PDA

View Full Version : My new nightmare


Gene $immons
12-28-2004, 11:39 AM
As you may have read in another post, I bought a Dixie Chopper for next season. Excellent machine.

I am afraid that some of my customers are going to want their lawn bagged and I need some polite ways to explain to them how their lawns will look just as nice without bagging.

I was thinking about telling them that we can bag, but I won't be able to charge the same price if we have to use 21's.

I was also wondering if there were any links on the benefits of mulching.

What would you tell them?

Ric
12-28-2004, 11:53 AM
Gene

Over 10 years ago the state of Florida put on a big campaign to stop bagging. The reason was the landfills. Today no one bags to my knowledge, of course there are some station wagon guys who do I am sure.

You might want to check http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/ website I am sure they have some info some were about the benefits of mulching.

Norm Al
12-28-2004, 11:56 AM
not bagging has been proved by UF to save the customer the equivalent of one fert/insecticide per year!

that being said tell the customer you will blow any excess grass to one area of the lawn and rake it up if it needs it!

RIVERRATT01
12-28-2004, 12:16 PM
I Have A 48" Exmark With The Bagger...it Can Make Quick Work Of Customers "that Have To Have It Bagged". Its Some What Expensive . But Worth The Investment, And You Can Charge More...

Ric
12-28-2004, 12:25 PM
not bagging has been proved by UF to save the customer the equivalent of one fert/insecticide per year!

that being said tell the customer you will blow any excess grass to one area of the lawn and rake it up if it needs it!


Norm

Yes well fertilized grass contains 3% Nitrogen by total weight. or for every 33 pounds of grass clipping there is 1 pound of Nitrogen. Of course not all that Nitrogen is available to the turf. Microbes will eat much of it. However returning clipping helps build SOM (Soil Organic Matter) to soil and helps increase CEC and Hydraulic conductivity.

Now the biggest complaint about not Bagging is the weed seeds. Many believe that Bagging helps from spreading weed seeds. In fact Mulching builds stronger lawns that resists weeds. Modern chemical have reduced weed problems.

coastallandscapesolutions
12-28-2004, 12:28 PM
Gene,

The above posts are solid information. Here is a couple of ideas. First, I don't know which DC you have but get the quad setup on it asap. Tell your customers that you will cut it with the DC and the OCDC closed the first time. Explain the benefits to them by mulching as noted above. If they are not satisfied then bag it. We have a Trac-Vac on our DC and it works OK. It lifts on and off. However, it is off 99% of the time.

The biggest complaint I have heard about mulching is that after the cut and they walk through the yard little grass clippings get on their shoes and then into their house. We do two things. After the cut and we are blowing we aim the blower to also blow the drives and sidewalk grass area back about 5 feet. That way if the customer steps off the sidewalk the bulk of the grass laying on top is blown clear of the step area we call it. Then as the crew is leaving they cycle the irrigation system to soak the clippings and they usually fall down into the grass.

Just my 2 cents.

Albemarle Lawn
12-28-2004, 01:10 PM
YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Customer: "Can you bag my lawn?"

Lawn Guy: "No."


Piece of cake.

coastallandscapesolutions
12-28-2004, 01:24 PM
YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Customer: "Can you bag my lawn?"

Lawn Guy: "No."


Piece of cake.


EVERYONE has their price..... :p :blob3: :p

Lux Lawn
12-28-2004, 01:46 PM
We bag when we need to but at other times I tell the customer that there will always be a neat appearance when we are done and you will not notice if we bagged or not in most cases.
I had a guy last year that wanted his lawn bagged but left it up to me to deside on weekly basis, halfway through the year he said "thank you for bagging my lawn".We only picked it up a few times in the spring and would either double cut it or blow it off with the backpacks.

Soupy
12-28-2004, 01:48 PM
When did DC come out with a mulching mower? If you are talking about closing the OCDC then it will not work. Closing the OCDC will cause windrows of grass on the discharge side.

You can still leave a nice cut without bagging, but it does not mulch. The OCDC is not meant to be a mulcher, it is meant to control the clippings from going into mulch beds etc.

This is the whole reason I stopped using DC and switched to a mower that can be fitted with a mulch kit. I use the QwikChute when we are discharging to keep grass were we don't want it to go, but 90%+ of the time it is open.

cutnedge
12-28-2004, 03:12 PM
As you may have read in another post, I bought a Dixie Chopper for next season. Excellent machine.

I am afraid that some of my customers are going to want their lawn bagged and I need some polite ways to explain to them how their lawns will look just as nice without bagging.

I was thinking about telling them that we can bag, but I won't be able to charge the same price if we have to use 21's.



What would you tell them?
I would tell them seeing is believing. What amazes me is that as long as the mulching kits have been out now, I run into many new customers that have no clue as to what they are. I agree: trying to sell someone on mulching when they have had their yard bagged for many years, is difficult to say the least. I simply tell them that studies have proven how the fine-clippings returned are beneficial to their yard. Most of them will not want the specifics as they seem to take my word for it. I know that this might be hard to believe, but I have never had one request from someone wanting the yard bagged when mulching has been the method.

Of course, I am talking about mulching the warm-season grasses that are typical here. The results of mulching the cool-season grasses----I haven't a clue. I do know this though: with St. Augustine, centipede, and bermuda the mulching kit (with baffles) has proven invaluable. My days of bagging are long gone.

Likestomow
12-28-2004, 06:43 PM
Before you can tell them that side discharging will look as nice as bagging, you have to take some steps to insure what you say is true.

First, I suggest double blades. I have used the high lift on the botton and the Gator on the top for 5 years and like it. This past year I have experimented with a 3" high lift on the bottom and a flat blade on the top and have had great results. A little less blade drag and still a nice clean 1-pass cut.

Second, mow back and forth. That way you will cut the grass twice.

Third, mow weekly.

Fourth, cut back on the nitrogen, especially in the springtime.

Hope this helps.

Ric
12-28-2004, 08:01 PM
Even if you have to double cut, it is faster than bagging. Yes how you fertilize will make a big difference in the amount of clippings.

Norm Al
12-28-2004, 08:30 PM
http://www.freephotoserver.com/files/img68573642_54938446.gif

ok ric you win i cant dance that good!:)

all degree
12-28-2004, 08:59 PM
I would tell that you can no longer longer understand their inquiries due to the fact that OU got beat so hard in the Orange Bowl that it scrambled you brain. :p

brucec32
12-29-2004, 03:49 AM
If you plan to mulch is a DC the best choice of mower? I thought they were chop n' drop high speed mowers.

Many grasses look fine discharged, some definitely do not, others look good with two passes discharging.

I will be set up with one mower to discharge on wide areas and lesser quality turf and another dedicated to mulching on finer turf and small areas. By the dry part of summer and into fall (had good results mulching leaves) both may be set to mulch.

scaglawnsnj
12-29-2004, 12:42 PM
bag that sh*t i bag every green lawn don't bag the crapy lawns or bag every other week...the problem w/ not bagging is that you get to much build up of old clippings and the lawn goes to hell. plus when not bagging it takes to much time to fade the clips into grass w/ blower.. i save 10min with bagging that ads up on a 10 lawn day

Precision
12-29-2004, 02:25 PM
gmj

I have no idea what type of grasses you are cutting where you get build up of clippings.
My relatives in NJ cut with a side discharge or mulching mower, home owner cheapy and they have no problems after a day.

Down here in FL By the time I am done the back yard, the front yard is usually without visilble clippings. Of course you will see them on your shoes, but that goes away by the next day. Build up is from the ground up not from the clippings down.

Bag if you like. I don't bag but I might if your customers would pay you 25-50% extra, otherwise find better clients. My opinion.

all degree
12-29-2004, 02:34 PM
bag that sh*t i bag every green lawn don't bag the crapy lawns or bag every other week...the problem w/ not bagging is that you get to much build up of old clippings and the lawn goes to hell. plus when not bagging it takes to much time to fade the clips into grass w/ blower.. i save 10min with bagging that ads up on a 10 lawn day

You are wasting time period! Been doing this in NJ not far from you for many years and never even owned a machine that bags. Besides early spring there is no double cutting or blowing. Lose the bagger.

Ric
12-29-2004, 02:38 PM
I am not experienced in cutting C-3 cool season turf. However warm season Bahia is better discharged, due to it's fibrous nature. St Augustine Mulches fine unless very wet. Then it will stick together and Clumps. Generally by raising the deck 1/2 inch and running over it again, you can get rid of the clumps. However in very very wet conditions it will require raking if not bagged.

PaulJ
12-30-2004, 01:08 AM
If you find that you abslolutly have to bag but don't want to invest in a big blower driven bagger for your dixie, try an accelerator bagger or other sidemount grass catcher like used on walkbehinds. It won't hold as much as the rear mount ones but you aren't going to be using it on every lawn. And leave the double mulching blades on they will pack the grass in the catcher well.

dwc
12-30-2004, 11:45 AM
here is a link to some literature by OSU. Under the mowing section it talk about what you are wanting. They also mention another leaflet available at your extention office.
http://www.okstate.edu/ag/agedcm4h/pearl/hort/ornament/f-6420.pdf

QualityLawnCare4u
12-30-2004, 02:11 PM
I only have one customer left that demands that I bag his yard, cant convince him otherwise. When hes gone so is all my bagging. I converted 3 older customers this past summer who have S.C.B.S (senior citizen bagging symdrome) to mulching and all 3 are happy and commented they did not know I could make their yard look that good mulching it. I dont know about other mowers but on my 717 that was the best 110 bucks I ever spent in the time it saved me. I used to bag over half my yards but no more!

Danny
Quality Lawn Care