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Enter only if you mow bermuda

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mean Green Machine, Jan 26, 2001.

  1. Mean Green Machine

    Mean Green Machine LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 39

    How many of you prefer to mulch bermuda instead of discharge? Or do you bag it? Why or why not?

  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    All of the above! Depends on the condition of the grass, how much debris gets sucked up by the deck, how good it can be hid, how I feel, the humidity, the temp., the customer, my personal life...............all these play into my decision. Whatever it takes to leave that yard looking perfect is what I do. Never do I do one thing and stick to it, never have.
  3. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    We always bag clippings - I use a Tru-Cut 21" push mower, most lawns are small (under 1/10 acre) but frankly, I have never tried putting on a mulching blade.

    When using a deck mower (vs a reel), do you ever use a dethatching blade? Or mow in the spring REAL low?
  4. Mean Green Machine

    Mean Green Machine LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 39

    I have never heard of a dethatching blade but i do scalp the lawn in the spring. And what makes a mulching blade so much more effective than a regular blade?
  5. scottt

    scottt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    For the best cut, I bag. But this is only for customers who pay for it. The rest of the time I discharge. I have tried mulching but I have to go too slow, especially during fast growing periods. Using double blades helps a lot when discharging.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I mulch with exmarks. Side discharge leaves to much on top to look bad in a day or two. If I am there at regular intervals then I go over it once and you can't tell if it was bagged or not. If pretty tall, go over once and then run over 2 time very quickly and its gone. I always cut at 3.25 inches.

    The idea of scalping a lawn in spring is an old wives tale. It is not healthy to the lawn to cut it that low. You cut more off than the 1/3 and it weakens the grass.

    I don't bag anything anymore. Why add to the landfill problems when the clippings are one of the healthiest things you can do for the lawn. Mother nature can take care of herself. Plus, as much trouble as it is to change from mulching kit to side discharge is way to much trouble. Here in the midsouth, we had one of the worst droughts ever, and I mulched all year, and when everyone else was sitting back looking at dead lawns, I was still cutting green grass. Clippings are 85% water (think thats correct #) and nitrogen.
  7. Mean Green Machine

    Mean Green Machine LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 39

    By scalping i mean that i cut most of the leafy part off so that the new grass will grow above the dead part and cover it up. The lawn is much greener this way (i think) and it seems to be perfectly healthy. Is that fine? Maybe this is not actualy scalping. I dont know all that much about this.
  8. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 489

    Mean Machine,

    Common Bermuda is a warm season grass and should be cut low. Two inches or less. Finer Bermuda lawns are cut even lower. You are correct that cutting it down in the fall will produce a greener more lush lawn in the spring. This is for warm season grass only. Cool season grasses should be cut higher for more water content.

    If you have ever been to a sod farm you will see that after the sod is cut, it grows back. It's a crop.

  9. Mean Green Machine

    Mean Green Machine LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 39

    Thank you. thats what i thought but i wasn't sure.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    2" or less is what they write in books, but a lot of the new scientific info says that you should be cutting higher. Cutting low doesn't give the grass a dark green color. If you cut lower you must increase the nutrients, Sod farms feed their grass every 2 to 3 weeks. Golf courses also work constantly to get the dark green color and keep it healthy because of the lower cutting. Under perfect conditions, 2" would be fine, but in a residential lawn you never get that kind of dedication from the homeowner. When you cut the lawn short in the fall, you take away its insulation from the extremes of winter. When you cut it at those heights during the summer, the sun will burn it up, no shade for ground which makes it dry out quicker.

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