Anybody just mulch up the leaves?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lowdakboy98, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. lowdakboy98

    lowdakboy98 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Having the fall season fastly approaching, I was just trying to get some ideas for leaf clean-ups. This year I was considering getting a plate to cover the discharge shoot on my 61" mower and some mulching blades, and just mulch the leaves up into tiny pieces. This way I wouldn't have to worry about bagging or hauling the leaves away to the dump. Is there any companies out there that use this method? If so what are the pro's and con's? Any other comments on the topic are appreciated.
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    Works down south don't know about up north? We have been doing this for over 25 years without any problem. Occasionally we will use our Walker or Scag bagger to pick up some of the little pieces if there is a lot of leaves. Never leave the property with any leaves on our truck, is our motto.
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    The only Con I know of...........I did it last year to a thin yard.....and the leaves almost choked out what little grass was there. I cant give the amount, I think some leaf mulch is good,Im just not sure how much before it could be bad for the lawn

  4. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I only saw one golf course superintendent do it in my country club days.

    The turf started to smother after a while - a little worse each day.

    It seems fine for the first light droppings and a final clean-up of a few scraps laying around.
  5. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    It depends on the quantity of leaves... At my current residence they get way too deep and choke out the grass
  6. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Did leaf clean up last year but not planning on doing it this year people in this area do not want to pay exta money for mulching leaves
  7. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,246

    Very few lawns can we just mulch. They don't look to bad in the fall but the spring time will raise heck with them.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That's been my experience as well, a light leaf cover is no problem but much beyond that it just won't work... I mean, you can't mulch a 4-6 inch thick cover of leaves and expect the resulting debris to disappear, it will make a huge mess is what it will do and then this has to be dealt with lol.

    The other thing is, I've learned to be real careful with this technique and how I present the idea to my customer, because mulching leaves on top of turf does increase the soil's acid content somewhat (lowers the ph), meaning it's not the best thing for the grass and lime is usually recommended to counteract the effect on the ph. So, I kind of let it play out, I don't use it as my first suggestion and I'm careful again, because it can and will ruin a lawn in the right circumstances, thou in most cases customers with class-B and better lawns will not be asking you to use this technique anyhow.

    But, it works great for those who don't want to spend a lot of money, the leaves are light and the turf consists of mostly grass... You really kind of gotta do it a few times then you will see how it works, probably the only thing I'd watch out for is mulching too thick leaves and in dirt lots man the resulting clouds of dust can kill you (yes, literally).
  9. Shane7258

    Shane7258 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    I would say that you can do that to a certain point, but if you are advertising a cleanup the you would need to remove the debris. I have a hustler hydro that does a magnificient job cutting and cleaning the mowing areas.

    For me the secret is my billy goat that can be bought for about 550 or so. This is a giant vacume on wheels that not only vacumes the lawn but has a hose attachment and cover that sucks the heck out of the mulch beds. carries 9 square yards and will leave a property looking good and will have the nieghbors calling. The biggest thing I have found is ensurinng I get paid for all and it is a lot of work. 150 for a small to medium and much more depending on the size of the property.

    if you had a walker or navigator or somthing with a big vac on then that would work as good if not better but you can't beat the billy goat for the beds and tree line Hope this helps you on your future decisions

    Shane Mills
  10. Joe2920

    Joe2920 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Who else makes those large vacuums, any other brands?

Share This Page