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mulching vs. bagging

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fga, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    I was cutting a few by myself in the neighborhood today, since i'm ahead of schedule. I was using the mulching plate on my 21". I always do this this time os season. Another guy who works in the area, stoppped to talk with me, no big deal, I'm friendly with everyone. He then starting telling me i'm making a big mistake mulching, that i'm going to regret it. he said they won'y be green for long, and that i'm building up thatch. i wasn't leaving any heavy clippings at all, you couldn't see a thing. now he's got me wondering, if i might be better off going back to bagging this time of the season. what do you think? keep in mind I thatch atleast once a season anyway.
  2. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,028

    It is preferable not to bag grass clippings since collecting clipings remoes valuable nutrients from the lawn. Grass clippings take up space in the landfill, and it takes longer to bag than using a mulching mower.

    Occasionally we will bag the lawns, If they are wet it is real hard to bag. We prefer to take a blower to the lawn if there are any unsightly clumps of grass left after we mow.
  3. Nick17

    Nick17 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    I second what Gene said. The grass clippings from mulching do not create thatch.

  4. snowmizer

    snowmizer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 149

  5. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,694

    Actually, bagging clippings will INCREASE thatch. You won't have any problems mulching, don't take off more than 1/3.
  6. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,449

    how does bagging increase thatch?
  7. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,694

    It's something I've heard a few times from credible sources, tho I don't remember what those sources were. I believe it's simply because the lawn is being stripped of it's nutrients, the thatch layer may worsen.

    One this is for sure -- proper cutting, discharging or mulching, is NOT going to generate thatch.

    Also, thatch itself is such an over-exaggerated problem. Once a heavily thatched lawn is being cut properly (even if no irrigation or fertilizer is applied), the lawn will regain it's health, usually within a season -- that's just my observation from my experience.
  8. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    I don't bag 95% of the time. The only time we do is in small yards or along a house or pool if we are behind. The Dixie is so fast that if comes out a little shaggy, I double cut it and it comes out awesome. All of the lawns near my accounts that bag all the time look no where near as green as mine.

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