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ed2hess
12-14-2012, 10:27 PM
I see all these post about cleaning up leaves and it seems like most people don't understand how you can mulch them. The first picture shows the leaves when I arrived. To the left I already made one pass. The leaves are well ove a foot deep. The front of the mower was acting like a plow so
I simply backed over some of the deepest.

261898

This is what it looks like after a couple passes. Now you tell me that customer wouldn't accept this. I could take the Walker an pick up the dust if needed. And it wouldn't amont to one bin full.

261899

Our leaf season goes all the away to the last part of February. So I will
post some of situation I encounter. There are no woods to push em into.

Think Green
12-14-2012, 10:45 PM
There in Texas........drought conditions? Dry leaves is always easy to make them into powder in one or two light passes. The right mower, gator blades, powerful engine and mulching kit.
Appears to be Zoysia grass........real easy to make it look good. Bermuda that is thinning isn't so nice in presence.

There is the occasional customer that doesn't think that this is considered a cleanup. The kindred spirit of dragging the old raking is the only thing in their comprehension. Leaf mold is beneficial to the soil, and promotes OM. Some people will want you to thatch this stuff out during the Spring to allow for new growth and air circulation. I haven't had a problem with my zoysia's after a fall season of mulching and bagging if needed. During the summer, these grasses couldn't help but benefit from the extra boost from OM.

KS_Grasscutter
12-14-2012, 10:53 PM
I mulched more leaves this year than any year before. That being said, there were only 1 or 2 times per property I could get by with it. Though some low end lawns got mulched exclusively. My typical practice is to mulch first then bag. Maple leaves especially turn into dust and stems, no matter how many there are, if they're dry.

integrityman
12-14-2012, 11:13 PM
Grind em til ya cant find em I say...... works fantastic and looks awesome. No hauling just grinding.

knox gsl
12-14-2012, 11:27 PM
I wish I could've mulched everything this year, I find it faster to bag and dump onto the trailer. Most of my higher end property owners will pay for it so no problem there. I agree if possible mulch, but oak leaves are tough to deal with.

SDLandscapes VT
12-14-2012, 11:30 PM
In certain applications it works, and I know that under those circumstances it is quite beneficial for the turf--I would invite you to New England and tell you, that in the 26 passes it will take you to get them somewhere near invisible I ll have them long hauled off

Darryl G
12-14-2012, 11:32 PM
I will mulch to a point but it wasn't much of an option for me this year following hurricane Sandy...just too many sticks hidden in the leaves..cost me one deck belt. I tend to mulch the lighter coverings of leaves and mulch and then bag the heavy stuff...depends on the lawn and amount of leaves. My heavily treed accounts tend to have thin turf which makes "hiding" mulched leaves harder.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-14-2012, 11:59 PM
In certain applications it works, and I know that under those circumstances it is quite beneficial for the turf--I would invite you to New England and tell you, that in the 26 passes it will take you to get them somewhere near invisible I ll have them long hauled off

I've heard this and if you actally tried to mulch them and couldnt after 26 passes I'd say you need to lower the mower a little and try again. I've had leaves 2 ft thick which i mukched with a 21inch lawnboy i n just 3 or 4 passes. Live oaks leaves as well, you gotta have a mulch plate on the mower. Not to say that alarge amount should not be bagged after with a heafty accumilation. You cut in a clockwise pattern.

Spent lots of time in southern indiana so i know about lots of leaves...

herler
12-15-2012, 12:39 AM
I wish two passes would do that...

I have leaves it doesn't matter how many times you run over them the best I get is a TON of tiny 1 inch squares, now I do like doing it especially on windy days, for one it makes the end pile a lot smaller and two the wind foils my efforts less but ultimately those little pieces of leaf still present more than enough mess to require a blower.

When I can get away with it I usually have to drive in consistent chasing circles...
It's a lot like doing the racetrack, it happens to be clockwise, start at one end and chase the leaves by looping your way to the other side... Dizziness is a constant risk in this scenario, I literally ride in constant same-direction circles, you are talking 20, 30, 40, 50 or more, all depends on the size of the yard, even then sometimes it just gets too thick.

The mower bogs down, everything is down to these tiny pieces and a pile a foot high...

No, it doesn't reduce them to dust.
But it is nice when it works out that way.

David C.
12-15-2012, 08:18 AM
Mulching is the only way for me-----leaves that will mulch to powder are : Red Oak, Pecan, Maple & Sweet Gum

Leaves that won't mulch-----Pin Oak, Post Oak

Florida Gardener
12-15-2012, 08:35 AM
I don't care who you are or what setup you are running, but you are not gonna mulch live oak leaves in st Augustine. I've used plates, kits, wavy blades, gator blades, etc. they just get stuck in the grass. You can get about half of them each time you cut, but that's it. Now, every other kind of leaf is vapor if mulching down here. We don't do leaf cleanups, we just mulch. Again, except for live and laurel oak.
Posted via Mobile Device

lawnboy dan
12-15-2012, 08:51 AM
yes you can mulch live oak in st aug. snapper hi vac with gator blades turns them to dust. may take several pases but it works great. snapper hi vac is only mower that will work

Florida Gardener
12-15-2012, 08:54 AM
yes you can mulch live oak in st aug. snapper hi vac with gator blades turns them to dust. may take several pases but it works great. snapper hi vac is only mower that will work

If your referring to a 21", sorry, but that won't work on most properties. If your referring to a zt, that's cool.
Posted via Mobile Device

orangemower
12-15-2012, 09:04 AM
You guys that say the leaves turn to dust crack me up. I have leaf clean up jobs that take 4 truck and trailer loads that are chopped up and bagged with the mower to clean the places up. I even mulched the first few weeks. It got to the point that I had small mounds of the dust if you will everywhere. Enough to smother the grass completely.

Chris Feenan
12-15-2012, 09:06 AM
It seems to me that the guys from the Northeast, like me, will tell you that it can't be done. I guess it's possible that we are just stupid, or have inferior equipment, etc. But probably not.

More likely, we have different grasses, cultural conditions and tree species. By the way, what you call a foot thick in Texas, looks like a few inches in the picture. I know everything is big there, but you ain't seen a Northeast leaf fall, methinks...

Our turf grows very thick and lush because of the cool climate compared to down South. Maybe that explains why the mulched leaves sit on top of the turf and look like crap ?

And i agree with SDLandcsapesVt that I am not going to waste time driving around and around, making tracks in the wet, weak turf, just so I don't have to remove them. Faster to bag 'em and get the heck out of there.

orangemower
12-15-2012, 09:12 AM
I gotta take pics of some jobs I've done. Some places have soooo many leaves that it would make you dizzy thinking about it.

herler
12-15-2012, 09:21 AM
I gotta take pics of some jobs I've done. Some places have soooo many leaves that it would make you dizzy thinking about it.

I know what you mean, here's a new thread...
Leaves you ain't Mulching I don't care who you are:

Florida Gardener
12-15-2012, 10:01 AM
I know what you mean, here's a new thread...
Leaves you ain't Mulching I don't care who you are:

Pffff...I can mulch that with a 21".
Posted via Mobile Device

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-15-2012, 10:06 AM
I'm with the last three guys. On the small jobs. By the time you blow out the beds and corners, just easier to blow them to the street and suck them up. As for the large jobs, mulching wont work here. One reason, even for the smaller of the large jobs, grass here gets mowed very low at the end of the season to prevent snow mold. No where to hide much of anything, even grass clippings. Then the large of the large. I have one home, about an acre, that takes 5 loads of leaves in a leaf box 8long x 6wide x 6high. Thats mulched and packed into the truck through the loader.

Smallaxe
12-15-2012, 11:18 AM
It was a Michigan School that ground up 6" of maple leaves into the standard cool season lawn... By Spring it is gone with the snow and all that OM and nutrients went right into the soil structure of the turf...

Maples are simple that way and when you're at the time of year that there is leaf fall going on,,, you can clean it up,,, **** and span today , but tomorrow looks like neglect again...
So with that thought in mind,,, "What difference does it make if the leaves don't immediately disappear???"

But I do not mulch mow oak or pine... :)

Darryl G
12-15-2012, 12:15 PM
I have a lawn much like the pics Herler put up. Lots of trees and obstacles and thin/bare turf in many areas in my case. By the time I blow the leaves from the beds and edges and around obstacles, they're really thick on the turf areas. There are rocks and stumps too which can't be seen....just not practical or safe to try to mulch them. Add in a climate with a typically wet fall (often wetter than spring), heavy dew at night and short days, the leaves never really dry out. Mulching wet leaves results in something very similar to wet cardboard. The later it gets in the season the more likely the leaves are to be wet and matted and to stay that way....probably not something that's as much of an issue in Texas.

sven1277
12-15-2012, 06:09 PM
If mulching the leaves works for you, then by all means. We know how to do leaves too and know what practices work. As stated, it is easier for us in the northeast to push to the curb and suck up.

Chris Feenan
12-15-2012, 07:13 PM
"What difference does it make if the leaves don't immediately disappear???"

Of course, I agree from a horticultural standpoint.

But the customer wants to see clean when they write the check. And if the leaves "don't disappear", my check may not appear.

recycledsole
12-15-2012, 09:55 PM
thanks for the informative post. its always intresting to hear new useful methods.
what if the leaves are wet or damp?
i have an exmark metro 36" with 16hp kawi engine. will that work? i guess if your lawnboy worked that will. Now to find out how to make a mulching plate.
thanks

lawnboy dan
12-16-2012, 10:23 AM
no i am not talking about using a ztr snapper. the old rear engine rider with the high vac deck for large yards and yes the 21 for med and small yards. i need to post pics for you to see how well this system works .

Darryl G
12-16-2012, 11:14 AM
thanks for the informative post. its always intresting to hear new useful methods.
what if the leaves are wet or damp?
i have an exmark metro 36" with 16hp kawi engine. will that work? i guess if your lawnboy worked that will. Now to find out how to make a mulching plate.
thanks

As I mentioned earlier, wet/damp leaves don't mulch very well and you can end up making a mess.

Your mower should work. You can do it with an open discharge chute and mulching blades such as Gators. Ideally you'd have the mulching kit which has baffles that create a chamber for each blade rather than everything being thrown to the blade on the discharge side, along with a blocking plate.

On Exmarks, the kits work best with the wavy mulching blades in my experience. You can use the kit with Gator blades but they put out a lot more air and you will then have a problem with leaves blowing out from under the deck.

The problem with the mulch kit and wavy blades is that now you can't bag without taking the kit and the blocking plate off, which, although not particularly time consuming, isn't very practical.

A good compromise for you might be to use Gator blades, no mulch kit baffles, and to make a blocking plate that allows air to escape while retaining the cut up leaves long enough to be cut into little pieces. To do this you can cut or drill holes in the blocking plate or make it out of expanded steel...the stuff they make trailer gates out of. You'll just need a couple of bolts to hold it on that could be taken off easily if you do need to discharge or bag.

recycledsole
12-16-2012, 01:32 PM
thanks daryl

Darryl G
12-16-2012, 02:16 PM
You're welcome.

I've even seen homemade blocking plates made out of Hardware Cloth, which is a wire mesh. They also make it in plastic. I wouldn't expect either to hold up for very long, but it's pretty tough stuff...should be easy enough to replace once you figure out have to mount it as well. You could use something like pieces of aluminum from a scrap screen door/window for a frame or to just bolt across to hold it in place. You could even nail it onto pieces of wood with roofing nails and bolt that into your discharge opening.

BTW, hardware cloth works great if you ever want to make a sieve for sifting top soil or compost or to look for buried treasure.

ed2hess
12-16-2012, 09:45 PM
I know what you mean, here's a new thread...
Leaves you ain't Mulching I don't care who you are:

Well you need to take a closer look at the Scag mulching system that amount of leaves would not be a problem. You get out there with those big blowers and fluff everything up and sure it looks like a lot. But you back right across those leaves and they just have to be reduced to dust. It is a lot easier to ride on a ZTR then walking around with 13# backback for a couple hours.

Darryl G
12-16-2012, 09:51 PM
Tha'ts your problem...you're trying to use a 13# backpack...you need at least a 25# one!!!!

Weekend cut easymoney
12-16-2012, 10:30 PM
Tha'ts your problem...you're trying to use a 13# backpack...you need at least a 25# one!!!!

By all means , use the biggest and baddest blower....been there and did that for years and learned the mulching trick. Stumps and hidden ok obstruction s certainly would be a situation for blowing only.
In manicured lawns mulching them up and then bagging is far more effecient than walking leaves across a big yard and then using a large vac at the street, which is yet another piece of equipment , and typically only used a few months each year...then hauling a large volume of air mixed with leaves to some site to dump....try mulching you might like it, you get to use your mowers vs. Buying specialized equipment

Weekend cut easymoney
12-16-2012, 10:34 PM
I don't care who you are or what setup you are running, but you are not gonna mulch live oak leaves in st Augustine. I've used plates, kits, wavy blades, gator blades, etc. they just get stuck in the grass. You can get about half of them each time you cut, but that's it. Now, every other kind of leaf is vapor if mulching down here. We don't do leaf cleanups, we just mulch. Again, except for live and laurel oak.
Posted via Mobile Device

Ill post photos tomorrow if i have time...live oak leaves are more difficult than red oak leaves, ...certainly not near as difficult as you say....we do it every spring....

Weekend cut easymoney
12-16-2012, 10:40 PM
I know what you mean, here's a new thread...
Leaves you ain't Mulching I don't care who you are:

That is not a lot of leaves....mulched that amount with a 21inch lawnboy with mulch kit 20 years ago before we got ztrs

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-17-2012, 04:13 AM
That wont work on the other side of the country. All the pictures below are wet leaves. The last picture there was snow on the ground 2 days before the clean up.

The average clean up around here is about 25 cubic yards of leaves.


http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121103_132510_zpsc0c4af35.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121202_103507_zpse154e805.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121202_154835_zpsadde638b.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121204_112734_zpsfe712bd0.jpg

New2TheGreenIndustry
12-17-2012, 12:54 PM
There in Texas........drought conditions? Dry leaves is always easy to make them into powder in one or two light passes. The right mower, gator blades, powerful engine and mulching kit.
Appears to be Zoysia grass........real easy to make it look good. Bermuda that is thinning isn't so nice in presence.

There is the occasional customer that doesn't think that this is considered a cleanup. The kindred spirit of dragging the old raking is the only thing in their comprehension. Leaf mold is beneficial to the soil, and promotes OM. Some people will want you to thatch this stuff out during the Spring to allow for new growth and air circulation. I haven't had a problem with my zoysia's after a fall season of mulching and bagging if needed. During the summer, these grasses couldn't help but benefit from the extra boost from OM.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is OM? Organic material?

ed2hess
12-17-2012, 08:16 PM
That wont work on the other side of the country. All the pictures below are wet leaves. The last picture there was snow on the ground 2 days before the clean up.

The average clean up around here is about 25 cubic yards of leaves.


http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121103_132510_zpsc0c4af35.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121202_103507_zpse154e805.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121202_154835_zpsadde638b.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121204_112734_zpsfe712bd0.jpg

You guys are doing way tooo much work for simple clean up. There isn't enough leaves on any of these pictures to keep me from running a turf tiger with mulch kit across them. All those tarps and raking and blowing is a lot harder than riding on a mower. Don't you have a lawnmower with a good mulch kit?

Ask Santa for one of these kits..

http://www.scag.com/hurricaneplusmulcher.html

SECTLANDSCAPING
12-17-2012, 10:34 PM
You guys are doing way tooo much work for simple clean up. There isn't enough leaves on any of these pictures to keep me from running a turf tiger with mulch kit across them. All those tarps and raking and blowing is a lot harder than riding on a mower. Don't you have a lawnmower with a good mulch kit?

Ask Santa for one of these kits..

http://www.scag.com/hurricaneplusmulcher.html

The mowers I use have mulch kits built in. No need to buy extras. They also wont work for wet frozen leaves.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-17-2012, 11:17 PM
Don't knock it till you try it, I've mulched wet leaves, dry leaves, big leaves, small leaves and they all get cut up the same...wet leaves just means less dust...
P.S. started raking, then went to blowing, tried bagging and then went to mulching
Lower the mower to about 2 to 2.5 inches snd cut in a clockwise pattern twice arond the lawn, blow leaves into the center from drives and trimm4d area snd the continue to go in a circular pattern until ground up...worst case scenario, you have a few bags to bag up.
Visiting uncle in indiana i did the same technique with a riding side dischsrge tractor...same result..the leaves practically disappear.

Remember, most leaves are 90 percent air

echo
12-17-2012, 11:35 PM
I'm only here because I'm trying to decide which wheel blower to buy, but I gotta say this is a hoot. No way mulching/disposing of leaves is the same in the northeast as it is in the south. We mulch them, plow them, blow them, etc... and there is no way you're going to 100% mulch leaves in the northeast no matter how many times you run them over with mulching kits/blades. If you could there would be no need for leaf equipment/trucks/vacs/blowers/city curbside leaf removal trucks/, etc...

LawnMan19
12-17-2012, 11:44 PM
I'm only here because I'm trying to decide which wheel blower to buy, but I gotta say this is a hoot. No way mulching/disposing of leaves is the same in the northeast as it is in the south. We mulch them, plow them, blow them, etc... and there is no way you're going to 100% mulch leaves in the northeast no matter how many times you run them over with mulching kits/blades. If you could there would be no need for leaf equipment/trucks/vacs/blowers/city curbside leaf removal trucks/, etc...

Yeah, I agree theirs no way to "just mulch them in" up here in the north I've tried with no success.

corey4671
12-17-2012, 11:52 PM
Not all southern guys mulch....

echo
12-17-2012, 11:56 PM
Thanks to your helpful video I'm going with a Little Wonder 13hp but going self-propelled for all the hills we have. Thanks again.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-18-2012, 12:00 AM
I guess you guys got tougher leaves than in Indiana:rolleyes:...i predict you didn't really try really hard.
I wouldnt say you necessarily should leave all the mulched leaves on the lawn, though i never had one i couldn't make the leaves invisible...so bag to make it perfect...

Live oak leaves are much more difficult to mulch and even those mulch up easily...

Most guys just dont lower the deck enough.:hammerhead:

echo
12-18-2012, 12:07 AM
Funny stuff. I'm gonna laugh every time I walk through a foot of wet/frozen leaves now.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-18-2012, 12:08 AM
Not all southern guys mulch....

No joking, you could mulch those , even after you blew them in that big pile...just spread them out and saved yourself all the hauloff....just try it and See. Reduced to a third

corey4671
12-18-2012, 12:16 AM
No joking, you could mulch those , even after you blew them in that big pile...just spread them out and saved yourself all the hauloff....just try it and See. Reduced to a third

yeah....sure...ok :laugh:

Weekend cut easymoney
12-18-2012, 12:33 AM
yeah....sure...ok :laugh:

Don't dog it until you've tried it...i bagged, blew, raked lots of leaves when i was young...its not as tough as you think

Florida Gardener
12-18-2012, 12:47 AM
I guess you guys got tougher leaves than in Indiana:rolleyes:...i predict you didn't really try really hard.
I wouldnt say you necessarily should leave all the mulched leaves on the lawn, though i never had one i couldn't make the leaves invisible...so bag to make it perfect...

Live oak leaves are much more difficult to mulch and even those mulch up easily...

Most guys just dont lower the deck enough.:hammerhead:
Yea, that is why I said it won't happen. St aug gets cut at 4"+. I'm assuming your referring to Bermuda.
Posted via Mobile Device

LawnMan19
12-18-2012, 11:56 AM
yeah....sure...ok :laugh:

Yeah, man You can mulch leaves 4 feet deep in you just gotta try real hard, and spend a whole day at it. Instead of just hauling them off.:dizzy::laugh:

corey4671
12-18-2012, 07:26 PM
Don't dog it until you've tried it...i bagged, blew, raked lots of leaves when i was young...its not as tough as you think

Yeah I've done my share of that too. I like to think I've done both enough to have enough sense to know when one method is better than the other. Sometimes it just depends on what trailer I have with me at the time. Sometimes I'm out with the mowing trailer, sometimes I've got the dump trailer with me with the loader and blowers.

I think someone said it earlier, but there are some yards that by the time I blow out the beds and other tight spots, it doesn't take much time to go ahead and blow the rest of the yard off and suck them up. Like I said, I'm equipped to do EITHER. I've got Accelerator baggers for both mowers if need be. Trust me, when it comes to leaves, I've put in my time.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-19-2012, 07:19 PM
here is one on Asphalt---mower down to about 2-3 inches...Scag V. ride
not lots of leaves...but just an example...

Weekend cut easymoney
12-19-2012, 07:26 PM
here is one I posted early this year--scroll down to bottom-

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=374532&page=3

this one again was an easy one--

Weekend cut easymoney
12-19-2012, 07:33 PM
Live Oak leaves...in St. Augustine

P.S. we cut 4-4.5 in the summer as it gets hotter...

Darryl G
12-19-2012, 07:41 PM
Looks more like a good example of why NOT to mulch to me.

echo
12-19-2012, 07:52 PM
And barely any leaves. Warm, dry and ideal conditions don't go hand in hand with most any large leaf cleanup I've done or seen.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-19-2012, 09:36 PM
And barely any leaves. Warm, dry and ideal conditions don't go hand in hand with most any large leaf cleanup I've done or seen.

That was an easy one...notice the pile that disappeared?

Weekend cut easymoney
12-19-2012, 09:38 PM
Looks more like a good example of why NOT to mulch to me.

Yeah, not having to haul off trash is hhorrible...and the organic material for the lawn...that has gotta be bad for the lawn

integrityman
12-19-2012, 10:05 PM
I mulch on ALL my properties and the customers are ALWAYS exremely impressed and happy. One property has 6 mature white oaks and well over 25 hickory trees of various sizes. (Spread over 2 acreas.) I use a toro diesel 60" with Mamba mulch blades and the toro mulch kit and set height between 3.25 to 4" depending on conditions. Two passes and voila- no more leaves. It works fantastic. Different strokes for different folks. if bagging works for you great...I mulch and the leaves are invisible. Me and customer: :clapping::clapping::clapping:

integrityman
12-19-2012, 10:14 PM
That wont work on the other side of the country. All the pictures below are wet leaves. The last picture there was snow on the ground 2 days before the clean up.

The average clean up around here is about 25 cubic yards of leaves.


http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121103_132510_zpsc0c4af35.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121202_103507_zpse154e805.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121202_154835_zpsadde638b.jpg
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t132/dirtypockets/IMG_20121204_112734_zpsfe712bd0.jpg

Id mulch those in a heartbeat and it'd look fantastic.....

echo
12-19-2012, 10:19 PM
That was an easy one...notice the pile that disappeared?

Pretty sure anybody that's done leaf clean-ups mulches when possible, and a tiny mound of leaves like that is easily mulched, especially in warm, dry conditions. People in my area wouldn't even pay to do a clean up that small. They'd rake them up themselves.

You've obviously never done large leaf clean ups in wet conditions or youd know its not possible, much less cost and time effective to try to mulch them all.

integrityman
12-19-2012, 10:22 PM
Yeah, I agree theirs no way to "just mulch them in" up here in the north I've tried with no success.

I so wish you could try my set up. Maples, oaks, hickory, cherry, catalpa, tulip, magnolia, bald cypress all get reduced to minute particles. Locust leaflets do well too.....even the small little tiny leaves. done on a regular basis it really does work,,,,wet or dry.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-19-2012, 10:31 PM
Try again...worked a lot with wet leaves...one hoa has 800, 000sq ft of turf....no dust and alittle more difficult

Darryl G
12-19-2012, 10:42 PM
Id mulch those in a heartbeat and it'd look fantastic.....
There's really sparse grass on that lawn. There's no way you're mulching that lawn without leaving visible leaf bits all over. I'm all for mulching and do it when it's appropriate, but sometimes it just isn't. One of the problems where I am is that we get freezing temps at night in the fall and usually lots of rain which makes the turf areas soft. I want to be running lawns over as little as possible.

Darryl G
12-19-2012, 10:46 PM
That was an easy one...notice the pile that disappeared?

That pile didn't disappear. I can see leaf bits all over the place and you ran the lawn over in a random pattern rather than in nice rows. Sorry but it really doesn't look that great...it looks OK and that's about it. And what was the point of mulching them up along the curb? Please tell me you didn't leave it like that. That looks like a wooded area right near there...can't the leaves just be blown into there?

integrityman
12-19-2012, 10:49 PM
There's really sparse grass on that lawn. There's no way you're mulching that lawn without leaving visible leaf bits all over. I'm all for mulching and do it when it's appropriate, but sometimes it just isn't. One of the problems where I am is that we get freezing temps at night in the fall and usually lots of rain which makes the turf areas soft. I want to be running lawns over as little as possible.

Same here.....except this area is extremely flat which equates to longer periods of soft lawns.....and I still mulch. Im telling ya....it works quite well.

Darryl G
12-19-2012, 10:55 PM
I've got Gators, I've got Gator G6s, I have blocking plates and baffles and wavy mulchers and the whole 9 yards and I don't like running a lawn over multiple times and leaving leaf bits all over...I think it looks unprofessional and in some cases leaves enough that it creates a mat of ground up leaves that does not readily decompose.

integrityman
12-20-2012, 02:59 AM
I've got Gators, I've got Gator G6s, I have blocking plates and baffles and wavy mulchers and the whole 9 yards and I don't like running a lawn over multiple times and leaving leaf bits all over...I think it looks unprofessional and in some cases leaves enough that it creates a mat of ground up leaves that does not readily decompose.

My lawns look absolutely fantastic. My mulch setup doesnt leave "bits all over." My customers are psychiatrists, dentists, engineers, retired university faculty and so on. In other words, folks that won't and dont put up with $hitty looking lawns. My set up delivers an incredibly appealing and aesthetically pleasing lawn.

I guess I believe too in the whole notion of the idea of "best practice", returning the leaf/ organic matter back to the turf and not hauling it off.

It sounds like we both take a ton of pride in our work like many of the folks on LS.

Agree to disagree:)

ed2hess
12-20-2012, 07:55 PM
The idea in putting up this thead was NOT to try to convince folks who have invested in the vac systems and leaf boxes to change. You made the investment and got your process down and that is great. We can't beat you on quality. But we will have a lower price. The purpose was to give info to individuals that might have limited resources and still want to get a piece of the leaf pie.

I will show you in the future some situations where we blow leaves onto the street at some condo properties. While the guys are getting all the leaves onto the street I lower the mulch deck and mulch them down on the street. Eventually the deck will be as low as it can go. After getting them reduced I take either our Walker or Scag Cougar and pick it all up. Street will almost be clean as a..
I seldom have more than a couple plastic bags full of debris.

jrs.landscaping
12-21-2012, 01:13 PM
Live Oak leaves...in St. Augustine

P.S. we cut 4-4.5 in the summer as it gets hotter...

I'm curious how long that took you to mulch those leaves?

I could have made one pass with a bagger and loaded it into the truck in about 5 min. I agree that mulching can be done almost anywhere, almost, aome properties just don't allow multiple passes to spread the leaves out. I think for us in the Northeast it is more economical to collect or blow leaves rather than trying to grind them into the turf.

corey4671
12-21-2012, 01:53 PM
You ain't cleaning them up this fast
http://youtu.be/HCkEgVR4l4o

jrs.landscaping
12-21-2012, 03:02 PM
You ain't cleaning them up this fast
http://youtu.be/HCkEgVR4l4o

:laugh:

That's cheating you used time lapse! I wish I could FF through cleanups like that.

Darryl G
12-21-2012, 03:16 PM
:laugh:

That's cheating you used time lapse! I wish I could FF through cleanups like that.

Either that or LOTS of coffee!

sven1277
12-21-2012, 04:01 PM
I am well versed in mulching. We mulch the majority of our lawns. My mowing trailer has a tt with a huricane mulch kit and a zk with the mulch baffle. Both work well. I also have a tt with a bagger. The mulch kits work great in september and part of october for mulching up the small amounts of leaves that fall in the beginning. At some point, the leaves get too thick to mulch and we switch over to bagging those properties instead because it is quicker.

ed2hess
12-27-2012, 08:43 PM
I am well versed in mulching. We mulch the majority of our lawns. My mowing trailer has a tt with a huricane mulch kit and a zk with the mulch baffle. Both work well. I also have a tt with a bagger. The mulch kits work great in september and part of october for mulching up the small amounts of leaves that fall in the beginning. At some point, the leaves get too thick to mulch and we switch over to bagging those properties instead because it is quicker.

Do you leave that kit on the TT all year?

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 09:07 PM
That pile didn't disappear. I can see leaf bits all over the place and you ran the lawn over in a random pattern rather than in nice rows. Sorry but it really doesn't look that great...it looks OK and that's about it. And what was the point of mulching them up along the curb? Please tell me you didn't leave it like that. That looks like a wooded area right near there...can't the leaves just be blown into there?

Nice rows? Particles?::rolleyes:

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 09:22 PM
I'm curious how long that took you to mulch those leaves?

I could have made one pass with a bagger and loaded it into the truck in about 5 min. I agree that mulching can be done almost anywhere, almost, aome properties just don't allow multiple passes to spread the leaves out. I think for us in the Northeast it is more economical to collect or blow leaves rather than trying to grind them into the turf.

Took me about 35 minutes for front and back. 55 to 60 buckw per hour. Had i bagge d i would have had 2 or 3 bags to haul off x 10 yards is a lotta debris....dump is 1 hour drive away in traffic @ 35 min charge...not cost effective plus depleating the soil by bagging which also removes dirt and organic material.
32inch scag with only a mulch plate, no baffles...

echo
12-27-2012, 09:30 PM
I can't believe people pay for that small of a cleanup. Couple bags for the garbage man is all that's there.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 09:40 PM
here is one on Asphalt---mower down to about 2-3 inches...Scag V. ride
not lots of leaves...but just an example...

This was an e example of what a mulcher can do on asphalt....not an example whatsoever of a job that was completed ...2 passes of the lawnmower

echo
12-27-2012, 09:48 PM
If that little bit took 30-35 minutes those large leaf jobs in the pics, especially when theyre wet and/or frozen, it would take you days to do. Not cost effective.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 09:48 PM
I can't believe people pay for that small of a cleanup. Couple bags for the garbage man is all that's there.

Its part of a contracted service.....weekly service during growing season and leaf cleanups inwinter..here folks would rather pay 35 bucks rather than spending 2 hours to clean up the leaves....

2 to 3 bags of ground up oak leaves....4 or 5 if raked up...plus the law n gets the straglies cut and edging

Most folks here would spend at least 2 hours doing this...plus their mower would clog up and kill the engine most of the time when the bag gets full...they would have to restart the mower many times and have to work real hard to get all the leaves into the paper bags mandatory for haul off

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 10:00 PM
If that little bit took 30-35 minutes those large leaf jobs in the pics, especially when theyre wet and/or frozen, it would take you days to do. Not cost effective.

I'd use a larger mower on a big job.....ill work for 55 bucks an hour all day long thanks...my guys knocked out an acre and a half in 6 manhours , one guy blowing, one guy trimming and the other using a 48 inch mower....got a good compliment on it too.no haul off was abonus:waving:

echo
12-27-2012, 10:06 PM
An acre and a half for 3 guys in 6 hours is the opposite of cost effective. An acre and a half with 3 guys should be less than 2 hours. If you guys are happy taking that long to do 1 cleanup thats great, but with the proper equipment, 2 guys could do 3 of those jobs in a 6-8hour day.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 10:09 PM
An acre and a half for 3 guys in 6 hours is the opposite of cost effective. An acre and a half with 3 guys should be less than 2 hours. If you guys are happy taking that long to do 1 cleanup thats great, but with the proper equipment, 2 guys could do 3 of those jobs in a 6-8hour day.

3 guys x 2 hours = 6 manours ...my guys could do maybe 4 in an 8 hour day

echo
12-27-2012, 10:14 PM
There's obviously no helping you. You would take days doing a large lot like in the pics. If that small pile took you 30-35 minutes there's no way you're doing 4, 1.5 heavily covered areas in an 8 hour day...unless you're doing palm trees. The proof is in your pics.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 10:30 PM
There's obviously no helping you. You would take days doing a large lot like in the pics. If that small pile took you 30-35 minutes there's no way you're doing 4, 1.5 heavily covered areas in an 8 hour day...unless you're doing palm trees. The proof is in your pics.

Guess so...wish i had a camera on my head over the last 30 years I've been at it to show you...
How about you telling us all about it, and how to do things quickly and making lots of dough....we sure would like to learn from a PRO :waving:

echo
12-27-2012, 10:33 PM
Not a pro. It's just easy to see that if 4 bags of leaves takes you 30-35 minutes to mulch that the lots in the pics would take you days. If that's how you like to do business, great, it's just not the way to make the most of your time and money.

Weekend cut easymoney
12-27-2012, 11:04 PM
Not a pro. It's just easy to see that if 4 bags of leaves takes you 30-35 minutes to mulch that the lots in the pics would take you days. If that's how you like to do business, great, it's just not the way to make the most of your time and money.

There is more involved in making the lawn look nice, than simply raking up tye leaves.

i could have blown the leaves out of the beds and raked the pile up and bagged them.....it would have left the yard looking haggard...it needed a slight cut as it had been afew weeks since last sevice.

.doubtful would most anyone do the front and back, also edging, trimming the yard faster than 35 minutes. Even if i bagged, I'd have to stop to empty the bag and then haul off...
Fyi i raked the leaves i blew from the beds to demk show how easy it was...
I posted a few links to other small cleanups, that had lots more leaves....

Good luck with the hauling off of leaves...

echo
12-27-2012, 11:09 PM
It's just quicker and more profitable is all. That's why the equipment is made. No sense in taking days to do what can be done in hours. Sounds like you need a bigger trailer or let the homeowner put them out for the garbageman. As one poster said, they could have been bagged and gone in a few minutes rather than mulching for 35 which is what you said. Just trying to help.

Florida Gardener
12-27-2012, 11:19 PM
It's just quicker and more profitable is all. That's why the equipment is made. No sense in taking days to do what can be done in hours. Sounds like you need a bigger trailer or let the homeowner put them out for the garbageman. As one poster said, they could have been bagged and gone in a few minutes rather than mulching for 35 which is what you said. Just trying to help.
You don't live in the south though. It's different down here. We don't invest in leaf equipment bc we can take care of leaves throughout the whole winter cause we work through the whole winter. Nobody down here has leaf equipment bc it isn't necessary.
Posted via Mobile Device

echo
12-27-2012, 11:26 PM
Fair enough, however, the original post was that the huge leaf jobs in the pics could be mulched up in a few hours. It's just not possible to do it that quickly or equipment wouldn't be needed to do it quickly and be profitable. When it comes to time, it's always quicker to mulch and remove than it is to completely mulch the leaves. Most everybody runs over them, chews them up, and then discards them. It's just the best way, especially in cold, wet conditions.

weeze
12-28-2012, 02:18 PM
i side discharge everything using G6 blades down here. i just discharge it towards the middle and when the leaves buildup a bit i go back over them a few times and they disappear. on average to do the leaves on a yard here takes about 15min or 30 at the most more than just a normal cut. most yards i do are 1/2-3acres in size. it's just easier and faster. i stop mowing at the end of october. i then go do the leaves 2 times in november on average. 1 time every 2 weeks. after november is over all of the leaves here are done falling for the most part. you kindof have to do that here because in november you still get a few weeds growing and such since the temps are in the 60s on average in the month of november.

you gotta remember there's no stripes here in the south so you don't have to worry about going back in forth making rows next to each other. you can section the yard off into sections blowing the leaves into the middle and tackle them a bit at a time.

i have one setup for every condition. i like to keep it simple. i don't have to fool around with bagging, putting on a mulch kit, different kinds of blades, tarps, rakes, leaf loaders, etc. it may be different up in the northeast but it works very well down here in the southeast.

ed2hess
12-28-2012, 11:29 PM
i side discharge everything using G6 blades down here. i just discharge it towards the middle and when the leaves buildup a bit i go back over them a few times and they disappear. on average to do the leaves on a yard here takes about 15min or 30 at the most more than just a normal cut. most yards i do are 1/2-3acres in size. it's just easier and faster. i stop mowing at the end of october. i then go do the leaves 2 times in november on average. 1 time every 2 weeks. after november is over all of the leaves here are done falling for the most part. you kindof have to do that here because in november you still get a few weeds growing and such since the temps are in the 60s on average in the month of november.

you gotta remember there's no stripes here in the south so you don't have to worry about going back in forth making rows next to each other. you can section the yard off into sections blowing the leaves into the middle and tackle them a bit at a time.

i have one setup for every condition. i like to keep it simple. i don't have to fool around with bagging, putting on a mulch kit, different kinds of blades, tarps, rakes, leaf loaders, etc. it may be different up in the northeast but it works very well down here in the southeast.

Why don't you try just blocking the outlet year round? We have all kinds of mowers and all of them have outlet blocked.

weeze
01-01-2013, 02:01 PM
wouldn't work. most yards down here are cut bi-weekly. sometimes they are 6" tall when you go cut. that would just bog down if you tried to mulch with it blocked off and had a mulch kit. if everyone was weekly it would be a great idea. i only have 3 weekly customers. the rest are all bi weekly.

Blades Lawn Maintenance
01-01-2013, 11:48 PM
wouldn't work. most yards down here are cut bi-weekly. sometimes they are 6" tall when you go cut. that would just bog down if you tried to mulch with it blocked off and had a mulch kit. if everyone was weekly it would be a great idea. i only have 3 weekly customers. the rest are all bi weekly.

How many yards do you have

ed2hess
01-02-2013, 08:58 PM
wouldn't work. most yards down here are cut bi-weekly. sometimes they are 6" tall when you go cut. that would just bog down if you tried to mulch with it blocked off and had a mulch kit. if everyone was weekly it would be a great idea. i only have 3 weekly customers. the rest are all bi weekly.

Guess you got fixed height decks eh? I thought you had a sentar RH?

weeze
01-03-2013, 10:18 PM
i have about 25 or so yards. i'm not completely full yet. i've only been in business 2 years. this year is year number 3. i have several yards that are 2-3acres in size. they take about 1 1/2hrs-2 1/2hrs to edge, mow, trim, and blow. i'm solo.

i'm not gonna raise the deck and cut at 4" on southern grass that is normally cut 1 1/2"-2". no customer would accept that and neither would i. it would look horrible.

apparently where i live it's different from 99% of you guys on lawnsite. noone is gonna pay for weekly cuts at $100-$125 a cut here. they can't afford that. i don't live in an area of rich people. they are middle class people. sure i have a few small yards that are $35-$40 and $50-$60 a cut. the weekly yards i have are $35, $40, and $45 per cut. they can afford it since it's cheap. the others can't which is 90% of my customers.

weeze
01-03-2013, 10:30 PM
Guess you got fixed height decks eh? I thought you had a sentar RH?

besides raising the deck would just mean the next time you went to cut the yard the grass would be even taller. it would be 10" tall instead of 6".

i don't even know what a sentar rh is. maybe you are talking about a wright sentar? they don't even sale wright mowers around these parts of the world. i wouldn't want one anyways.

most of the summer here it's over 90 so the grass doesn't grow as fast for the biggest part of the season. usually it is about 4" when i cut bi weekly and i cut it down to 2" on average. of course it varies based on the amount of rain and such.

you can't pull the trick that some try to pull and mow it higher and say it needs to be mowed every week. lol if you did that the people would just say mow it shorter. they aren't stupid.

there's a company here that tries to do that. they cut one of my neighbor's yards. it always looks terrible.

Turfdude
01-04-2013, 08:24 PM
From south Jersey (outside Philly). We work in a lot of neighborhoods with 75+ and 100+ yr old oaks. Properties from 7500 sq ft total to 3 acres total. Most lawns range from 1500 sq.ft turf to 2 acres a lot of hardscapes, pools, decks, etc. Every local township conducts multiple (on average 5) curbside leaf collections mostly with large ODB leaf collection vac enclosed trailers (except Cherry Hill that uses those along with a crapload of 5 cu yd wheel loaders and triaxle dump trucks. Anyway my question is do they offer this type service in the south? If so IMHO it has to be quicker to blow the leaves to the curb tehn mow rather than go slow multiple times mulch and bag, after all, we all agree you're not running the rider through mulched/stone beds, across elevated decks, cleaning up driveways/patios with a mower,this all needs to be blown onto the turf first, so why not just blow to curb or onto a tarp and drag to the curb - duh. The point of the ground being wetter now than in the spring, so true. We had to park the ztr's for walk behinds after Thanksgiving as the riders would have rutted most lawns for sure for the entire winter. eff that!

Darryl G
01-04-2013, 08:59 PM
Yeah once we get into November and get freezing temps over night and thawing in the day our lawns become really tender. And like I said, fall tends to be a pretty wet season where I am. Just not a good time to be running lawns over more than absolutely necessary. Good news Mrs. Smith, I mulched all your leaves up and didn't need to haul off anything. The bad news is you'll need a $2,000 lawn renovation in the spring, lol.

lawnprosteveo
01-05-2013, 11:47 PM
It all depends on where you are as to what is the best method. Here in the southern plains where we have been in a drought for two yrs, mulching can work fine. Go further north and east...mulching is less easy. Where I am, you see guys do it about every way imaginable.

ed2hess
01-06-2013, 12:05 AM
i'm not gonna raise the deck and cut at 4" on southern grass that is normally cut 1 1/2"-2". no customer would accept that and neither would i. it would look horrible.
.
Ok your grasses are probably like ours....bermuda and St Augustine. When you have a Wright Sentar RH you can adjust the height on the run. So you pull into a lawn and cut it high then lower it to the final height and cross cut it. And yes we cut a lot of hybrid bermuda low with the kit on. And we do a lot of bi-weekly and no we don't charge more than $30.

ed2hess
03-28-2013, 10:23 PM
Well we are right into our major leaf cleanup that started in Oct but really got into final stages with live oak dropping now. A hail storm knocked a few more off.

268765

268766

It was a little damp and that makes it just right for mulching these leaves up. When I finished the media I went out into the street and lowered the mower and made those into dust also. You can see the yard over to the left that is nicely finished. No big blowers needed and nothing to take away from the site on this job.

echo
03-28-2013, 11:10 PM
Those are petals. People up here wouldn't even call us to clean those up. You fellas are lucky.
Posted via Mobile Device

knox gsl
03-28-2013, 11:27 PM
Everything in TX is bigger, well maybe not leaves.

weeze
03-29-2013, 12:18 AM
those small leaves like that suck. they don't mulch up very well since they are so small. the big ones mulch up good.

echo
03-29-2013, 12:28 AM
Those petals can get raked up faster than they can get mulched. Up north they'd get raked or bagged with the grass.
Posted via Mobile Device

weeze
03-29-2013, 12:48 AM
just curious but why are people posting about leaves in the spring? :laugh:

GrassGuerilla
03-29-2013, 12:53 AM
http://edenprairieweblogs.org/georgeesbensen/post/776/ got extinguishers? 17 gallons of gas? That had to be cool!
Posted via Mobile Device

weeze
03-29-2013, 12:57 AM
i don't know of a mower that holds that much. the cheetah holds 15.

it must be an older mower.

knox gsl
03-29-2013, 01:05 AM
just curious but why are people posting about leaves in the spring? :laugh:

Live oaks will dump in early Spring.

GrassGuerilla
03-29-2013, 01:05 AM
That would be a pretty ugly day. I've gotta read my insurance policy, is that covered?
Posted via Mobile Device

weeze
03-29-2013, 01:08 AM
Live oaks will dump in early Spring.

we have oaks here but the leaves all fall off in november. they must be dead oaks or something. :laugh:

GrassGuerilla
03-29-2013, 01:11 AM
http://edenprairieweblogs.org/georgeesbensen/post/776/ got extinguishers? 17 gallons of gas? That had to be cool!
Posted via Mobile Device

Well, the leaves are all tidied up. I'll be back to get the mower when it cools off. Great trick, but tough to do in volume.
Posted via Mobile Device

weeze
03-29-2013, 07:30 PM
most people around here burn their leaves anyways if they are outside city limits. they have leaf pickup in the city for free. they just rake or blow them in piles by the road and the city sucks them all up.

ed2hess
03-30-2013, 10:30 PM
we have oaks here but the leaves all fall off in november. they must be dead oaks or something. :laugh:

Nope ours go thru this bad phase this time of year...the leaves drop over about 3 weeks then he blooms set and then that drop so it is a nightmare of dust. We are very glad to get past all this.