Bagging and compaction. 1 possible reason to leave clippings.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mdvaden, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Personally, I prefer to collect clippings on my own home lawn.

    At least after it's established for a year.

    But for some lawns, it may be very helpful to leave clippings, not due to nutrient value, but to reduce damage to soil structure.

    For those who don't bag and leave the clippings, do you do it primarily to save time, save nutrients, or protect the soil?

    All of those? Other?
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I think in the 90's mulching mower technology picked up and most of the Cities around the DFW Metroplex stopped taking clippings. There has been a ton of PSA's about not clogging up the lands fills, storm drains with clippings. The other side of it was the nutrient value.

    It really is basically an accepted practice. Bagging is done if scalp and over seed with winter grass and some times in the spring.
  3. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    We like to leave clippings for the nutrients and to save time, but our newer clients are pretty demanding and don't care about nutrients. "That;s what the fertilizer's for" is what I keep hearing. So...we bag most of the time.
  4. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I do not bag due to time and extra equipment expense. I some customers that ask about it and I sell them on it due to the nutrient value. I explain that it helps to leave the clippings and it is not a total substitue for properly applied and scheduled fertilizings. I also tell them that due to the extra time required to bag, it would cost more per visit.

    That usually stops them form wanting that any longer. Also, once they see that will regular cutting and the cut quality o fmy commercial mower, they usually cannot find alot of clippings and are very pleased.
  5. vkurt711

    vkurt711 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I bag only in the spring when the grass grows like crazy. I leave clippings the rest of the year to save time and put nutrients back in the soil. I rarely have anyone ask or complain about clippings left on the lawn.

    The issue of soil compaction is usually addressed by aerating the lawn. I hadn't thought about the clippings actually helping with this. Good information and more justification for the decision to mulch and not bag like many around here do.
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I agree with the guys here saying the customers couldn't care less about the nutrients. They (mine anyway) just want the grass cut and no clumps. And green when it's dry. And cheap.
  7. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    "No clumps, "no rows" is a far bigger concern of my customers than any story about nutrients. Most of the my residential customers are selectively bagged, that is front, side, and some of the rear (depending upon the house and property). The rear yards are rarely bagged.
  8. itsallme

    itsallme Banned
    from MI
    Messages: 1

    People usually let me know about their town, and say that if it is better for me, I can leave it down by the side of their street and their city comes with their equipment and pick it all up. All yard waste, they are not to big on picking up grass clippings, but they do.
  9. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    I mulch mostly for the time savings.. I used to simply side discharge but I didnt like the look of the yard and all the cleanup involved.

    As for bagging, I think it sucks...not only in time and labor, but also the amount of space it takes up at landfills. And nearly everything Ive read about leaving grass clippings/leaf mulchings says that it is not harmful for the turf. Maybe even helpful for the turf.

    So I will stick with mulching for the looks, time /labor savings, effect on the environment.
  10. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I prefer to side discharge with a OCDC to control the clippings. Mulching spring growth means cleaning the deck daily, so I do catch the clippings on certain properties. But, I have a walker with the wide low pro tires and a 52" tiger cub with/clam shell bagger that I replaced the stock rear tires with 24-12-12 tires and rims to get a wider footprint. That was done to prevent rutting and compaction.

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