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View Full Version : Who bags grass clippings?


jphag
09-03-2004, 10:43 PM
What is your thought on bagging clippings? Do you charge extra for this service?

Greenservice
09-03-2004, 10:47 PM
I only bag for 2 or 3 customers because they have pools. I figure a few extra bucks into the price for the extra time. If I see clippings when I'm done, I usually just walk around with the backpack and scatter them.

Liberty Lawncare
09-03-2004, 10:55 PM
Yes I bag in the spring it's a pain but worth it. I charge extra for baging from $5- up depending on the size of the lawn. Bigg thick lawns mean lots of emptying the bagger.

dkeisala
09-03-2004, 10:55 PM
Me - it's built into the price.

Green Care
09-03-2004, 10:58 PM
Not here too much________!

Hometown
09-03-2004, 11:03 PM
I bag only one customer and they pay the extra cost (extra time to do it and fee for dumping and travel time to recyle center) it is about a acre and half so in the spring it gives up a good ammout of clippings. But they have quite a bit of flower beds and the guy who does the flower work always has 6 or 8 bags of clippings and weeding for me to put on the load so they are happy to see it go.

Shuter
09-03-2004, 11:09 PM
I bag every lawn. It is already built into the price as I have to spend time at the end of the day for dumping.

ed's lawn service
09-03-2004, 11:12 PM
i do. it's built into the price and i will usually get a tip from one of the customers because it looks sooo nice.:D

jphag
09-03-2004, 11:25 PM
I agree it looks very nice but I save 1-2 hrs every day if I don't have to stop to empty my bag 2-3 times on every lawn and go to the dump as well. Plus all that extra weight you have to carry around and don't forget that GREAT SMELL you have to inhale every time you dump. I always tell my customers haw beneficial it is to leave the clippings. Grass is made up of 70% water

HighGrass
09-04-2004, 12:01 AM
Never. I will bag no grass before it's time.

Turfcutters Plus
09-04-2004, 12:17 PM
I NEVER bag anymore unless a few leaf jobs in the fall

specialtylc
09-04-2004, 06:11 PM
We bag everything that the pushmowers do, 80% of the walkbehind and nothing the Z does. We average 5 to 10 cubic yards of grass clippings every day with one truck.

locutus
09-04-2004, 06:14 PM
Only if I have to and always during leaf season.

bobbygedd
09-04-2004, 06:44 PM
never, never, never

khutch
09-04-2004, 07:33 PM
I bag just about all the pushmower lawns, for the WB only one Zoysia account, almost never for Fescues. Sometimes I'll bag others here and there if it will allow the lawn to look better. I think we kid ourselves sometimes how "good" it is to leave the clippings. I agree it is probably better for the turf, but mostly it is nice to be able say that less work is better....I feel the lawn always looks better bagged, but most fescues it is hard to tell the difference. Fast growing, thick bermudas often have to be double-cut, and if I have a place on site to dump, it is just a hair faster to go ahead and bag.

GLADULANDSCPING
09-04-2004, 07:45 PM
ill bag only if requested, and if they are a good customer, i give it too them for free. If not 5-10 bucks added on to the price.

precisioncut
09-04-2004, 09:37 PM
I bag just about everything. Built in to the price, but everyone here bags. Most every customer demands it. They give you a wierd look if you don't.

Precision
09-04-2004, 09:52 PM
I agree with Mr. Gedd.
Don't own a bagger, don't want to own a bagger. Couldn't even imagine bagging bahia here in the rainy season. That mess is bad enough just trying to cut it and get it out of the deck.

Madpunter
09-04-2004, 09:58 PM
I'm with Locutus; I only bag leaves.

I'm actually looking though for a new grass catcher for my walk behind. Anyone ever use a "grass packer"? Its made of some sort of composite material, is said to be lighter than the metal ones, and easier to empty.

It costs about the same. I saw one on eBay and almost got it, the only thing that stopped me is it's a "one size fits all makes" type of product.

Anyone have advice on a new catcher?

HazellLawnCare
09-04-2004, 11:14 PM
Here we bag everything also. I only have 4 accounts out of 135 that we don't bag. I just build it into my cost. It's worth it to me, I think a yard looks better after you bag it. Some of you talk about how much time you save not bagging but you won't ever see me double cutting.

chefdrp
09-04-2004, 11:51 PM
i bag 1 lawn. Only cause it has a bunch of islands and i dont have an OCDC. I use my excellerator. (sp)

ScCo
09-05-2004, 01:47 AM
I only bag the yards that customers ask to have bagged and a couple of really small yards where I save myself cleanup time by bagging.

Kelly's Landscaping
09-05-2004, 02:04 AM
I only charge extra if the customer request I bag or its built into the price. If they give me free reign to do as I feel is needed then I don't charge extra to bag I just do it to make my life easier. Sometimes a lawn grows so much it takes 3-4 cuts to make it go away where I can bag it with the trac vac and be done in one cut. So obviously I would prefer to be done in 20 mins rather then 40 mins it comes, as a surprise to many of my guys but often bagging a lawn is faster then letting it fly. On the smaller lawns that have tight beds and lawn strips that may be only 6 feet wide if I don't bag I am trashing either beds or the side of a house or car this does not make good business sense one its added clean up time and two it could be avoided.

Royalslover
09-05-2004, 02:06 AM
I bag most of my residential lawns. Wouldn't do it without a Walker.

Ray & Karen
09-05-2004, 07:18 AM
I mulch all of my lawns....no double cutting....no bagging....no debris in the beds....easier clean-up!

Tvov
09-05-2004, 10:24 AM
We do not collect grass clippings, unless it is a special situation, such as around a pool. We have no bagging customers right now, and it has been more than 10 years since we've had one.

How can you guys charge just 5 or 10 dollars more to bag? The extra time collecting, dumping into the truck (is there room? Our trucks are full of equipment), making the trip to the dump, travel time back, etc. Also, with thick lawns, we have to mow slower so as not to clog the bagger.

It is amazing, even with something as seemingly simple as mowing a lawn, how everyone has different ways to do it!


.

Mark Lawncare
09-05-2004, 03:12 PM
I only have a few lawns I don't bag. Everybody around my area bags. Not many lawns really need it but the customers expect it and they pay for it.

Kelly's Landscaping
09-05-2004, 07:10 PM
How can you guys charge just 5 or 10 dollars more to bag? The extra time collecting, dumping into the truck (is there room? Our trucks are full of equipment), making the trip to the dump, travel time back, etc. Also, with thick lawns, we have to mow slower so as not to clog the bagger.



.

As I stated it often takes me less time to bag! On my 3 main mowers 2 have side baggers and in all honesty that kind of bagging is a joke I have that for my smaller mowers mostly for pool areas. The main mower has a trac vac which is a 44 gal can with a 6hp kohler motor to vac with this can bag typically half and acre some times a full acre before its full. I cut a full speed i.e. 10 miles and hour so its no time lose at all it really is faster for me to bag a clump fest rather then to letter it fly. Basically pure crab grass lawns are the all time worse now get them first thing in the morning when they are wet and I don't care what you use if you let it fly your screwed.

As for dump last year I used an organic recycling place, which cost me, about 10 dollars for a 2-yard pick up load. This season I use the farm next door to my house its free and its open 24/7 so its no trouble at all and it really comes in handy when I am getting 20-30 yards of debris a day in fall clean ups.

TClawn
09-05-2004, 08:01 PM
I only bag the lawns that are really thick or have pools. there is no extra charge, mainly because the lawns that I do aren't big enough that I have to change the bag during the lawn.

Turf Dancer
09-06-2004, 04:31 AM
We bag it all because mulching does not work well here at all! Everyone that mulches here ends up thatching twice a year to keep the lawn looking decent !

dishboy
09-06-2004, 10:25 AM
We bag it all because mulching does not work well here at all! Everyone that mulches here ends up thatching twice a year to keep the lawn looking decent !

I am not too far from you, and mulching will work there if you have the right machines and use a WIN source applied in the right amount at the right time. The thatch problem is more a fertilizer and watering issue than a clipping one IMO. You can NOT mulch and use a standard fertilizer program tailored for bagged lawns.

Turf Dancer
09-06-2004, 05:54 PM
The thatch problem is an issue here and I know that because the debris that is brought to the turf surface on thatched lawns that are always mulched is not your typical dead grass, it is all small dried out particles ! It is the grass that has been mulched! It appears to be the same dried out grass you see on lawns that are discharged. Other issues that do not allow us to mulch are people don't want you to mow more often becasue it costs them more ! We are in a market that doesn't allow us to charge $25 on up for a small lawn. All of my lawns are bagged and I hardly ever have to thatch a lawn that I take care of. The Landscapers here that do mulch are thatching twice a year to keep the lawn up ! Those are contract lawns so it would apprear to me they are spending more time and money by not bagging than if they were bagging. They are paying out rental fees for the dethatcher, disposal fees for the dead thatch and all that extra labor twice a year. As for this WIN source I am not sure what you are talking about. I assume it is some chemical. We only fertalize a few lawns the rest are done by home owners and lawn chemical companies.

dishboy
09-06-2004, 06:23 PM
The thatch problem is an issue here and I know that because the debris that is brought to the turf surface on thatched lawns that are always mulched is not your typical dead grass, it is all small dried out particles ! It is the grass that has been mulched! It appears to be the same dried out grass you see on lawns that are discharged. Other issues that do not allow us to mulch are people don't want you to mow more often becasue it costs them more ! We are in a market that doesn't allow us to charge $25 on up for a small lawn. All of my lawns are bagged and I hardly ever have to thatch a lawn that I take care of. The Landscapers here that do mulch are thatching twice a year to keep the lawn up ! Those are contract lawns so it would apprear to me they are spending more time and money by not bagging than if they were bagging. They are paying out rental fees for the dethatcher, disposal fees for the dead thatch and all that extra labor twice a year. As for this WIN source I am not sure what you are talking about. I assume it is some chemical. We only fertalize a few lawns the rest are done by home owners and lawn chemical companies.


Turf Dancer
WIN means water insoluble Nitrogen. As I said I am not that far you, the turf varieties are the same and the climate is similar. How often do you cut? On a seven day cycle you should not have any problem mulching without thatch buildup if you can control nitrogen rates, timing, and type of nitrogen. According to every study I have seen and my experience on my lawns, as long as the growth is controlled mulching does not contribute to thatch. Every golf course and public park leaves the clippings and I do not see thatch on this turf. I only notice thatch being a issue on heavily watered and fertilized turf. Unfortunately you must have control of the fertilizer for mulching to be a viable management tool. The upside is the lawns will look better than bagging can produce. Pricing is similar here, but this should not factor in as during the summer, you will spend LESS time on the yard. The downside is I sharpen blades every day mulching instead of every two or three days when bagging. PM me and I get get you going on a organic fert source that is economically comparible to chemical choices.



Tom

Fareway Lawncare
09-06-2004, 08:09 PM
Thatch is not caused by grass clippings. Mulching reduces thatch....doesn't cause thatch buildup. The microorganisms that thrive on decomposing mulched clippings also do a good job breaking down thatch.

Turf Dancer
09-06-2004, 08:15 PM
Then how come the guys are bringing up all the mulched grass when they thatch? The guy at the OSU experimental station said that in our climate thatching will not work properly? I would rather mulch if it would work! Unfortunatly I do not control the fertilzing on 80% of my propertys !

dishboy
09-06-2004, 08:15 PM
Thatch is not caused by grass clippings. Mulching reduces thatch....doesn't cause thatch buildup. The microorganisms that thrive on decomposing mulched clippings also do a good job breaking down thatch.


I would agree with this, I think the reason Turf Dancer is seeing thatch on mulched lawns is that mulching is adding additional nitrogen and the fertilizer applicators are not adjusting their rates to compensate.

Turf Dancer
09-06-2004, 08:21 PM
Dishboy may be right ! I do know that the Lawn Chemical company here is hell bent on making everything grow like mad! It is hell, I bagged one thursday and I took 4" off her lawn and she complains that it looks yellow after I cut it! I explained to her that she is over fertilizing! Well I am going to drop this subject because all of my residentials are set on bagging! They won't budge! The commercials I might try bagging next year! I can use my LZHP on them! I will have to get the mulch kit!

mkwl
09-06-2004, 10:31 PM
I bag every lawn every time I cut it and they always look great!!! I have a Grass Gobbler catcher for my Bob-Cat (which I love!!!!!!!!) and it works great!!!!! The bagging is built into the price.

greenworkslawncare
09-06-2004, 10:38 PM
What is your thought on bagging clippings? Do you charge extra for this service?
I like to bag some of my grass so that I can put it on my garden.

lawncare3
09-06-2004, 10:53 PM
I bag just about everything. Built in to the price, but everyone here bags. Most every customer demands it. They give you a wierd look if you don't.

Same here. I'd say about 98% here bag.