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Mulching...Does it work?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rdrap, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. rdrap

    rdrap LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 10

    Hi, I'm new here to the forum. I have a John Deere LX176 riding tractor with a 38" deck. I've always mowed and blown the clippings out the shut or bagged.

    I recently moved to Florida from NH. There are varying types of grass here - some of it is fine, and some of it is like rye grass...very thick. I think they call this Floritam sod.

    Anyways, I was mowing a very tall lawn this weekend - 1 ft thick. Tractor had a very had time keeping up even at the highest setting going slow. Ended up having to make two passes - one to mow and another to bag. Grass was so thick bagger shut would clog up frequently even when I went slow.

    I've been thinking about mulching. I've never used a mulching kit.

    Do mulching kits work well and under what conditions do they work well for a JD 38" mower deck?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. number1dad

    number1dad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    mulching will save time, but you also have to stay on top of the yards. The clippings will go back into the grass. Try "gator" blades. You should be able to get a look at them at your local JD store. I use them with my JD and works really well.
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I'm not real inclined to mulch when the grass is deep or wet, principally because I hate cleaning the mowing deck. Clumps are also a problem under those conditions with mulching blades and mulch kits for the mowing deck.

    I suspect that most folks here will tell you that mulching is not a particularly good idea if you're taking more than an inch or so off the grass. It just gets too messy in my opinion.
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    rdrap, my JD 717 has a bolt on mulching kit and I use gator blades. When I get thru with a yard it looks like it has been raked/vacummed. However if you are cutting real tall thick grass it will bog the engine down. I had several customers that wanted their yard bagged untill I talked them into letting me mulch it one time and they were completely happy with the appearance. I will not bag a yard unless the customer begs/holds me a gun point and it is 35% more or 50% more if I have to haul it off. I had rather be kicked in the butt than have to bad a yard! I use my mlcher year round and it is also fantastic on leaves.

    Quality Lawn Care
  5. number1dad

    number1dad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    This is the first year I have used the "gator" blades. I found that they do not really do that good on "junk" grass. I have one yard that is a mixture of grasses and the "gator" blades do not do very well. Other than that, they work great. On some occassions I have had to make a couple of passes to spread out the grass, but this does not happen very often.
  6. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    If you think it bogged bagging, wait until you try to mulch that same growth!
  7. rdrap

    rdrap LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 10

    Where can you get the Gator blades?
  8. number1dad

    number1dad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I bought mine at the John Deere dealership. About $28.00. Really heavy duty.

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