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Why no bagging?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BRIMOW525, May 21, 2001.

  1. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 215

    I've read a couple of threads and it seems that most of you guys do not bag PERIOD. Why not? I bag alot of my customers, res and comm. Of course I charge more for bagging. Is it because there is a problem getting rid of the clippings? I take my 6 wheel dump truck, cut lawns and take the clippings away to a couple of amish people around here. I have about 4 guys that will almost die for the excess stuff I get. All of my landscape jobs with remulching or tear outs or hauling anything away that is "of the earth" cost me nothing but a drive to an amish guys house and pull a lever. Just curious thats all?
  2. jasonp

    jasonp LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 147

    This is simple. Why bag when you can mulch. Its just one more head ache of taking the clipping and dumping them somewhere, and time and time is money to me.
  3. Samurai WeedWacker

    Samurai WeedWacker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    must be paid in most places in order to dispose of lawn waste. Plus driving to the landfill takes valuable time. And you must have hauling capacity.
    I used to get rid of lawn clippings to a guy who fed the stuff to his sheep. Unfortunately he went to an outfit which could supply larger quantities.
  4. here is why you shouldnt bag on a regular basis. when you bag clippings you are removing about 30 percent of the total nitrogen that a lawn needs for 1 year. also if you bag clippings you are not helping with thatch build up. thatch will still accumulate no matter what. the only reason why golf courses bag clippings is because it affects the roll of the ball. there are about 3 or 4 reasons why you should bag.
    1) grass is too tall to be cut and left. this is due to infrequent mowings. - human factor
    2) weed control- collecting weed seeds when the weeds are going to seed should help to control the spread of new plants.
    3) disease control- certain diseases you can limit their spreading if you bag the clippings. however you can usually get rid of the problem by adding N
    4) clean-ups- you are cleaning leaves from the lawn and instead of blowing you just go and run it over with the walker.

    these are pretty much the only reasons why you should bag. whenever you dont have to worry about these 4 things you should mulch or just side discharge.
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    lawnboy said it all in 1 post, just want to add a few more as to why not to bag but mulch.
    1) waste reduction
    2)light fertilizer- up to 25% of the lawns total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassiun is returned when you don't bag and mulch or side discharge.
    3) water conservation-grass blades are 70-80% water when frshly cut. when the grass is cut and and blown deep into the surface(top of soil)most of the moisture returns back into the soil. plus the dry clippings serve as a barrier which reduces evaporation from the soil keeping it moisture.
    4) healthy soil- earthworms, and other micro-organisms improve the quality of the soil, and finely chopped grass and leaves make a great meal for these little guys. relaesing valueable elements and humus back to the soil.

    got all of these from little brochure called grasscycling from exmark. after giving this to all my customers that wanted their lawn bagged everytime, they called me and told me never to bag again.
  6. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773


    How can I get my hands on some of those brochures? I have some customers who are still skeptical about my all-mulch policy and I'd love to hand them some material describing it's benefits...

  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    Exmark dealers have the brochure.

    I distributed a copy to my customers back in 97 and the "why no bag?" complaints have not been heard now for several years.
  8. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    If the grass is really long and wet do you bag? You can't mulch or discharge. Too messy. Sometimes you gotta bag as a last resort. We usually bag early spring after the first fert treatment when the grass takes off. Only 3 four weeks. What else can you do???
  9. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    casey, everytime i mow their maybe a chance of bagging but at 4-5 days between cutting its hard to get a bag out of the truck, also chance are that i will only be taking 2 or 2.5 inches of grass when i do cut. but i do carry bags with me until i put on the mulching deck. and once i take it i start to carry them again. i avoid cutting when dew is still on the grass so that it isn't wet but their are times i cut in the rain and have to bag, but this might happen 5 to 6 times the whole year or out of 28 cuttings ( 28 cuttings at most for the year).

    pick up some of those brochure at a exmark dealer and take a lot of them if he don't mind i always have around 10-15 at my house so when i go and bid at a new lawn i can give them one if they say they would like it bagged.
  10. casey

    casey Guest
    Posts: 0

    Our city's waste management takes out ads in the paper and sends out flyers on the benefits of "grasscycling" so most customers ask for us not to bag. I only do 7 day cycle, so we have to do alot of bagging in the spring. Some customers tell me never to bag, after reading the city's literature, so we spend 15 min with blowers blowing the clippings around until it looks half decent. Would be faster and better for lawn to bag.

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