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  #1  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:13 AM
balms balms is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Upstate NY
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Mulch Kit information request

Now that my mowing season is over here in upstate NY, I am looking for ways to make next season better.

Mainly, I am considering a mulch kit for my 60", 25 HP, Exmark Lazer with the Series 4 deck.

For those with experience with mulch kits (Exmark primarily) in northern grasses, what are your overall feelings as to how well they function on regularly (weekly) maintained lawns.

Do any blades perform better than others when used with a mulch kit? Factory or after market?

I am a solo operator so adjusting my mowing style is easy, if necessary, to optimize the functioning of the kit.

Just looking for accurate, honest input, thanks.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:34 AM
Jimslawncareservice Jimslawncareservice is online now
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They work fine of you don't take much than a 1/3 of the grass blade. I have best results with oem wavy mulch blades. In early spring you may have to raise your deck up from the previous cut or cut every 5 days depending on water and fert applications.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:34 PM
balms balms is offline
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Thank you, Jim. I appreciate your input.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:47 PM
Jimslawncareservice Jimslawncareservice is online now
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Your welcome. That's what we are all here for. To help each other when we can
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2012, 06:58 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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I've tried mulch kits on both an Exmark Turf Tracer HP 48 inch with a 17 HP Kawi and a Lazer Z HP 52 inch with a 23 Kawi. Both have Tri-Vantage decks. I found that both mowers gave a great cut with the mulching kit and the wavy mulcher blades. They didn't stripe nearly as well as with high lifts discharging, but the lawns looked very nice.

The problem for me was in the spring and early summer when the grass is growing like crazy and is lush and juicey. I had to slow way way down at times and avoid cutting when it was wet. I didn't get all that much visible clumping...it's more of a mush...but I'd get the mush on my tires that would peel off randomly across the lawn as I mowed.

The biggest problem was when picking up a new account that was a bit overgrown to the point it was too long to mulch without choking the mower and making a mess, but I couldn't discharge and bag it because my mulch kit was on.

In the end I decided that mulching just slowed me down too much and wasn't worth it, at least in the spring. What did work fairly well, and I really don't know why I don't do it anymore, was to put the mulch kit on my Turf Tracer after the heavy spring growth spurt ended and discharge with the Lazer. That way I could mulch my smaller lawns and cut in around the beds and edges with the Tracer and not make a mess on the bigger ones before hopping on the Lazer to knock out the larger areas.

I can't see having a mulch kit on if you only have one mower, not in the spring at least.
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:40 AM
balms balms is offline
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Thank you, Darryl. I do have 2 WB's also, so I do have options for some situations. Your info about cutting in spring and lush conditions is especially helpful as a couple of my biggest and most important accounts tend to be over irrigated and waiting for drier conditions is not an option.

Time to go to the next step and price a kit and see if I want to take a shot at mulching. Decisions, decisions...
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2012, 09:50 AM
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Florida Gardener Florida Gardener is offline
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I run a plate in summer and kit in winter...works well on southern turf...
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:26 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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I'll put it a little differently...I really liked running mulch kits except for those times when conditions were such that I had to slow way down or tackle an overgrown lawn. It really doesn't take all that long to put on/take off the kit after you've done it a time or two...it's just bolted on...maybe 15 minutes or something. I just find it a pain the arse and stopped using them. Lots of horse power helps as well. A 60/25 machine might not be real happy about mulching.
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:36 PM
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jnrogers jnrogers is offline
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Location: East TN
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I have 2 commercial JD with mulch kits. I bought them for fall but when I tried them out I liked them so well I left them on all season. The only advice I would give is when you go to shut the mower deck off make sure you arent on the driveway cause it will dump a load of grass and leave a stain.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:35 PM
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gdguth gdguth is offline
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Not to still the thread or anything, but I have really been thinking about doing the same thing with my Exmark 60" turf tracer. What I kinda want to do is run the mulch kit form around July to the end of the year, when the grass isn't growing as fast. How does it perform in the fall with leaves? I live in the midwest( Central Illinois to be exact) and have yards that I can usually just grind up leaves on. I just wondered if the kit would help with this?

Darryl, I thought you might be able to give a little input, I figure that we have similiar weather and conditions, however I figure you probably have more trees and leaves there. What is your take on it?
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