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  #11  
Old 03-12-2009, 08:20 AM
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bicmudpuppy bicmudpuppy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Do you mean in the sense of slicing and dicing the grass blades, extra times before it hit the ground, isn't that much extra benefit?
I don't like mulchin myself, I typically side shoot. I believe it disappears into the grass and starts digesting just as quickly.

Bagging on the other hand is just removing everything the plant put into growing that grass. Even at 80% water that is still a lot of dry matter per week. I have 2 lawns that fill up the full sized pickup bed every week. Each!!
One I can use to mix in the mulch pile, the other is a Chemlawn special, so I seldom take anything there for personal use. Except to suffocate the weeds around my horseshoe pit.
Never bag if you have a choice. If you get behind enough to get "hay" rows, and you can't spread them out, either by double cutting or blowing them, then picking them up is better than "smothering". We catch the clippings on the greens. We spread those few clippings back out in the taller grass areas. Even our tees and fairways, maintained at .500" for HOC can be mowed often enough to let the clippings fall. On rare occasions, we have to drag to knock down clippings. For "spring cleanup", I had them run the sweeper behind all the rough. 90%+ of what was picked up was brown, dormant matter that, while good insulation, slows green up. All of that is being worked into my new compost piles. I hope to have them in a top dresser and back where they came from by August or September.

I wouldn't be afraid of the clippings from a synthetic yard. I might be tempted to compost them separately, just to make SURE, but there should not be anything in the green leaf tissues to worry about.

The one time of year I really like mulching mowers, is fall, BUT you can get the same results when grinding leaves with a rotary by making multiple passes. Just don't windrow it all in the same direction and then try to grind. If your mower will side discharge, throw the debris back and forth until it disappears. I like to show my crew how to make concentric "figure 8's" and reverse the direction for the next time.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2009, 08:58 AM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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The only draw back I can see with not removing clippings is during times when weed have formed seed heads. Would it be better to remove clippings then? Just thinking.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2009, 09:30 AM
dishboy dishboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicmudpuppy View Post
I may get blasted for this, but I personally think "mulching mowers" are over rated. They fall into the laziness of our society. If you follow the rule of thumb that dictates NEVER removing more than 1/3 of the plant in a single mowing pass, I don't believe you get that much benefit from chopping the clippings that much more. If a residential lawn is kept at 3" for mowing height (actually, 3" turf doesn't look that bad if it is healthy and thick, just don't need to find a golf ball in it!) you just have to mow before it gets to 4.5" tall. That isn't that hard to do unless your in a climate where spring rains can prevent you from making the scheduled mowing. Then, you raise the mowers and make an extra trip back by in a day or two when you lower the mower back down. Many LCO's want to buck this step. They say its "to much work". You should be getting paid by the trip. If you missed a trip for rain, you owe the customer a mowing.

All that being said, if mulching is your desire, we have great luck with gator blades. I wish they made gators for my JD rough mower.
The 1/3 rule is great, but seldom seen in the world I live in until summer heat. For most yards I do letting the clippings fly is not a option and is no where near as neat as the lawn needs to look bagged when I leave. . Making a extra trip is a ludicrous idea to get 1/3 IMO! Deck design is more important than blade design if blade is sharpened to center and lift is small enough. Higher lift blades blow out debris, again messy and plaster grass to the deck. For a low lift blade to give a good cut the deck design/airflow has to be right to get a clean cut.
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2009, 10:36 AM
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starry night starry night is online now
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So Smallaxe, how many "Chemlawn special" lawns do you mow? By your reasoning, you should collect the clippings on all of those so as to gid rid of the stuff Chemlawn put in to all those grass blades. Right? (I'm being half-serious and half-wiseacre.)
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2009, 11:27 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
The only draw back I can see with not removing clippings is during times when weed have formed seed heads. Would it be better to remove clippings then? Just thinking.
Good cultural practice would dictate removing clippings if weed propagation is a concern.
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  #16  
Old 03-12-2009, 11:38 AM
dishboy dishboy is offline
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Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Good cultural practice would dictate removing clippings if weed propagation is a concern.
Good cultural practices would dictate leaving the clippings and let the thicker turf battle the weeds and then address the weeds in another way.
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  #17  
Old 03-12-2009, 11:46 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by dishboy View Post
Good cultural practices would dictate leaving the clippings and let the thicker turf battle the weeds and then address the weeds in another way.
And what is wrong with removing, composting, and returning? That way you are effectively depleting the weed seed bank on the site, not adding to it.

Do you also not wash your deck when moving from a weedy site to a pristine site? Same difference IMO.
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  #18  
Old 03-12-2009, 11:48 AM
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starry night starry night is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dishboy View Post
Good cultural practices would dictate leaving the clippings and let the thicker turf battle the weeds and then address the weeds in another way.
I think the assumption here was that if there were a substantial volume of weed seed heads, there wouldn't be thick turf. So collect. Then work on getting the turf thicker.


BTW, try typing "weed seed heads" three times fast.
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2009, 12:11 PM
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4.3mudder 4.3mudder is offline
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I use high lift gator mulcher magnum blades by Oregon. They are superb with the mulch baffle kit on my Lazer, and they do wonders in the fall and spring when leaves are all over the place.
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  #20  
Old 03-12-2009, 12:23 PM
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JDUtah JDUtah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dishboy View Post
Deck design is more important than blade design if blade is sharpened to center and lift is small enough. Higher lift blades blow out debris, again messy and plaster grass to the deck. For a low lift blade to give a good cut the deck design/airflow has to be right to get a clean cut.


That is why we recommend people purchasing a mulch blade designed by the mower manufacturer. Manufactures design the blade and deck to work together. It is also a good idea to use a mulch blade ONLY when you have the mulch plate installed. If you are side discharging use a bagging blade (high lift) to get a better looking cut. Suction determines how clean the cut is. Blade, deck design, bagging/side discharging/or mulching, all work together (or not) to determine the quality of cut.

Almost every customer has NO idea that blades have different lift or that the amount of desired lift is determined by what you are doing with the clippings. We tell them get a manufacturer mulch blade, or go gator, to get the correct 'mulching lift' under their deck.. (I haven't tried Ninja)

http://legacylawnsllc.com/tips/mulch.html

Last edited by JDUtah; 03-12-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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