Cleaning Up Leaves The Simple Way

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ed2hess, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,142

    I see all these post about cleaning up leaves and it seems like most people don't understand how you can mulch them. The first picture shows the leaves when I arrived. To the left I already made one pass. The leaves are well ove a foot deep. The front of the mower was acting like a plow so
    I simply backed over some of the deepest.

    001.jpg

    This is what it looks like after a couple passes. Now you tell me that customer wouldn't accept this. I could take the Walker an pick up the dust if needed. And it wouldn't amont to one bin full.

    003.jpg

    Our leaf season goes all the away to the last part of February. So I will
    post some of situation I encounter. There are no woods to push em into.

    001.jpg

    003.jpg
     
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    There in Texas........drought conditions? Dry leaves is always easy to make them into powder in one or two light passes. The right mower, gator blades, powerful engine and mulching kit.
    Appears to be Zoysia grass........real easy to make it look good. Bermuda that is thinning isn't so nice in presence.

    There is the occasional customer that doesn't think that this is considered a cleanup. The kindred spirit of dragging the old raking is the only thing in their comprehension. Leaf mold is beneficial to the soil, and promotes OM. Some people will want you to thatch this stuff out during the Spring to allow for new growth and air circulation. I haven't had a problem with my zoysia's after a fall season of mulching and bagging if needed. During the summer, these grasses couldn't help but benefit from the extra boost from OM.
     
  3. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    I mulched more leaves this year than any year before. That being said, there were only 1 or 2 times per property I could get by with it. Though some low end lawns got mulched exclusively. My typical practice is to mulch first then bag. Maple leaves especially turn into dust and stems, no matter how many there are, if they're dry.
     
  4. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,713

    Grind em til ya cant find em I say...... works fantastic and looks awesome. No hauling just grinding.
     
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,940

    I wish I could've mulched everything this year, I find it faster to bag and dump onto the trailer. Most of my higher end property owners will pay for it so no problem there. I agree if possible mulch, but oak leaves are tough to deal with.
     
  6. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    In certain applications it works, and I know that under those circumstances it is quite beneficial for the turf--I would invite you to New England and tell you, that in the 26 passes it will take you to get them somewhere near invisible I ll have them long hauled off
     
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I will mulch to a point but it wasn't much of an option for me this year following hurricane Sandy...just too many sticks hidden in the leaves..cost me one deck belt. I tend to mulch the lighter coverings of leaves and mulch and then bag the heavy stuff...depends on the lawn and amount of leaves. My heavily treed accounts tend to have thin turf which makes "hiding" mulched leaves harder.
     
  8. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,071

    I've heard this and if you actally tried to mulch them and couldnt after 26 passes I'd say you need to lower the mower a little and try again. I've had leaves 2 ft thick which i mukched with a 21inch lawnboy i n just 3 or 4 passes. Live oaks leaves as well, you gotta have a mulch plate on the mower. Not to say that alarge amount should not be bagged after with a heafty accumilation. You cut in a clockwise pattern.

    Spent lots of time in southern indiana so i know about lots of leaves...
     
  9. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    I wish two passes would do that...

    I have leaves it doesn't matter how many times you run over them the best I get is a TON of tiny 1 inch squares, now I do like doing it especially on windy days, for one it makes the end pile a lot smaller and two the wind foils my efforts less but ultimately those little pieces of leaf still present more than enough mess to require a blower.

    When I can get away with it I usually have to drive in consistent chasing circles...
    It's a lot like doing the racetrack, it happens to be clockwise, start at one end and chase the leaves by looping your way to the other side... Dizziness is a constant risk in this scenario, I literally ride in constant same-direction circles, you are talking 20, 30, 40, 50 or more, all depends on the size of the yard, even then sometimes it just gets too thick.

    The mower bogs down, everything is down to these tiny pieces and a pile a foot high...

    No, it doesn't reduce them to dust.
    But it is nice when it works out that way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  10. David C.

    David C. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    Mulching is the only way for me-----leaves that will mulch to powder are : Red Oak, Pecan, Maple & Sweet Gum

    Leaves that won't mulch-----Pin Oak, Post Oak
     

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