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  #31  
Old 08-21-2014, 01:07 PM
ducnut ducnut is online now
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Location: central IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minister Bob View Post
I will not invest in a leaf sucker until I have more jobs that need it as the return on investment would not be quick enough.
I can't imagine you not being able to pay for a machine, in one season, where you live. I think, once you have the equipment and people see that you do, you'll get way more business than you initially may have thought. That's what happened to me and didn't even have the equipment. Once people saw I'd do the clean-ups, they started calling. If I would've had the Cyclone this spring, it would've paid for itself in one week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pythons37 View Post
I go over the yard three times. The first time, the place looks awful. The second time, it looks crummy. The third time, the leaves are all gone. At this point, you can blow it with a back pack or walk behind and you will collect very little of what was originally on the lawn. Sweep that up and move on. In theory, a mulcher will cut everything three times before it hits the ground. Do it three times and you have potentially cut it 27 times.

It is important that you do not get discouraged the first time around, because it won't look like you are doing anything but making a mess. Try it on your own yard, or the back corner of a property. It works.
The problem is you're putting a huge amount of debris into the grass. Not only does that change the pH level, it smothers the grass and roots. If all you do is this, guaranteed the grass will start thinning. Getting the debris out of the property is the best thing to do. However, blowing it off into the woods invites moles and other varmints. It's an easy place for them to reside at night and easy access to the adjacent yard for feeding.




I did get my Cyclone Rake Z-10 assembled and installed. I plan to do a full write-up on my install, at some point.

What a 10" hose opening looks like, in relation to the deck.


One can see their efforts in creating as little restriction possible. The vacuum is provided by a 14" impeller spun by a 10hp Vanguard.


Overall.
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  #32  
Old 08-21-2014, 02:46 PM
pythons37 pythons37 is offline
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I guess these guys are wrong, then.

http://grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_m...s_turn_litter/
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  #33  
Old 08-21-2014, 05:35 PM
hawkfan45 hawkfan45 is offline
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We use one of these...they work great! Never have to leave the seat and they do a great job picking everything up.

http://youtu.be/niBCJen2iAw
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2014, 05:59 PM
Minister Bob Minister Bob is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Danbury Connecticut
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Python's mulching

Dear Python,
I would like to hear comments on how the lawn grows in the next year after this type of mulching that you do. Does it not encourage acidic soil? Does it not make too much thatch for the Spring?
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  #35  
Old 08-23-2014, 10:06 PM
ducnut ducnut is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pythons37 View Post
I guess these guys are wrong, then.

http://grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_m...s_turn_litter/
You're referring to a scientific study that specifically targets plots that will not see any other leaf exposure than what the researchers apply.

In some of the areas I work, there is year-around leaf exposure. Continual mulching leads to a build-up of debris. Soil tests, on multiple properties, show high acidity. Plus, it's what I call timber soil (high clay content). Year after year of mulching will eventually kill off the grass. These areas are very delicate and have to be cared for with sympathy toward the earth. That means not doing anything to compromise whatever growth there is. It's easy to spot hack properties, because they'll have rings burned around the trees from a ZTR and string trimmer use, not to mention they're usually scalped. Using a Cyclone Rake in these areas will be beneficial to the overall health of the properties I service. I only have to get the debris to the street in one area, because the community owns a tri-axle vac and offer free pickup. I've done a couple where I had so much accumulation they brought it straight to me and I manned the vac hose.

In addition, excessive leaf accumulation leads to the propagation of moles, as the ground cover provides easy shelter. I've went onto properties and blown back the leaves to find a network of footpaths they'd been using. I almost always find their tunnels begin right at the edge of the yard, but, clear of the leaf cover. I usually have them killed, by the next day, once I find their entry/exit holes. Once I educate property owners on moles and how to be rid of them, they usually step up for leaf service.
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'13 Hustler X-ONE, 60", Kohler ECV749 EFI
'05 Hustler FasTrak, 42", Honda GXV530
'13 Toro Timemaster 30"
'02 Lawn Boy SilverPro 21"
Stihl BR600 blower
Stihl BG55 blower
Stihl FS55R trimmer
Stihl KM55R Kombi system
Stihl MS180C chain saw
Stihl HS45 hedge trimmer
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Echo SRM225 trimmer
Echo GT-2000 trimmer
Gravely WB edger
Husqvarna 580BTS blower
Dolmar 245.4 string trimmer
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2014, 12:38 AM
Minister Bob Minister Bob is offline
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Thank You so much ducnut. I suspected as much and this confirms my fears. I tell all my customers that bagging is best with the later mowings which of course are spread out more. As here in Ct. it takes away the leaves before they can smother the grass. When taken away with our fall mowings, the sun can also warm the grass and it's roots more. This helps to prevent bacteria and fungus diseases in the lawn from those low and moist overnight temperatures. Lowering the blade height also contributes to the day time sunny warmth getting through to the grass roots. The advantage to me is a longer growing season for the grass. The advantage to the customer is Fall Clean Up costs spread out over a longer period and usually at or less than what a one or two time Fall Clean Up would cost. Of course their grass is in better health also.

Yes, some leaf fragments are left behind as no bagger is 100% efficient. But there is much less of a chance for a thatch problem in the Spring where harmful insects can nest and spread. And there is less of an acidic soil problem which is more common here from Evergreens, Oaks, Water Springs, Acid Rain and Acid Snow etc. etc. The solution for those willing to correct of course is lime with regular fertilizing.

I really appreciate that you spent the time sharing your experience with Acidic Soil and leaf mulching.
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  #37  
Old 08-26-2014, 10:59 PM
ducnut ducnut is online now
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: central IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minister Bob View Post
Thank You so much ducnut. I suspected as much and this confirms my fears. I tell all my customers that bagging is best with the later mowings which of course are spread out more. As here in Ct. it takes away the leaves before they can smother the grass. When taken away with our fall mowings, the sun can also warm the grass and it's roots more. This helps to prevent bacteria and fungus diseases in the lawn from those low and moist overnight temperatures. Lowering the blade height also contributes to the day time sunny warmth getting through to the grass roots. The advantage to me is a longer growing season for the grass. The advantage to the customer is Fall Clean Up costs spread out over a longer period and usually at or less than what a one or two time Fall Clean Up would cost. Of course their grass is in better health also.

Yes, some leaf fragments are left behind as no bagger is 100% efficient. But there is much less of a chance for a thatch problem in the Spring where harmful insects can nest and spread. And there is less of an acidic soil problem which is more common here from Evergreens, Oaks, Water Springs, Acid Rain and Acid Snow etc. etc. The solution for those willing to correct of course is lime with regular fertilizing.
Sounds like a pretty good plan, to me.

The biggest issue I see with homeowners in these areas is not keeping up with fert apps. I've picked up several properties, do just their apps, and the results show it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minister Bob View Post
I really appreciate that you spent the time sharing your experience with Acidic Soil and leaf mulching.
You're welcome.

I'm no expert or scientist. However, I spend a lot of time in these areas and talk to everyone I can. The story is almost always the same, regardless of which timber area I'm in.
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1st Class Lawn Service

'13 Hustler X-ONE, 60", Kohler ECV749 EFI
'05 Hustler FasTrak, 42", Honda GXV530
'13 Toro Timemaster 30"
'02 Lawn Boy SilverPro 21"
Stihl BR600 blower
Stihl BG55 blower
Stihl FS55R trimmer
Stihl KM55R Kombi system
Stihl MS180C chain saw
Stihl HS45 hedge trimmer
RedMax Reciprocator
Echo SRM225 trimmer
Echo GT-2000 trimmer
Gravely WB edger
Husqvarna 580BTS blower
Dolmar 245.4 string trimmer
'06 Chevrolet Silverado
'13 Bravo Star, 7'X12', V-nose
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