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Lest we forget

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Never bag if you have a choice. If you get behind enough to get "hay" rows, and you can't spread them out, either by double cutting or blowing them, then picking them up is better than "smothering". We catch the clippings on the greens. We spread those few clippings back out in the taller grass areas. Even our tees and fairways, maintained at .500" for HOC can be mowed often enough to let the clippings fall. On rare occasions, we have to drag to knock down clippings. For "spring cleanup", I had them run the sweeper behind all the rough. 90%+ of what was picked up was brown, dormant matter that, while good insulation, slows green up. All of that is being worked into my new compost piles. I hope to have them in a top dresser and back where they came from by August or September.

    I wouldn't be afraid of the clippings from a synthetic yard. I might be tempted to compost them separately, just to make SURE, but there should not be anything in the green leaf tissues to worry about.

    The one time of year I really like mulching mowers, is fall, BUT you can get the same results when grinding leaves with a rotary by making multiple passes. Just don't windrow it all in the same direction and then try to grind. If your mower will side discharge, throw the debris back and forth until it disappears. I like to show my crew how to make concentric "figure 8's" and reverse the direction for the next time.
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    The only draw back I can see with not removing clippings is during times when weed have formed seed heads. Would it be better to remove clippings then? Just thinking. :confused:
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,228

    The 1/3 rule is great, but seldom seen in the world I live in until summer heat. For most yards I do letting the clippings fly is not a option and is no where near as neat as the lawn needs to look bagged when I leave. . Making a extra trip is a ludicrous idea to get 1/3 IMO! Deck design is more important than blade design if blade is sharpened to center and lift is small enough. Higher lift blades blow out debris, again messy and plaster grass to the deck. For a low lift blade to give a good cut the deck design/airflow has to be right to get a clean cut.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,740

    So Smallaxe, how many "Chemlawn special" lawns do you mow? By your reasoning, you should collect the clippings on all of those so as to gid rid of the stuff Chemlawn put in to all those grass blades. Right? (I'm being half-serious and half-wiseacre.)
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Good cultural practice would dictate removing clippings if weed propagation is a concern.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,228

    Good cultural practices would dictate leaving the clippings and let the thicker turf battle the weeds and then address the weeds in another way.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    And what is wrong with removing, composting, and returning? That way you are effectively depleting the weed seed bank on the site, not adding to it.

    Do you also not wash your deck when moving from a weedy site to a pristine site? Same difference IMO.
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,740

    I think the assumption here was that if there were a substantial volume of weed seed heads, there wouldn't be thick turf. So collect. Then work on getting the turf thicker.

    BTW, try typing "weed seed heads" three times fast.
  9. 4.3mudder

    4.3mudder LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,227

    I use high lift gator mulcher magnum blades by Oregon. They are superb with the mulch baffle kit on my Lazer, and they do wonders in the fall and spring when leaves are all over the place.
  10. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636


    That is why we recommend people purchasing a mulch blade designed by the mower manufacturer. Manufactures design the blade and deck to work together. It is also a good idea to use a mulch blade ONLY when you have the mulch plate installed. If you are side discharging use a bagging blade (high lift) to get a better looking cut. Suction determines how clean the cut is. Blade, deck design, bagging/side discharging/or mulching, all work together (or not) to determine the quality of cut.

    Almost every customer has NO idea that blades have different lift or that the amount of desired lift is determined by what you are doing with the clippings. We tell them get a manufacturer mulch blade, or go gator, to get the correct 'mulching lift' under their deck.. (I haven't tried Ninja)

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009

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