Grass Clippings

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dvonalven, Jun 4, 2001.

  1. dvonalven

    dvonalven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I am thinking of starting lawn mowing company and am wondering what everybody does with the grass clippings. Please help me.
  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    I discharge grass 90% of the time,I only bag here in early spring,and late fall.I only do larger propertys,and they have wooded areas i can put my clippings in,the piles i made last year are almost all gone already from bacteria eating it.Unless your doing small areas around pools,you should be able to mulch or dishcharge,bagging is going to eat your profits,and takes to long to do every day.I get no complaints from not bagging,I do not leave visible clippings on the lawn.
  3. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    dvon, depends on the type of mower that you're using, for one. Is it a bagger? or can it just spit it out the side? The grass is better off if you leave the clippings on it, provided the clippings don't form windrows or anything like that. Here's a good thread for you to check out.

    Welcome to Lawnsite, I wish you good luck in your endeavour. This site has a neat earch feature that will help save you time and effort duplicating past questions. Simply click on the "Search" link under the banner ad on the logo and go to town! Again, welcome and good luck.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    we try our best not to bag. a good mower will make most clippings spread and disappear, and in bad conditions a double cut should eliminate all visable ones. it is also better for the lawn to not bag. good luck and welcome to the site! Dave g

    CLARKE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Instead of baging just mow it higher3 1/2 is good
    at 3 1/2 the grass shades itself and there way less
    clipping and the strips look better when you cut that
    high. Guess i'm not a:alien:
  6. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    Doesn't seem to be the popular choice around the country, but I mulch everything where I am. For smaller properties and smaller gates, I use the Toro Recycler 21", and for larger places the 36" Exmark Turf Tracer HP. Both do a fine job. I've been mulching for about 3 years now, but was bagging some properties before about a year ago. I lost a few customers who demanded bagging or nothing, but they weren't customers I couldn't do without. A lot of folks on LawnSite seem to side discharge just about everything, but that simply doesn't work where I am in most cases.

    Good luck!

  7. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I would agree with everyone else that you want to be mulching as much as possible. Takes less time, better for the lawns, no clippings to deal with. But you will probably have some customers (or maybe a lot of them) who insist on having the grass bagged. Where I live (Norman, OK) the city maintains a compost site where anyone can take yard waste (no charge) and they turn it into compost, which anyone can come and get (no charge). The city picks up yard waste one day a week and takes it there. So you may want to see if there is such a thing where you live. Otherwise, maybe you can leave the bags for the trashmen or put them in a dumpster (I hate to see it not get recycled though). There are actually lawn care operators who keep their own plots of land for dumping yard waste. Some may share this with other LCOs. Or you may find a customer or two (or non-customer) who will be happy to take grass clippings for their own compost pile. Look for people who do serious gardening or maybe farming. Grass clippings are one of the best things to compost. Turns into great "dirt" in (I think) about a year. Takes a lot of grass to make a little compost.

    Good luck..........
  8. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I'll go against the grain here. I collect about 1/2 the properties 1/2 the time ( In the spring and fall). Over the summer I will discharge most of them.

    Collected clippings in my area can be brought to an organic dump ($10 per yard) and some towns let you dump at the DPW with the permit to work in that borough ($15 per season). I have heard of others bagging and leaving them at the customer house. I guess it would work, but seems unprofessioinal to leave behind the trash for the customer to deal with.

    My reasons for catching on some: It's easier and quicker than blowing clippings around till the cows come home on some properties with small areas of turf between walkways and the street---some will disagree--but without knowing the property in question, I don't think anybody can truely disagree. I have done it both ways on all properties and I will do whichever works best when I am there.

  9. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    I'd say that best would possible be a combination of the three options. I'm with JeffyR on the bagging in certain instances. How many times have you spent forever chasing clippings around the pavement when it is windy out. Bagging would help this greatly. Is it worth the extra handling? Probably in some cases. This is probably best addressed on a lawn by lawn basis. What sort of lawn do you routinely cut?
  10. script

    script LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I mulch everything unless the customer would insist that I bag it. I do charge a little more to bag the clippings and it may seam unprofessional to some, but I let the customer know that if he/she wants it bagged, I will leave the bags at the curb for trash pick up. On some occasions I will take the clippings if another customer has requested some for their compost pile.

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