Mulching thick grass in New England

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by MLI, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 464

    Im looking for info on the best Exmark set-up you folks have for mulching mowers. Currently we are running Walkers and collecting the grass, but im trying to cut down on volume and tipping fees. Next season we plan on running box trucks with ramps for walk behinds, and hope to mulch grass clippings. I was interested in a 48 and a 36 set-up. Also, will these blades mulch in 1 pass, or do you have to run over it again?

    thanks for info
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258


    I'll try to keep this brief because at times one would think I'm writing a novel.

    Here's the scoop. Mulching requires the same rules to follow as side discharging or bagging. The difference is that not following the rules when mulching can magnify the same negative results you would see when bagging or discharging.

    As an example you should never cut off more than 1" of grass or more than 1/3 if a blade of grass no matter what type of cutting you are doing. As with bagging the lower you cut, to a degree, the higher the quality of cut. The wetter the grass the more difficult it is to mulch, bag or side discharge. The taller the grass the more likely it is to clump, plug bagger chutes etc. Sharp blades are critical. Again the same rules apply. Where mulching becomes most difficult is in the spring. As I'm sure you've seen while bagging and discharging northern grasses (fesuces blue grasses etc) become tender, moist and sticky in the spring. In many cases you may need to double cut (not always) during the first 3-4 wks of spring growth. Some cutters simply bag the first few weeks of spring others double cut and some find ways to manage the properties to prevent the need for either. We've had several customers indicate that even if they do double cut on an overgrown lawn they still finish the job faster than if they had bagged the entire property. Emptying grass catchers takes time and in most cases time is money.

    I would also recommend that you stick with the Exmark mulch kit as it is intended with the factory blades during the spring. Some aftermarket blades may do wonders in the summer and fall but during the spring it's been our experience that the factory mulching blade may be the best performer in the spring.

    During the summer and fall you should definitely find a reduction in mowing time because youÂ’re not emptying grass containers and there are of course the benefits of added fertilizer.

    We've also developed an educational mulching brochure that is intended to be handed out to your customers detailing the benefits of mulching. The newest version should be available in the next 30 days.



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