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Residential Side Discharging Pictures

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husky03, May 13, 2006.

  1. Husky03

    Husky03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 432

    I have a Gravely 34Z as my main mower at this time for small residentials. I have had the mulch kit on it from the very beginning. At this time of year I have to double cut almost every lawn I mow, but when I take the kit off and discharge the lawns just look bad to me. Do you guys just let the clippings lay? Also, what do you do around the flower beds? Any pictures of some nice side discharge residential work?

  2. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    You only have a few options this time of year.

    1) Bag
    2) Double/triple cut in spots
    3) Cut twice a week

    And after that, use your blower to disperse the clippings.

  3. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Posts: 1,930

    That really surprises me...my Toro 52 ztr only has a 19hp kawasaki on it and it mulches great first time...I havent even had problems with clumping.. I wonder why your Gravely wouldnt do the same?:confused:
  4. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378

    Check the rpms, my guess is that you are not running up to specs.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    There are many techniques, I also double cut a lot not just because of the clippings but my mower cuts a lot of stuff again the second time around so twice really does give the best finish.

    One technique I always use is this:
    Make two perimeter runs around the whole property with the chute facing IN, yes, a racetrack run all around, twice.
    This gives you a clear outer edge where you can turn and play around in without throwing all kinds of crap onto paved surfaces: Reduces blow-out, that's what I call it, some folks call it blow-by, whatever (less cleanup afterwards).
    Also, I usually make perimeter runs around beds with the chute facing away for the same reason.

    Once that is done...
    I find striping reduces the 'where have I already been' dilemma considerably. After the initial running around, simply criss-cross the entire yard and blam!
    Yup, back and forth one direction all over the yard, then back and forth diagonally across or something like that... You can also run right over your initial stripes, but I prefer criss-cross because it stops customers complaining about uneven cuts (for those who don't get stripes, with criss-cross there is no complaints, almost guaranteed).
    Thou at times I find a third time over is needed, twice over is pretty good.

    The other method is after your initial run, turn the mower around and continue to do the racetrack but face the chute OUT (so you're now going the opposite direction, the grass is now being thrown from center to perimeter). Finish in this fashion, and now you get to ride all over the whole place again, concentrating mainly on the roughest sections.

    Last but not least, if things are REAL thick, I like using the chute to make piles of clippings. Basically after the grass has been cut at least once, you start by making a big circle and chute facing IN, you cut the circle closer and closer until you have a pile in the middle. 15-20 minutes later, you should have 3-4 piles which you can then tarp + rake and dispose of (this beats bagging by a mile, guaranteed for me).

    And the last method is how I came up with crop circles, thou not too many folks are a fan of them, heh...
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    What I've also done when it's really bad is used a paved surface to my advantage, by throwing a SLEW of clippings onto the paved surface. Sounds dumb but it gets it off the yard, and when it's that bad, it helps a lot.

    Note: Do NOT run over this stuff on the paved surface with your mower, the tires will make the stuff stick and then it is stubborn to remove.

    Finish mowing and weed-eat and when you get ready to blow, when you get to that mound of grass on the driveway, blow it all into a pile best you can but you won't get it small enough, just get it kinda right... Then, get a rake and finish piling it up right, then get the tarp and once again, tarp + rake and dispose. The little bit left over is easy to get rid of with the blower, the rake gets it almost as clean as a broom, it's really not bad.

    Other notes: For paved surfaces I really prefer the driveway, I don't like to do it on the road because of cars, once grass is run over it sticks. Yes, one hopes the customer don't come around with the car at this time lol
    And, most sidewalks are not wide enough ...
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Other tips and tricks:

    On my new mower, I have the rubber discharge chute which is held in place by a spring. I removed this stupid spring for two reasons:
    1) It allows me to flip the chute onto the deck, and the spring doesn't return it so it stays UP and out of the way.
    2) The weight of the chute itself is enough to keep it DOWN thou on a good bump it might flip over, once or twice a day I might have to reach down there to reset it.

    What this does:
    The mower throws clippings considerably farther with the chute UP, hence a wider spread, which reduces clumping to a degree. At the same rate, a DOWN chute allows for a more controlled discharge, so it pays to try it one way and also the other to find out which does what, then use this to your advantage.

    Notes: With the chute UP (meaning it's resting on the deck), my Wb will throw clippings up to three mower widths out, so on the two perimeter runs, if the third round is done with the chute up and the discharge facing out, there will be some blow-out onto paved surfaces. Also, be aware of this around beds.

    Final notes: It's not perfect, but getting surgical with the blower can and does remove some of the clippings from mulched areas. Blow softly by going real light on the throttle, just easily see if you can coerce grass to come off the mulch, it does work, it's not perfect but it can be done without removing the mulch (just go nice and easy).
  8. beran34

    beran34 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    I was mowing today and it was sprinkling. I didnt have one clump,I have simplicity colt and it works very well.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Trick areas around beds:

    The problem begins when beds are close together, so no matter which way you run, clippings will blow onto one or the other.

    Reducing rpm's by lowering the throttle and shifting into a lower gear helps considerably, you can actually almost cut with it on idle but I don't like the sound it makes, still, a lower throttle setting means less blow-out distance, so turn it a ways down.

    With two side-by-side beds, I run along each one with the low throttle setting, then if there is an area in the center... You can turn the throttle back up some, but be careful now, you need to use the two cut paths you made to run back and forth, then ONLY cut grass when you get to either end by heading from bed to bed on a perpendicular (90-degree) angle so the clippings blow in between.

    Once you get across the short path, run down the open path on the side to the other end, and cross-cut again, and back and forth and it takes a minute but it gets it done.

    dunno if it made sense... I'll see if I can make a pic...
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Oooo I am so picasso


    Once the initial paths (in red) have been cut, you can turn the rpm's back up but be careful not to cut grass going any way but from one bed TO the other, do NOT cut going alongsides with high rpm.
    As for the clippings, they get thrown either to the center or out the sides as you work your way through.

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