Leaf mulching answers!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by naturescape, Nov 7, 2002.

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  1. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    I have a lot of experience mulching leaves with different mowers. I have mulched leaves EXCLUSIVELY since 1987, sometimes in areas with VERY heavy leaf accumulation.

    Mulching leaves isn't going to upset the balance of the soil. The leaves ARE the soil, in a different form. Just don't bring the mulch from one location to a completely different location, then I could imagine a soil Ph balance problem.

    I have found no one mower/setup can do everything effectively. A mulch kit works fine on dry leaves, but not when they are fairly wet.

    The best way to mulch in ANY conditions is to first use a mower with a mulching plate (sometimes a couple passes), then go over the area without a mulching plate to uniformly spread the mulch. This means carrying 2 mowers, one set up to mulch, the other to discharge.

    The only way around this is to use something like the Director from York, then you can easily switch back and forth from mulching to discharge. Unfortunately, this isn't available for many mowers (including my 48" Turf Tracer!). So, I want to fabricate a hinged mulch plate for my mower, something I'll have done before Spring.
     
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    The quick change is one thing I must say I like about the ol' lawn tractor. It has a twin blade 42" deck that is designed where it doesn't need extra baffles or individual blade chambers to do a great job mulching. It only takes a few seconds to stop, pull the discarge block off plate and stick on the discharge deflector. Wham bam, your side discharging or mulching.
     
  3. So now we're at carring 2 mowers and making 5-6 passes....

    Man yall keep making me want to try mulching even more!!!!

    Screw all that 1-----Pass with a vac.
     
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    LGF,

    I should have some serious pics for ya tomorrow night! We got some serious wind and a lot of leaves are on the ground. Hopefully some of my one-pass pics will be small enough to post here this time!
     
  5. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    3 pass's is not a big deal to me if i dont have to carry away a truck load of leaves from one job
     
  6. I think you missed my point... I get paid a lot more to haul them leaves away.
     
  7. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    So now we're at carring 2 mowers and making 5-6 passes....

    I didn't say 5 - 6 passes. Usually 2 does the trick. My point in saying carrying 2 mowers was that would come in handy when encountering the very worst, wet conditions. I only carry one mower, but it would be nice to be able to easily convert it from mulching to side-discharge.
     
  8. ScotLawn

    ScotLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 309

    ok LGF, but some of us don't have the extra $$$$$$ for the larger trucks with dump beds or trailers with 4ft sides for holding alot of leaves plus mowers. purchasing another mower at 2k-2500 is cheaper than another truck, ie 3/4 ton 10k used to 30k new and another trailer 2500 plus vac for trailer to pic up from curb.

    I like the idea of a few extra passes to put more nutrients back into the soil rather than spend the extra time and money for the truck, trailer, and to go to the dump and shovel all those piles of leaves out of my trailer. this is one reason i DON'T bag grass

    Scot
     
  9. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    I like the idea of using a back up mower for extreme cases. I encountered one lot that needed LGF's vac, I did get it all mulched but had to stop in the middle and spread out the mess with the leaf blower. An initial pass with a mower without a mulch kit or one with a adjustable baffle described above would have helped.

    There is no doubt that a vacuumed lawn looks better upon completion. The difference to me is the cost-storage space and the cost to my customers. After the leaf mulch breaks down I see no difference of the appearance between a vacuumed lawn and one that was mulched.

    Making money is part of this business, thats why they call it money. I know alot of people who make a lot more money than me, however they continue to spend more as their incomes increase. My total expenses would make a college student jealous-this philosophy does not require a large income and satisfies the net income, after tax, after bills, after Burger King. Thats why I mulch:)
     
  10. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    whether one has the money or not is missing the point. if you can charge up the rear to pick up and dump, why do the repeat cutting?

    by charging the proper amount you'll find you have the $ to pay for the truck. like anything else, you gotta spend it to make it.
     
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