clippings in landscape beds - why??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Kate Butler, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Can someone out there please explain to me who so many LCO's (all of 'em where I am) shoot their grass clippings into the already-mulched landscape beds? My clients are all over ME to sort these guys out and no matter how many times I ask them (nicely) to go the other direction for a couple of passes, they flat-out won't. The beds look awful with the fresh clippings on top of the dark brown mulch, and worse when the clippings turn dry and brown. What's up with this??

    I don't want to hear that it's easier to mow directly into the beds: that's a crock and we all know it. If they were maintaining the gardens, they'd be PO'd too. I'm not asking that they change their entire way of mowing, just a couple of passes so the clippings fall into the lawn and not the gardens.

    I've reached the point where I'm about to tell these lawnboys that they won't be getting paid if they don't show some consideration for the clients' gardens (and for MY hard work).

    Just venting, but I truly don't understand why it's not a given (a rule, an established convention) that you send the clippings away from the plantings. Is it that this makes too much sense??
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I can't explain that one, Kate...I can say that we don't operate like that. I've been mowing lawns since I was 10 years old in 1982 and was taught to direct clippings away from the beds. It is one thing I hear generally from people who just fired their landscaper and hired me...not a hard idea to grasp.
  3. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    No one told me not to shoot stuff into the beds. It is just common scense not to do it. The mulch doesn't get left on the lawn when i am mulching a bed and the grass stays on the lawn when i am mowing, not to difficult concept to grasp.
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,282

    Most of this can be controlled by doing like you said...but there will still always be alittle bit of clippings in the beds due to trimming around beds and also the different angles the mower shoots the clippings that you can't see. a small amount of clippings left is inevitable even if you blow em out. In dryer conditions WHEN MULCHING OR BAGGING... it is posible to keep 100% out.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I don't do this but sometimes it's unavoidable. Maybe their doing it because you are putting in new beds everytime they turn around.
  6. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Oh yes, forgot to mention this in my original post. When we work a landscape bed, we deliberately leave a 6" mulched buffer so that that mower's wheels can drive on the mulch and the machine's blade can cut the grass with NO NEED for line trimming afterwards.

    We also reshape all bed areas that currently require line trimming to accommodate mowing (making the mower's job easier). This means taking out things with acute angles and/or corners and making them rounded shapes capable of being machine mowed, rather than trimmer-cut.

    I keep hoping that this sort of consideration for those who mow will translate to consideration for our aspects of the work. Although I have explained all this to the mowers, it hasn't worked yet.
  7. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    Yuppers there Kate,it is a real problem. We have to remind our cutters no grass in the beds on almost a daily basis.Always make your turns blowing away from the beds seems to be a hard concept to learn for some and it applies to all jobs not just the one you are on now.Nothing like having new mulch in a bed and have it coated with grass and have a blower come along and blow it out along with the mulch.Very frustrating,you just wanna witch slap someone.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I don't understand...I was always told that landscape beds should HAVE atleast 3 inches of mulch in them...

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    The question should be...why don't they blow the grass out?
  10. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Agree with this 100% impossible through regular mowing to keep all clippings out of beds. I have some yards that I do full service on lawn and landscape, can point out to you each and every bed where clippings go, not a lot but some do still make it there. No matter what I try to do while mowing I can't prevent this from happening. I do however, use the blower to "gently' remove as much of the clippings as possible, or at the very least move the mulch around a bit to help disguise the clippings.

    Now if this is being done maliciously well then that is lack of respect for a fellow contractor and I would not look favorably upon this. If this is a LCO owner doing this after you have spoken to him about it then shame on him. If it is a crew contact the owner and I'll bet he won't be to happy. I know I wouldn't be, I'd ask them if they would like me to tighten some of their damn bolts for them :angry: one more complaint and hit the road. IMO its not just landscapers that dislike the clippings in beds, I'd bet more than a few homeowners dislike this also.



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