Bagging vs. Mulching/discharge

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by thelawnkid, May 1, 2006.

  1. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    What ups and downs do you guys see for the two. I just started bagging all of my yards this year and I can say that I am happy so far. for me it has been faster because I never have to double cut, and there is less cleanup time. and I never get grass in the garden beds so it eliminates some complaints. What do you guys do with your clippings. We have 20 acres to use so we are composting them along with our biodegradable debris from landscape jobs. Then if all goes well we will have alot of compost to sell next year. What do you guys do and why. I am just curious to see what others are doing and why it is being done that way.
  2. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    I dont like to bag because Im not really set up for it.

    I dont discharge anymore because I dont like the way it looks, I do alot of tightly landscaped areas so clippings are going where I dont want them to.

    So I started mulching everything...I think it looks great, no clippings where I dont want them..less overall cleanup time too.
  3. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    I used to mulch, but many of my yards in a week will grow too tall, so they would clump. I really like clean though, I don't even miss discharging.
  4. TNLC owners

    TNLC owners LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    After the last two weeks of discharging each account and cleaning up the lawn from the long, wet grass left behind, I'm thinking about going to bagging exclusively. I already have a grass catcher for my WB, but the ZTR is another story. I have a Gravely 152z. I would need to get some type of a collection system for this mower. Most of my lawns are relatively small, less than 20,000K. What type of equipment are you using to bag all the time? I would also probably have to raise rates slightly in order to cover for the additional time it would take to bag everything. I'm not sure that in my area customers are willing to pay a little extra for this additional service, but it could be a way to gain competitive advantage, I'm still undecided on this issue, but it's hard to leave a lawn knowing you could make it look better.
  5. davemanou812

    davemanou812 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 27

    A weeks growth in florida where it rains everyday in the summer.....Emark 60" 28 fuel injected Kohler mulches with NO PROBLEM...exmarks have always mulched well for us
  6. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    We bag all residentials and small areas of the commercial properties. And side discharge the large areas. Never been able to mulch a lawn so it looks good. Mulching only works if the grass is short, thin and dry. So its just as easy to bag it. I refuse to double cut anything.
    As you said, mulching creates more of a mess than bagging, more grass mush on the sidewalks, which we have a lot of.
  7. joeg2246

    joeg2246 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    How do the bagging systems perform in wet conditions?
  8. Dependable Mowing

    Dependable Mowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    It really depends on the conditions. He're in our area, the grass almost never dries out completely this time of year. Most of the yards are a mix of grass, clover, and weeds, which can really clog the decks, so mulching isn't a good option for us. Side discharging is quicker than bagging, and if there are too many clippings, we just go over it again in certain areas. We have to anyway, usually, because of dandelions. Those things never want to be cut... If you have fairly dry conditions, and the grass doesn't grow a lot in a week, then mulching may be the best bet.
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    ok so WHAT do you guys do if some lawns you need to bag, some lawns you need to mulch then you have large yards you can discharge?:cry:

    ive had people with tiny lawns ask me to bag, like yeah the ZTR barely fits through spots in their property to begin with, im not going to walk my 34" mower AND bag for "similar" prices, no way if it takes twice as long.

    Others have asked me to mulch. My walkbehind has a mulch kit that doesnt take too long to install/reinstall. The ZTR doesnt have a mulch kit but ive seen it and its pretty much ON or OFF, your not going to be taking it on and off every other lawn.

    I cant satisfy everyone, i dont bag ANYTHING but a couple tiny front yards just for customers who already pay a "fair" amount for this work in my book.

    How can you BAG an entire 3/4 acre lawn if its high? id have a whole pickup truck load of grass after one damn $40 lawn.

    Ive always had complaints from mulching, over time you will not get a nice smooth cut with mulching tall grass, i can mulch thin or light grass no problem, mulching was not meant for bi-weekly services or fertalized lawns that your cutting 2+" of grass off the top per week.
  10. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 139

    I just bag all of my yards under 1/2 acre. We use 48 exmark walkbehinds. I have knoticed that the yards don't tend to grow as tall after they have been bagged for several weeks. I only discharge my big yards, then I have to bouble cut them to make them look good.

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