To mulch or not to mulch

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by lhilkene, May 24, 2005.

  1. lhilkene

    lhilkene LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I just bought a Mini Fastrac Z (16/42 Honda) and am mowing a relatively small yard (1/2 acre). I have a few slopes (15-20 deg) and dearly love the performance of the new machine. My question is whether or not to mulch -- I hate discharging the clippings on my neighbors, but don't want to negatively affect the performance of the mower. Best suggestions -- including how easy/difficult it is to switch to mulching setup -- are most appreciated.
     
  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    The mulch kit is easily installed and removed, although it is going to involve a couple wrenches and maybe 10 to 15 minutes of your time when doing so.
    It is not a quick change type item.

    Pj
     
  3. jceh1

    jceh1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    Aside from different blades, what does the mulch kit involve? Also, can you tell us what the suggested retail for the kit is (for this machine - 16/42 mini)
     
  4. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    The Hustler mulch kit does not include blades.
    For the Mini decks it would include a block off plate and a baffle, of course all the hardware and instructions also.
    The same mulch kit is used on both the Mini FasTrak decks (36 and 42 inch) it is part #338442 and has a MSRP of $59.00

    Pj
     
  5. jceh1

    jceh1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    so can the mulch kit usually used with the regular blades, or are mulching blades (gators?) recommended.
     
  6. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    You can try it with the stock blades first, if you feel you need the mulching blades you can buy them.
    we found in 90% of the grass we tested in that the stock blades performed very good.

    Pj
     
  7. bderks

    bderks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Stick with the stock blades, I found that they perform better than the gators - just don't let the grass get too long. In my opinion, the stock blades provide a cleaner cut - the gators don't create as much "lift".
     
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469


    Yes, What actually will happen is you will fill up the sides of the deck and pack every place the blades don't sweep (corners). Then, you will actually start to mulch, blowing the grass back into the lawn. The gators don't work well because they don't have the lift to hold the clipping in the deck (pack it) and the grass will continue to fall out in clumps.
    Be aware, if you stop or go off the lawn onto pavement, the clippings will dump and make a mess. Furthermore, with the lower horsepower of the machine, don't expect to mulch more than an inch or two of grass, without severe power problems.
    Frankly, I don't believe you will happy with mulching unless you have dry grass all the time and mow twice a week.
    FWIW, my machine has 25HP and I can only mulch about 3" of grass with good results. I'm in New Jersey with softer wetter grass....
    Pete
     

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