTTTTTT.....


I used to feel the same way about mulching leaves. "why pick em up, if you can mulch em?" Well, tell you what...IMO you can definitely tell the accts that we pick the leaves up and the accts that get mulched. The grass on the mulched accts gets thinner and thinner every year and more dirt shows. It looks good for the first few years and then as time progresses, it begins to show.

65hoss
10-26-2004, 01:20 AM
It would probably be a good idea to start a more recent thread on this subject. This one is a few years old.

I think it depends more on your location and types of grass.

RICHIE K
10-26-2004, 06:10 AM
LOOKS GOOD :drinkup:


RICHIE K


www.kulakandcompany.com :blob3:

lawnguyland
10-26-2004, 06:33 AM
old post, but still looks like crap and would be unacceptable here.

NC Big Daddy
10-26-2004, 12:13 PM
Do you think the guys at Truegreen, ABM, High Grove and other large LCO's are sitting around pondering, Mulch or Bag? Bag or Mulch? Of course they don't because it's silly. If the turf areas are looking thin as some of suggested, it's more likely due to competition from the trees that are dropping the leaves than the mulching. It's faster and much more efficient to mulch and the properties look fine. Sure sometimes bagging and or tarping leaf debris is the way to go but not often. So don't worry about it, it's a complete non-issue.

tinman
10-26-2004, 01:42 PM
leaves b4 & after my own yard pix with Husky ZTR with bagger. Lawn is thin I know!

lawnprosteveo
10-26-2004, 01:49 PM
Darryl..looks great man. I have switched to mulching too. Any debris left after a couple of passes is ground up to nearly nothing. I have a Toro 36 wb with bagger that I will pick any little debris left. Definitely nice not to have so much debris to deal with!!!!

DLCS
10-26-2004, 05:27 PM
Do you think the guys at Truegreen, ABM, High Grove and other large LCO's are sitting around pondering, Mulch or Bag? Bag or Mulch? Of course they don't because it's silly. If the turf areas are looking thin as some of suggested, it's more likely due to competition from the trees that are dropping the leaves than the mulching. It's faster and much more efficient to mulch and the properties look fine. Sure sometimes bagging and or tarping leaf debris is the way to go but not often. So don't worry about it, it's a complete non-issue.


I agree! Also, if there is too much leaf debri still on the lawn after I mulch them, then i will run the bagger over the bad areas.

Scraper
10-26-2004, 09:38 PM
Firstly, Yes, the pix look good.


BUTTTTTTTT.....


I used to feel the same way about mulching leaves. "why pick em up, if you can mulch em?" Well, tell you what...IMO you can definitely tell the accts that we pick the leaves up and the accts that get mulched. The grass on the mulched accts gets thinner and thinner every year and more dirt shows. It looks good for the first few years and then as time progresses, it begins to show.

I've been mulching on my high end accounts for years and have yet to see any ill effects. Myabe you weren't mulching fine enough. Recent studies have shown no ill effects from mulching leaves.

And yes Hoss! LOL Can you believe this thread has been revived? Then again...weren't we the ones who used to scream about doing a search and renewing old threads? LOL

lawnprosteveo
10-28-2004, 05:47 PM
I agree! Also, if there is too much leaf debri still on the lawn after I mulch them, then i will run the bagger over the bad areas.


Good point Big Daddy... :cool2:

Precision
10-28-2004, 06:38 PM
I forgot who was saying that they need a dump because forking out the trailer kills their back.

Anyway, invest in a set of chains. "Y" them across the bottom of the trailer and have enough of the single part to go over the full trailer and to a pull of point. This works great for larger debris.

For leaves, small trimmings and the like. Same concept but dramatically shorten your split end of the "Y" and connect it to a piece of chain link that covers the bottom of the trailer. Then two small sections of chain from the rear end of the chain link to the trailer or ramp. Again loop the single end of chain over the debris and hook to a pull off point.

It won't get everything off especially with the leaves, but you will get upwards of 75% off with no sweat. Quite often you can blow out what remains.

Just a suggestion that I find works great for me.

mower_babe
10-29-2004, 01:21 AM
I've been mulching on my high end accounts for years and have yet to see any ill effects. Myabe you weren't mulching fine enough. Recent studies have shown no ill effects from mulching leaves.

K...but here is my question...Why is mulching leaves time and time and time again any different than if you were to mow too much at one time or infrequently or whatever and eventually create too much of a layer of thatch. What is the difference? Aren't both things choking out the grass? That is my way of thinking on it =). If I am wrong in this thinking, then straighten me out boys. Thanks ;)

Envy Lawn Service
10-29-2004, 01:33 AM
K...but here is my question...Why is mulching leaves time and time and time again any different than if you were to mow too much at one time or infrequently or whatever and eventually create too much of a layer of thatch. What is the difference? Aren't both things choking out the grass? That is my way of thinking on it =). If I am wrong in this thinking, then straighten me out boys. Thanks ;)

Thatch is thatch and mulched up leaves are organic compost.

Furthermore, thatch is thatch and mulched up grass is also organic compost.

The mulching of anything will never create thatch. Fact is the micro particles actually have a faster rate of breaking down into beneficial nutrients. If you have thatch prone areas, I suggest you investigate other factors because you are barking up the wrong tree... LOL

The same is the case with thinning. You are not going to increase thinning by mulching leaves. The thinning is a result of other factors. Again, barking up the wrong tree!

dishboy
10-29-2004, 07:45 AM
Thatch is thatch and mulched up leaves are organic compost.

Furthermore, thatch is thatch and mulched up grass is also organic compost.

The mulching of anything will never create thatch. Fact is the micro particles actually have a faster rate of breaking down into beneficial nutrients. If you have thatch prone areas, I suggest you investigate other factors because you are barking up the wrong tree... LOL

The same is the case with thinning. You are not going to increase thinning by mulching leaves. The thinning is a result of other factors. Again, barking up the wrong tree!

I would think if you applied too MUCH Organic compost at one time it could cause thinning, every recommdation I ever saw for applying compost to turf listed a rate.............if you smother the grass won't it thin? You are typically mulching leaves at a time when microbe activity that breakes down OM is shutting down because of soil temps so I can see the timming [at least in northern areas] being a factor in amount of leaves the turf is able to digest without causing a problem. Another factor is what nutrients are the leaves adding ? To much of the wrong nutrient[P] will cause problems as well. I am not saying this is what is going on, just throwing it out there to think about.

Carolina Cutter
10-29-2004, 11:44 AM
Kent - You're still not reading my posts very carefully. It started to rain. I don't use my camera in the rain. As I also stated previously, I took 23 photos. That was before it started raining. I took the photos for the express purpose of posting them here, as I indicated I would in my post in LGF's NO WAY thread.

I assure you that the photo from "Cosmo Homes" in one of my accounts. I took the photo on 10/25/02 after servicing the account from 12:25 to 2:10 p.m. The photo was taken some time between 2:10 and 2:22 p.m. I have several other photos of the account, including some with my truck in it if you would like to see them.

I can understand your initial impression that the lawn looks like crap, but I can't understand your continued insults.

Thanks Premo and all the others with construtive comments. I've though about getting a Lazer but I decided not to invest any more money in mowing equipment right now. Mowing really isn't a large enough part of my business to justify it.

Well, I've gotta get mulching, it's getting late.


Well as much as I hate to do leaves, I usually bag them.....I thought it looked pretty good. I get a lot of those "clean up my abandoned field" houses so I know where you are coming from. Don't mind the few bad apples and keep on making your customers happy....only you and your customers know the quality of your work and your customers are the final judge.

NC Big Daddy
10-29-2004, 04:07 PM
Thatch is thatch and mulched up leaves are organic compost.

Furthermore, thatch is thatch and mulched up grass is also organic compost.

The mulching of anything will never create thatch. Fact is the micro particles actually have a faster rate of breaking down into beneficial nutrients. If you have thatch prone areas, I suggest you investigate other factors because you are barking up the wrong tree... LOL

The same is the case with thinning. You are not going to increase thinning by mulching leaves. The thinning is a result of other factors. Again, barking up the wrong tree!
Any of you Turf Grass students want to jump in here and correct this VERY common misunderstanding of thatch (in cool season turf type grasses)?

Envy Lawn Service
10-29-2004, 04:25 PM
Any of you Turf Grass students want to jump in here and correct this VERY common misunderstanding of thatch (in cool season turf type grasses)?
I think you quoted the wrong person or you have a habit of speed reading.
Either that, or you're the one with the misunderstanding of thatch.

John Gamba
10-29-2004, 05:49 PM
You are typically mulching leaves at a time when microbe activity that breakes down OM is shutting down because of soil temps so I can see the timming [at least in northern areas] being a factor in amount of leaves the turf is able to digest without causing a problem. .


When the grass goes dormant Bag the leaves. Thats what Ive been doing with no problems.
John

Scraper
10-29-2004, 07:28 PM
Exactly! Maybe these people should do more research on their own instead of leeching of those who have already done it.

Thanks for your reply...saved me some typing.

P.S. MB...those leaf particles have decomposed by spring. I am not talking about leaving a mat of mulched leaves. Some areas it can't be done, but I have found I can mulch in on certain properties ~ 90% of the leaves leaving me with only the beds for final cleanup as the turf is cut to 3" by final cut and any leaf is blowing across to the neighbor's.

Darryl G
09-18-2011, 07:03 PM
For those asking about what a mulch kit can and can't do. Yes this is an old thread, back during my first season when about my only option was mulching leaves or bulk removal. It was actually in response to someone who said "No Way" to mulching leaves after he ran over them once with an open discharge.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=35978&highlight=leaves+no+way

The debate continues.....

No days I mostly use my Lazer and Ultravac and dump in my dump trailer after mid October or so. I'll mulch with Gators and an open discharge in the beginning of the leaf season when it's more about mowing than leaves (prior to October 15th). I have a few jobs that it's easier to just haul them out in bulk or hire a buddy to vac them from the curb than bag them with the mower. I have a bulk leaf loader but haven't mounted it in years.

Turf Tracer
09-18-2011, 08:19 PM
turf was getting real thin on lawns where we mulched alot of leaves for 3 years so now we get rid of leaves in other ways.

MOW ED
09-19-2011, 09:15 AM
Yes getting back to the archives, ahh memories. I still do the mulch thing with great results. You have to be smart with it or else there can be problems however I don't haul any leaves. Its either mulch em to dust or move them to the curb for city pick up. I still have a few weeks of mowing but the leaf clean keeps me going until Turkey day.

Jimslawncareservice
09-19-2011, 09:54 AM
Mow ed your lucky if you have city pick up.
Posted via Mobile Device

A+Grounds
09-19-2011, 10:22 AM
wow i can't believe you already have that many leaves! most of the trees in my area are still green

Darryl G
09-19-2011, 10:45 AM
wow i can't believe you already have that many leaves! most of the trees in my area are still green

This is an old thread I resurected because a number of people have been asking about how well a mulch kit can handle leaves. The pictures were actually taken in mid November of 2002.

As you can see the kit does fairly well with a light cover of leaves but not so well when there are several inches of them. Down on the immediate shore here there are areas that have heavy accumulations of leaves already due to wind presumably salt damage from Tropical Storm Irene. On one of the properties I service a large Norway Maple tree is completely bare already.