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  #1  
Old 11-15-2009, 08:45 PM
ein999 ein999 is offline
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Tips for Fall leaf cleanup

Here are my pointers.

We should have a sticky post for this forum where you can have tips and tricks for lawn care and everything else for that matter why is there not one on here every other organized forum has one?



1. Use your mower to push leaves after you get them into a pile.

2. Blow the piles onto concrete or street making it easier to push having re clean the lawn area.

3. Work with the wind. Obvious. Cleanup downwind of where you are working and work your way up avoiding dust and dirt blowing into where you are working. This will take some of the stress out of doing dirty or Dusty leaf work.

4.Use double blades to create more lift to get the leaves off the lawn and into your catcher. Also use double blades to chop up leaves and disperse them better. Use Double blades to blow leaves or quickly blow off paved areas.

5. Keep blades sharp as possible especially in the fall where chopping the leaves is crucial. Using dull blades does not chop up leaves or grass as well its a fact.


6. Have fun and enjoy what you do.


That's all i can think of right now. i hope it helped.

Fell free to add more and lets make a sticky note to help everyone.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2009, 09:26 PM
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clean_cut clean_cut is offline
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Using the mower with regular blades to blow leaves into piles in the center of the yard works very well. Just tarp them and drag them off, instead of paying $400 for a grass catcher.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2009, 09:40 PM
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ALC-GregH ALC-GregH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clean_cut View Post
Using the mower with regular blades to blow leaves into piles in the center of the yard works very well. Just tarp them and drag them off, instead of paying $400 for a grass catcher.
You must shop at Home Depot. I have a bagger on my Scag that cost $2500 but it's paid for it self over and over and life is much easier.
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2009, 09:46 PM
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S L C S L C is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALC-GregH View Post
You must shop at Home Depot. I have a bagger on my Scag that cost $2500 but it's paid for it self over and over and life is much easier.
lol.. don't say too much, you may get ripped a new one for doing things the right way..
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2009, 09:47 PM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Before steps 1-6...

MULCH as many leaves as logically possible back in to the lawn with the use of gator blades, mulch plates &/or mesh screens over discharge chutes.

Then of course there's little if any leaves to haul away from the site
+
You're putting organic material back at the surface where it can decompose & slowly become part of the soil... again.
How green is that?
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2009, 10:57 PM
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STIHL GUY STIHL GUY is offline
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its amazing how much more you can fit in the truck when there all chopped up too
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  #7  
Old 11-15-2009, 11:03 PM
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procut procut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcos View Post
Before steps 1-6...

MULCH as many leaves as logically possible back in to the lawn with the use of gator blades, mulch plates &/or mesh screens over discharge chutes.

Then of course there's little if any leaves to haul away from the site
+
You're putting organic material back at the surface where it can decompose & slowly become part of the soil... again.
How green is that?
Bingo. I've been doing it like that for years. We take two ZTRs to each clean-up. The first has a recycler (mulch) kit on it. The second has a collection system on it. First make as many passes (usually about 3 or 4) to mulch the leaves. The gets its pretty much clear, then if needed or desired run the second ZTR with the vaccuum over it to give it that perfect manicured look. This is probably the easiest method I've found.

Once in a great while, you will find a lawn where the leaves are so deep that you reach the "point of diminishing return" where you basically cannot mulch that many, thus you have to use blowers, rakes, tarps, whatever. Out of all our clean-ups this year we only had to do this on maybe 2 or 3.
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  #8  
Old 11-15-2009, 11:44 PM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Originally Posted by procut View Post
Bingo. I've been doing it like that for years. We take two ZTRs to each clean-up. The first has a recycler (mulch) kit on it. The second has a collection system on it. First make as many passes (usually about 3 or 4) to mulch the leaves. The gets its pretty much clear, then if needed or desired run the second ZTR with the vaccuum over it to give it that perfect manicured look. This is probably the easiest method I've found.

Once in a great while, you will find a lawn where the leaves are so deep that you reach the "point of diminishing return" where you basically cannot mulch that many, thus you have to use blowers, rakes, tarps, whatever. Out of all our clean-ups this year we only had to do this on maybe 2 or 3.
Yeah...
Really, I've learned the only problem leaves that don't mulch real well are the ones that have waxy coatings that hold true, even after leaf fall:
All of the grafted pear incl. 'Bradford' pear (drops leaves late! )
Some of the oaks..... pin oak, red oak & scarlet oak in particular
I know there's more...

The term 'point of diminished return' is a good one!
In my opinion that point is a balance point between when you see a distinct & thorough layer of leaf pulp throughout the turf, but not too thick of pulp that the turf's canopy of grass blades cannot be clearly seen.

You gotta be careful not to make something like a 2 dimensional compost pile out of the lawn, because it can indeed become anaerobic (without air movement) if the leaf pulp to laid down too thick.
If not enough air gets through the leaf pulp up & down, it may not rot fast enough and funky 'leaf thatch' could become an issue eventually.
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2009, 11:47 PM
DuallyVette DuallyVette is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by procut View Post
We take two ZTRs to each clean-up. The first has a recycler (mulch) kit on it. The second has a collection system on it. First make as many passes (usually about 3 or 4) to mulch the leaves. The gets its pretty much clear, then if needed or desired run the second ZTR with the vacuum over it to give it that perfect manicured look. This is probably the easiest method I've found. .
Many years ago, I used a mower with a leaf collection system attached. We stopped using it. During the Fall, we aerate and overseed the lawns. The lawns have lots of young tender grass. Even the established grass is growing much slower because of the cooler temperatures. We also get more rain in the Fall, and it takes longer for the soil to dry up. We blow the leaves to the curb, suck them up, and then mow, only when necessary. We usually blow the grass to stand it back up if it looks too trampled.

If I ran a mower over fescue grass 3 or 4 times with a 1200 lb ztr, to grind up the leaves, then ran over the lawn with a 1400 lb ztr w/ vac attachment...I would expect to leave a worn out muddy mess. I know this can vary in different climates, with different types of grass. People do use ztr's with baggers here...and I often see them destroy the lawn that they think they are maintaining.

I have one DA customer that want the leaves in her very shady lawn, mulched and left to rejuvenate the soil. I trampled the newly planted lawn with two passes with a 900 lb stander, then blew the grass to try to stand it back up. I was ashamed to leave the lawn looking like that. I e-mailed her and explained how grass grows and how leaving semi chewed up leaves will suffocate the newly planted grass, along with adding too much acid to the soil. Her husband- engineer know it all- calls the shots (his idea). I may have to tell her to get another lawn service, after 15 years, in which they wanted every single leaf removed from behind the bushes...now the want them left behind the bushes.
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2009, 11:57 PM
Marcos Marcos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuallyVette View Post
I have one DA customer that want the leaves in her very shady lawn, mulched and left to rejuvenate the soil. I trampled the newly planted lawn with two passes with a 900 lb stander, then blew the grass to try to stand it back up. I was ashamed to leave the lawn looking like that. I e-mailed her and explained how grass grows and how leaving semi chewed up leaves will suffocate the newly planted grass, along with adding too much acid to the soil. Her husband- engineer know it all- calls the shots (his idea). I may have to tell her to get another lawn service, after 15 years, in which they wanted every single leaf removed from behind the bushes...now the want them left behind the bushes.
Acid, huh?
What kinds of trees do they have in their lawn?
What type of leaf mulching set-up did you have on the the stander?
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