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Mulching Leafs. Chute blocker required?


LawnSite Bronze Member
Barneveld, NY
I've got Gators for my 36 Ferris. I haven't put them on yet, to try them, but I was wondering if I should also get a chute blocker. I want to chop up leafs to make my leaf cleanups easier. Will the Gators chop up the leafs really well with the discharge open? Will they chop up leafs better with the discharge blocked? I'll be dealing primarily with heavy deposits of maple leafs.


LawnSite Silver Member
Northeast Ohio
Last year I did this for a couple clients. I have a 48" bobcat with gators and they would mulch the leaves up pretty good but I had to double cut it basicly (this was in very heavy leaves) It did a good job mulching them up double cutting. A mulch kit would be the best thing to use though. Those chute blockers (I know bobcat sells one that is just a plate you put in front of the chute) will cause blow out on the deck and won't circulate the leaves/clippings enough. A mulch kit with all the baffles will still do best.


LawnSite Member
Fairborn, OH
do you have a bagger for your mower. I use a 36 scag with a grass gobbler and I do not put the end plate on the gobbler so the clippings just fly out the back of it as a go along and anything worth cutting is then in my next row as I go around the yard in a circle this time of year. this seems to work very well. I dont like the mulch kit on my mower as it causes the deck to blow out the left side and push some away.
The secret to the mulch kits are that you HAVE to use the MULCHING BLADES. IF you use gators, hi flys, or even doubles you will have it blow out the side like that. If you use the blades specifically designed for mulching it will work great..........but on the other hand, the mulching blades suck at cutting grass, so you have to compormise!


LawnSite Senior Member
I mow in a circle until the leaves are in a pile and then back up over them. Every mower I have ever used leaves a little pile of chopped leaves. Then I run over them again and blow them all over the place.


LawnSite Fanatic
N.E. Wisconsin
I just had a buddy weld up a chute blocker for my Toro. The best thing to have is a mulch kit as stated but I have found the chute blocker and Atomic blades to be an economical solution over the 210 bucks for the mulch kit. It is better than just letting them fly. Either situation is better than bagging, what was I thinking in the old days?


Put on the MEG MO blades and an ACS and save the money on the mulch kit and you will mulch the leaves 25 to 30% faster then you have a good set up for the life of your mower.
Trust me, if you are NOT going to bad the leaves, buy the mulch kit and put the mulch blades on. The mower companys spend millions of dollars to design these kits and they do work. I have 2 mowers, one with the kit on and one without it.


LawnSite Fanatic
McMurray, PA
I use a chute blocker for my Exmark 36" fixed deck, but only under certain situations. It is a good "first pass" solution, meaning the result is not acceptable to leave for the customer. I fashioned a plate out of a piece of steel that bolts on the side with two bolts (thumb screws and wing nuts). I don't care about the inconvenience, because I only use it with Ninja mulching blades (2-18" blades) that are mounted/dismounted. They have little lift, so the blowout is minimized. If the chute it blocked on my deck, and I have any other blades (e.g. regular hi-lift, regular Gator, hi-lift Gator), the idea does not work -- blowout just too much.

I only use the setup for heavy leaves, and only for maple. Oak does not work. It leaves a row of debris on the right side. But, I take off the blocker plate, and replace the blades with others, typically Gators, and cross the pattern. This scatters the row and leaves an acceptable job.

I cross over too often, mulching, discharging, bagging, to think about permently mounting a mulching kit. I have one, and as others state, it is the best. But, I don't want to spend the 20 minutes to mount, 20 minutes to dismount. I only have the one mower and it sees various lawns, various leaf situations, etc.

If you really want to mulch leaves, and that is all, get a mulching kit.