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how do they do it?- no clippings left visible on the lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by peeklandscaping, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. peeklandscaping

    peeklandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 306

    hi all
    I have 4 high-end accounts in a HOA, cut on a weekly basis. They look pretty good. But always you can see clippings spread across the grass from where I side-discharge. I cut at around 3in high, certainly not more that 1/3 of the grass, but the clippings are still really visible and, with the grass starting to brown, it's getting really noticeable. The bulk of the clippings aren't visible in around 48 hr, but some brown clumps are still visible a week later, when I cut again. Not cool.
    Now, the company that cuts across the street from me also cuts around the same height, every week, and also side discharges. And I can never see any clippings!!!! So the grass looks more pro-cut. Frustrating.
    I cut with a Scag V-ride, they cut with Exmark riders.
    my property and theirs are same sort of grass conditions when we cut- dry, same height, they use more fertilizers I think, but that's about it.
    Are they using mulch blades, and then still side-discharging the remainder? Mulch blades always seem to make it harder for me, clog easier, etc. Are their blades 'heigh-lift" maybe? IDK
    Why do their lawns show no sign of clippings, even right after cutting, while mine are lying around everywhere, browning, and then just getting re-cut, with more brown, a week later?
    One the same line, could/ should I advertise for bagging on a weekly basis, and charge more for this? how many companies bag on a regular basis, or even, won't cut unless they bag?
    Pretty much, I'm just looking at putting the quality up a notch, and it's not going to work with grass clipping clumps visible while the property next door looks like no clippings are on it at all.
    Thanks for any help!
  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    They are double cutting to mulch the grass up most likely.
  3. OakNut

    OakNut LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,104

    Are you leaving "clippings" that are evenly dispersed, but still visible, or "clumps"? (or "trails"?)
  4. peeklandscaping

    peeklandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 306

    I've seen them working- they don't double-cut, just make one pass. The majority of clippings are evenly dispersed, along with maybe 5% clumps and trails.
  5. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,431

    The only time I leave visible clippings, is when hacking down some tall grass. The exmarks will chop up the clipping better than your scag, but you still shouldnt have them visible. I am guessing something is wrong with your mower.
  6. bln

    bln LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    what blades are you using? double cut it if they are high end just raise the deck a 1/2" on your second time through.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Chuck Norris

    Chuck Norris LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Instead of side discharging...why not either A. Buy a mulch kit or B. Buy an Ocdc ??
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,346

    You can run double blades or
    Blow the lawn off when your done mowing.
    Are the grass types the same? If not, that can be the problem also.
  9. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,082

    We've mulched everything for 25 years...mulch kits..clockwise cutting..blow off anything else...never an issue..we do lots of large hoas and picky condo hoas
  10. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    Try some Oregon gator G5 or G6s. They chop the clippings better.

    We run all Scags with Gators and they never clump unless it is just ridiculous cutting conditions. The only time I have noticed clippings on top of the lawn was when we cut a very thick lawn that was way overgrown (8 inches+). The clippings were spread very evenly but there was just too much volume and length to get them to disappear in 1 pass. After the second quick pass in the worst areas they were all gone.

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