Bag versus Mulch and which Blades?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jonble, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. jonble

    jonble LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Next season I will be mowing with a lightly used Exmark Metro (32”) for the first time. It is for ¼ acre of grass mowing 1-2 times per week. Mower came without both the grass catcher and Exmark micro mulch kit attachment accessories. I then purchased an Accelerator Industries’ grass catcher and so now that I am definitely going to bag and likely 75% of the time, I have a few questions.

    First, is there a noticeable benefit to getting notched airfoil (hi lift) blades because I am bagging, or will the standard blades, that likely came on the mower at purchase, perform in the same way as hi lifts?

    Second, will I be sorry if I do not purchase the cumbersome mulch kit (bolts and baffles to the deck) for this walk behind? I am use to mulching, mostly because I thought it was doing something good for the lawn, and because it saved some time. I am not certain that mulching has helped my lawn (I fertilize throughout the season); perhaps it has made the turf more compact and bumpy. Also, I am not as concerned about time because now the mower deck and bagger are larger.

    Finally, if I decide not to buy the mulch kit (because of $, switching accessories in season, disadvantages to mulching), will it benefit my lawn considerably to get mulching blades (gator) so then when the grass is discharged from the side of the mower, it is in finer pieces.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    not sure with northern grasses, but on bermuda and zoysia the mulch kit works well. it's actually healthier than bagging and it provides free nutrients back in the ground. the mulch kit isn't that hard to put on either, just takes a little time and patience.
     
  3. jonble

    jonble LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Thanks MikeLT1Z28 for the input.

    Hope some others might chime in (though not looking too promising) particularly on the blade issue.
     
  4. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    I tried gator blades with the mulch kit on a 36 and it did not cut good the wavy mulch blades work best when mulching
     
  5. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I would recommend staying away from bagging unless their are leaves require it. Bagging actually takes away nutrients from the soil causing a dependency for additional/ unnecessary chemical applications.

    As for mulching blades, there are really only a couple options - a straight mulching blade (like what ProMO said) or a Gator blade (or other comparable design). I myself use the Gator blades & a blocking plate that can be dropped down if I am around areas that I don't want clippings to get into. For me, the Gators work quite well because I do a lot of larger wide-open properties that have trees. Gators actually work better w/ no blocking system on them because of their "lift" design. The lift actually holds too much debris & causes the mower to bog down if you are going too fast. They are designed to be used w/ no restriction.
     

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