Clippings-----NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by INTEGRITY LAWN, Apr 9, 2002.


    INTEGRITY LAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I am trying to figure out what I will do from here on out with clippings. Maybe some of you can help me out. Last year -like a fool we collected clippings at no charge! That was rediculous!We don't want to this year. However we are afraid that clippings will look bad, or there will be too many even after blowing them. Worried it might hinder grass growth. I know many people don't collect clippings. Must we use the mulching kits they sale? Does it come done to frequency of cuts? How about when you scalp Bermuda lawns. Doesn't it defeat the purpose to scalp and leave clippings? How much extra should be charged for collection of clippings. I would rather not take them with me. What do you guys do, and what advice can you give me? Please advise!
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I cut mostly bermuda and zoysia here. I run the mulch kits on all my eXmark equipment. I can't stand the look of clippings on bermuda and zoysia. Its not like fescue. You can see it immediately and then a few days later it looks even worse. The mulck kits make it look as though it was bagged. I've had customers that thought their lawn was bagged. They never knew the difference. My lawns stay green longer in the drought conditions because of mulching. On lawns that we regularly cut mulch kits don't stop effeciency at all.
  3. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    PLUS, mulching is a lot better for the lawn, if there is left over crap on the grass just take the deck up a notch and run over it real quick, it solves that problem quick!

  4. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    Mulching is fine as long as you follow the 1/3rd rule. I would not scalp bermuda this time of year with out bagging.
  5. CBB

    CBB LawnSite Member
    from MS/LA
    Messages: 147

    Mulch it. Looks good and beneficial for the turf.
  6. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813


    PRIMO OR EMBARK.are two of the most common.

    We have had great results. Reduced mowing, less clippings, better turf color etc.

    Started out using them to reduce edging and trimming. then used them on difficult areas. Went to whole lawn on one that was growing too fast ,worked like a charm.

    If you don't spray yourself talk to someone who does. Manufacters rep. should be able to find someone
    using them in your area.
  7. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    Less mowing = less money, exactly how much does it slow the growth?

  8. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    You did not say what kind of equiptment you are using, but if the mulch kits are not an option, mabey you could go over the lawn a second time to mulch the grass and disperse the clippings. I used to bag and it was a big pita!!!:mad:
    I have an exmark and they have a real good mulching kit where each blade is enclosed seperatley. In the spring heavy growth, I don`t use the mulching kit. I cut the lawn and then go back over the opposite way to disperse the clippings, and mabey sometimes use blower to spread them a little more, if they are wet and thick. Just a few times since finding about going over in the opposite direction have I had to bag. When I do, I put them in bags and haul off for 1.00 a bag, and charge extras for the bagging also. ;) I do not know anything about scalping bermuda but it doesn`t sound like a lot of fun. :eek: In this case you might need to bag the scalpings.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Well, and I'm not saying this to sound like a smart alek, but my first suggestion would be to educate yourself on the ins and outs of collecting clippings, and the benefits of leaving them (when properly done) on the lawn. Find out what makes turf tick.
    The more you know and the better you know this, the better you can educate your customers on this. Worried it might hinder grass growth? Well, actually the opposite is true. As a matter of fact, the latest studies through MSU provide information that state that as much as 1/3 of the total N percentage can be restored back into the soil by not removing the clippings per season. (This can be researched) And no, you don't have to use a mulch kit to achieve this. As long as it is cut, discharged, and spread out so it can dry and rapidly decompose, it's all the same. Mulching just simply help to expidite this process as the clippings are cut up finer and drop down into the lawn easier. THe only holdback to this process with these setups, is that when in damp or wet conditions, (or too long), they make a tremendous mess, as opposed to discharging which helps spread it for faster drying. As far as frequency of cuts? Well, the jury is still out on that one. It isn't actually timewise, since different grasses can grow at much different rates. Percentage of N in the soil, as well as other soil conditions can influence this. What it is, the AMOUNT of grass that is cut off. A general rule of thumb, is to never cut more than 1/3 the total blade of the plant off at once. (REAL general!) So, I guess in a sense, indirectly, it does come to frequency of cuts at a given growth rate. So before you grab your next bag of grass, sell to your next "bagging only" customer, or wonder about what's the most healthiest to do for most cultivars, ask yourself, or better yet, your CUSTOMERS this. Do they "bag" clippings on entire basebal fields like Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium? Do they "bag" entire golf courses?

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