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Bagging vs. Mulching

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Boltzie, May 29, 2003.

  1. Boltzie

    Boltzie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Just bagged my lawn for the first time using the old '84 Lawn-Boy. The mower seemed to have much more power than when I mulch and cut the grass a lot better. Of course, it took twice as long because I had to empty the bagger 12 times and then get rid of the clippings.

    My question is, how many of you bag and how many mulch? Also, I know I have a thatch problem that I will address in the fall, so should I be bagging instead of mulching?

  2. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 150

    I think bagging gives the best appearance, however those that mulch will tell you that by leaving the grass on the ground it adds nitrogen back into the soil. This is true, however if you don't mow often enough you end up with clumps or grass or grass that isn't mulched as fine as it should be, which then tends to lay on top of the grass and die making the yard look like sh*t. Most LCO's mulch as it is quicker and you don't have to deal with the clippings. I bag my own.
  3. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Please Mulch.
    It is environmentally friendly in so many was, besides the landfill issue. For more specifics on the issue search some lawn care sites, the list of why you should mulch is quite lengthy.

    How long do you let your grass get between mowings? If you use the 1/3 rule and you have any kind of decent mower you shouldn't have any build up problems at all.
    Be sure your blades are sharp, and don't go faster than your mower and grass length should allow.
    Some so called multi purpose mowers are not, they're actually designed for discharging, but if you force it to mulch by damming up the discharge chute it has no choice but to 'mulch' the best it can. Next time you're around a lawn mower dealer, ask to see a mulching mower and compare it to a multi type, you should be able to see quite a difference in deck design.
    Good luck, and happy mulching

    Of course your mower seems like it has more power when discharging and not mulching. Makes a big difference if it's just cutting and spitting it out vs mulching, IE chopping all the cuttings up.
    Good luck, and Happy Mulching
  4. hboyd_com

    hboyd_com LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 150

    please mulch...... but, if you bag like I do then make sure you compost those clippings and use the "black gold" that you have at the end of the season in your garden or you can turn around an resell it. I till all the compost I can back into my garden.... and at the rate I'm going with my Walker, I going to have a ton of compost this year.
    Good luck.
  5. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236


    Sounds like you need to start a regular aeration/topdress program to relieve your thatch problem, then the returned clippings can actually help with the thatch control...

    I would advise cutting 'em high, letting 'em fly, and leaving 'em lie... While a true mulching mower is great, you can also side discharge with a gator blade and then invest in a good backpack blower to quickly spread out any windrows... Then you get a good, quick cut without bagging, return the clippings, and have a bagged appearance...

    Good Luck, Clay
  6. mr.lawnzap

    mr.lawnzap LawnSite Member
    from tulsa
    Messages: 123

    mulch=common sense, unless special circumstances prevent

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