Mulch leaves or rake & bag?


LawnSite Senior Member
I have heard this more than once but have never seen it in writing. " Mulching the leaves (fine) is very good for the turf." First time I heard this was from a large turf company's manager. Is it true?


central fl.
If there are not a lot then they can be mulched, too many, not good. Mulched leaves will draw some nitrogen from soil while decomposing. Leaves do add nitrogen to soil after decomposing. Need to compensate for loss.


LawnSite Senior Member
That makes sense. It gives me answers for customers when I bid clean-ups this fall.I knew mulching wasn't all bad but it couldn't be as great as some have told me. Thanks


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Mulch them and save on labor, and get income from lime app and fall and spring fert app.


LawnSite Gold Member
stanfield nc
Mulch. Some customers are amazed that you
can make the leaves disappear. Try to
mulch several times if they will let you.


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
I just read an article in one of the mags that said a healty lawn should be able to take the mulch of up to three inches of fallen leaves. Now, the three inches is BEFORE mulching, mind you. I know some of mine take that and THEN some!

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
I posted this on the JRco Plow thread, but wanted others to see what mulching with double Gator blades can do. Some may skip over the JRco Plow Thread, but look at this one and I wanted this to be seen by guys that do mulch or want to try it. On the other thread, some say you can't mulch, but at least the posts on this thread believe in mulching leaves. You can see what I'm mulching and how it looks after the first time and then I go over it real fast a second time, which is the bottom picture. It may not be perfect, but I don't think it looks horrible and I've never had any complaints. When they get a bit deeper, I'll get some more pictures. It sure beats picking them up.


Premo Services

LawnSite Bronze Member
LOOKING GOOD Eric!!!!!!!!

Ok, you convinced me,I was ready to go and fork out 1300 big ones for the Ultra Vac. I will try double blades before I buy the Ultra Vac for my lazer. These pics are pretty Impressive!!!
You have to remember that the NW winds will blow some of the bits away and the next soaking rain will drive the rest
into the soil. So the end results will be better that what you see pictured.

Plus you need to keep the bluegrass dethatched, cut to a min of 2 1/2 inches, and fertilized with a lots of quick release N.

The care of turfgrass is a science. But since it is not an exact science your performance will vary.


LawnSite Senior Member
Beautiful photos, Eric.

I mulch everything, and haven't had any problems with mulching up large amounts of leaves. On smaller properties, I might blow the 'bits' away after mowing. On larger ones, I'll make a second pass and call it good.

Like Eric, I've never had a complaint about leaves doing it this way.