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  #1  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:29 PM
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gdguth gdguth is offline
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Mulching KBG, Fescue, and Rye with Turf Tracer with Mulch Kit

Here is the situation guys. I am about to put a mulch kit on an exmark turf tracer 60 inch deck. I have searched all winter long on this site for results. I live in Central Illinois, cut all bluegrass, rye, and fescue lawns. The springs can be wet and grass can get long. I mow weekly accounts and mow about 25 lawns. I am a school teacher and I usually almost always mow after school and keep Saturdays for make up due to rain. My question is, is it better to mow longer or shorter when mulching with a kit? I have gotten mixed answers by looking at older threads on here. i like to mow around 3.25 to 3.5 inches.
I know that it is going to be difficult in spring with long and wet grass. Another question I have is, is it going to be easier to blow the clippings from side discharging or easier to blow apart clumps i get from mulching? I get tired of blowing clippings when I have to always aim the discharge one way or mow blowing the grass towards more grass so it doesn't get into beds and on houses or cars. I have a good backpack now, so blowing isn't an issue, i just want to know what is less time consuming, blowing from discharging or blowing from mulching to tall or wet grass. So should I just forget about mulching in the spring all together or give it a try.
I am not worried about going a little slower mulching if it will help in cleanup time blowing.
Just trying to find any opinions that I may have not heard about yet!!
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:41 PM
weaver weaver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdguth View Post
Here is the situation guys. I am about to put a mulch kit on an exmark turf tracer 60 inch deck. I have searched all winter long on this site for results. I live in Central Illinois, cut all bluegrass, rye, and fescue lawns. The springs can be wet and grass can get long. I mow weekly accounts and mow about 25 lawns. I am a school teacher and I usually almost always mow after school and keep Saturdays for make up due to rain. My question is, is it better to mow longer or shorter when mulching with a kit? I have gotten mixed answers by looking at older threads on here. i like to mow around 3.25 to 3.5 inches.
I know that it is going to be difficult in spring with long and wet grass. Another question I have is, is it going to be easier to blow the clippings from side discharging or easier to blow apart clumps i get from mulching? I get tired of blowing clippings when I have to always aim the discharge one way or mow blowing the grass towards more grass so it doesn't get into beds and on houses or cars. I have a good backpack now, so blowing isn't an issue, i just want to know what is less time consuming, blowing from discharging or blowing from mulching to tall or wet grass. So should I just forget about mulching in the spring all together or give it a try.
I am not worried about going a little slower mulching if it will help in cleanup time blowing.
Just trying to find any opinions that I may have not heard about yet!!
I think you'll struggle in spring time with a mulch kit.. I would just get some gators and an OCDC
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:46 PM
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Valk Valk is offline
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Lush Spring growth is a bear to mulch...and IFF it's damp/wet you'll be SOL. Mulching with a high cutting height will enable more room below the surface for the clippings to fall/be hidden.

In the Spring I think you'll be happier side-discharging (or bagging). Once the rapid growth slows down, you'll have much better results mulching. The fact that you're not mowing until the afternoon will work in your favor since you'll have no morning dew.

Personally, I side-discharge nearly 100% of the time. I've found that a standard hi-lift blade does not do the best in my regional grasses (mostly fescue, with some BG/zoysia/bermuda). Blades with a notch in the wing help to shred the clippings...making for a finer discharge that also doesn't fly quite as far. I recently received my order of G5 blades (a thinner G6 from Oregon Blade Company) that are essentially a hi-lift Gator blade. I'm expecting these to shred the discharge even more.

The problem I see most often with mulching is not getting as desirable a quality of cut (QOC). A commercial mower can create quite a bit of vacuum...but when the discharge chute is blocked the grass is not stood up as well making for a poorer QOC.
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:20 PM
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Groomer Groomer is offline
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A mulch kit on a 60" mower won't be fun when you can't get those last 10 lawns caught up because it's rained for 4 days straight in the spring, and the fert. boys have already juiced the lawns up with that first hit of nitrogen. Use it when the lawn growth starts to level off-late spring, early summer? Now you've got me wondering how and if anyone cutting northern turfgrass does use a mulcher and how well it works? What little mulching I've tried looked pretty funky in anything with moisture content, tight, knotted clumps that were a bear to blow out. Side discharge works best for me.
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:23 AM
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gdguth gdguth is offline
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What little mulching I've tried looked pretty funky in anything with moisture content, tight, knotted clumps that were a bear to blow out. Side discharge works best for me.[/QUOTE]

Groomer, Thanks, that is what I am wondering. So it sounds it will be easier to cleanup discharged grass than compared to mulched grass with a blower.

Guys I think I will just stick to putting the kit on after the spring growth.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2013, 08:40 AM
Jimslawncareservice Jimslawncareservice is online now
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The biggest problem I see mulching is guys go way to fast. They are used to mowing 8-10 then mulching you go 4-6 at best. My deere MOD deck does all right. The little baffled in the deck are too short making a trail at the discharge side. I had a lazer HP with a 52" deck. I mulched in all conditions except rain and never had a problem. I used wavy mulch blades. I just figured out the speed the mower could process grass and leave a good cut.
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:08 AM
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gdguth gdguth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimslawncareservice View Post
The biggest problem I see mulching is guys go way to fast. They are used to mowing 8-10 then mulching you go 4-6 at best. My deere MOD deck does all right. The little baffled in the deck are too short making a trail at the discharge side. I had a lazer HP with a 52" deck. I mulched in all conditions except rain and never had a problem. I used wavy mulch blades. I just figured out the speed the mower could process grass and leave a good cut.
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Did you mulch even in the spring heavy growth? Also, is that an exmark with an ultracut deck? The thing is I only mow about speed 3 to 4 anyway since I use a walkbehind. So that aspect should benefit me.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2013, 11:15 AM
Jimslawncareservice Jimslawncareservice is online now
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Yes. Year round. It was the trivantage deck. What they call the series deck. If there's some moisture it does ok. Just don't take much more than 1/3 off. I sometimes would cut at one height then lower a not h or 2 if needed.
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