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Bag vs. Mulching vs. Side Discharge

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Green Acres, Feb 6, 2001.

  1. Green Acres

    Green Acres LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    How many of you bag or mulch your lawns? Last year I just used the side discharge but think I will get a few sets of gator blades this year to try them out. I know there are certain benefits to mulching so there isn't any excuse for me not to get them. I'm not sure about bagging. I've seen a few people bagging and it seems like alot of extra work and doesn't look all that better if any. I can understand maybe in apartment complexes in tight places and around the cars but that's it. Maybe it's just me. Which method do you perfer? If you can shed some light onto the situation for me please do so. Thanks
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    I would advise your clients to allow you to side discharge. By doing this we have cut back on the amount of our fert apps by almost 50%. I find that side discharging creates a healthier turfgrass environment and cuts down on the costs associated with bagging. We only bagg in the early spring or late fall when it is necaessary to get the heaviest growth off the lawns. I am going to try the "double blade" theory this season and hopefully I can eliminate bagging all together. As for mulching I havent seen but one contractor with the set-up on a 36 here.

    Hopefully this helps.
  3. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I would think that during the season it would be very difficult to mulch because of the height and thickness of the grass. I've always discharged the grass. I had a mulch kit on my 36" mower, but took it off. This is not to say you can't mulch with good results. Maybe I'll try it sometime. To each his own.
  4. VLM

    VLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    If anyone tells me they want me to bag it I tell them they have the wrong guy. I used to bag when I first started out but that was many years ago and now I dont need the headache. The consensus around here seems to be side discharging with a combo of dual blades, lifters and gators. I've been using the Gators, side discharging for a few years now and it works great, but I cant wait to instal the double blade configuration. By the way, do you need spacers between the blades?
  5. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Up until last year I used a Toro 21" Commercial WB w/ the recycler deck. My lawns looked great except in the spring I had to mow very SLOW as not to plug up the mower. After getting my SD Walker in June I now SD everything. SD is much faster. Yes, you may have to run over it twice but that is still faster than POKEING along mulching long heavy spring grass. Customers still think their lawns look just as good or better than when I used the recycler.
    Good Luck,
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662


    I believe they are using a 1/4 inch spacer between blades.
    Cannot wait to try this out myself. Im tempted to try it on the snow covered ground to see if I see a green stripe or not. LOL

  7. GLM

    GLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I side discharge the crappy lawns and bag the nice lush ones. I use high lift blades and these cut and lift thick grass and the results on plush lawns are a nice clean cut and no clippings. Gators work great but my lawns are 50/50 nice and not so nice and the gaters in my experience do not have enough lift to fill my bag, so the high lifts do the job for me. Keep in mowing Jon G GLM.
  8. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    High lifts definitely put a better ribbon cut on the lawns than do gator's.

  9. moonarrow

    moonarrow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    I use side discharge and mulcher both, but use double blades on both works great for me
  10. rdh

    rdh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    vlm & KUTNKRU
    ijust put the dbl. blades in a cross no spasers.
    just use wire wheel to clean paint off keeps them from moving if you hit some thing.
    my mowers have spasers 3 of them i just take one off to make up for the xtra blade (no there is no spasers inbetween
    the blades).

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