Explaining Mulching vs Bagging to Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mastruck04, May 9, 2011.

  1. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Posts: 309

    mulching is a good thing for the lawn, adding the nutrients it needs back into the lawn. Bagging is going to remove the nutrients that can be added back in. We cut mainly bluegass/rye, it looks ok when mulched but can get messy. I have just side dishcharged in large areas such as parks or back acrage areas. In my areas some guys mulch and but its mainly the larger HOA mowing guys. On the other hand, everyone catches and it has just become the standard in our area. But it is getting spendy to get rid of. I go to the dump daily and its costing me about 9 to 12 dollars a day. Just depends on how much I bagged and growth. But you gotta charge for it if you do have to bag, there is only so much you can get away with charging but do what you can.
  2. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    its not really a fail......

    i just don't want to mess with it.

    side discharging or bagging i can start first thing in the morning, i don't need to wait until the grass dries or cut it every 4 days.

    i cut each client on the same day on a weekly basis.

    plus i don't do the fertilizing so i have no control over it.

    it's just much easier to side discharge or bag.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,064


    Everybody write this down...mark it on your calendars....I wholly agree with Yardguy! :laugh:

    But what about if you have a rear discharging mower? :walking:
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    well personally the only rear discharge mower i have is my toro commercial 21.

    i just use the bagger when i use that mower. on occasion if the conditions are right i have been known to throw the mulch plug in and a very few times i have used the side discharge adapter.

    a larger rear discharge mower puts me at a lose for words since i've never owned one or used one.
  5. Manorscape

    Manorscape LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 101

    Does it now?

    Every lawn I've mulched almost exclusively is greener sooner in the season, greener longer in the fall and through drought, and overall healthier than the bagged lawns. I do bag occasionally when conditions such as heavy rains or some jackawagon dropping 3lbs of nitrogen force it. I mulch or discharge ( I call it shred) literally 90+% of the time for the past 18 years and my lawns look fantastic.

    I do not run a power rake on them and they have the perfect thatch layers. They have incredible earthworm activity.

    I do have a final cut and first cut technique I employ but that will cost you a beer.
  6. B&SFTW

    B&SFTW LawnSite Member
    Posts: 232

    I don't claim to be the most knowledgeable person on here, but from having mowed lawns since I was a little kid (so, about 13 years, now), and having more lawns this year, all of which I'm free to experiment on, I've noticed some things.

    The grass seems happier since I've started cutting it, and this is a fairly dry year, so while I'm sure I'm not doing things 100% right, I can't be doing things too badly, either. The lawns here (upper peninsula of michigan) seem to love mulching, and it responds (at least with the mowers I use) really well to mulching, with virtually no clumping, even with bi weekly cutting. Mulching, at the increased height (3.75"-4"), my lawns seem more drought resistant than the other lawns, and none of my lawns are watered. I wish I could talk these people into watering their lawns, it would make a huge difference.

    now, I'm sure there are situations that warrant bagging on a regular/semi regular basis, but I have yet to notice any extra buildup from mulching, and I can mulch here at fairly high speeds, for the mowers I use (though they are slower mowers). I would mulch where/when feasible, personally. now, I would love to bag for leaf cleanup, it would make things so much faster.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Mulch mowing makes horticultural sense in many ways... this year just the mulch covering the soil protecting it from water loss and excessive heat is worth it weight in gold...
  8. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    I dont do anything over an acre however all my nice lawns are bagged. Its in the price and its something that comes "standard" vs the other guys who don't mention it or try not to do it. Same with double cutting. But next season Ive attracted the eye of some larger places so im going to have to stay efficient with what ever rider I buy.

    Ive also found bagging to be faster then mulching when it comes to the dew and spring/fall weather. A mulch kit can make a mess in a hurry where as one pass and its done. Not needing clumps blown out etc. It always ticked me off to feel like it was a good job and drive by a few days later and see all the brown grass that blended in when we cut it.
  9. pflasch

    pflasch LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 294

    Dictionary: "Professional" - One who is in the profession!
    It doesn't say anything about the person actually knowing anything!!!! :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::hammerhead:
  10. BradLewisLawnCare

    BradLewisLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279


    "Despite popular belief, short clippings dropped on the lawn after mowing are not the cause of thatch buildup". Second paragraph.

    I hate when my customers say I need my lawn detached when they have no clue what thatch is or how it gets there. I usually say why. and we talk and then I save them money and they either like me or are ridiculous.

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