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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
me and a friend are having a polite debate over whether its easier to suck up leaves with a mower after mulching them up a bit or just straight to bagging.

i was helping him out with some cleanup jobs and our weapons of choice was a scag vride 2 and an older exmark lazer z.

I usually stuck with the vride because im a stander guy but also because it has the advance chute, which works wonders for mulching leaves.

he would take the bags off the back of the lazer z and use it to mulch leaves that way.

but what we ended up doing most of the time was blowing leaves from front lawns to the curb, then go crazy mulching leaves with the mowers in the back, then attach baggers and suck up the mulch.

it did take considerable time, with how many mulching passes we did, but the end result turned out good.

He was saying after the jobs how he thinks that the mulching is a waste of time, and it would be easier for the mowers to suck up whole leaves versus the mulch because the mulch is more dense(??). i was saying we are able to pack more into the baggers with the leaves cut smaller, while he thinks the opposite is true.

we were trying a new way to do cleanups and both of us usually do our cleanups by blowing the leaves off the lawn and then suck up the survivors with mowers, not go head first with the mowers, so neither of us really know for sure whats better yet lol.

Im curious about your thoughts? is it really easier for machines to pick up whole leaves versis mulch?
 

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If the turf is solid enough I'll always use the dump from seat bagger for leaf cleanups where they are going to rear woods or front curb for pickup by me or town.

I find significant shredding when using the bagger. Usually with fall things may be getting sloppy so I try to minimize the passes on the property. Doesn't make sense to me to do a mulch pass than a second pickup pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A whole leaf has greater surface area so it catches the wind like a sail. Mulched up pieces are tiny and air movement doesn’t affect them nearly at all. Your friend is right. If you’re going to bag, do it first. Mulching then trying to bag is a huge waste of time.
is this true even when there is a huge amount of leaves? obviously if you dont have a sea of leaves covering the yard there is no point in mulchin.

for reference, here is the amount of leave we ended up mulching and bagging

I also took the picture before we blew out the beds, which ended up holding a very large amount of leaves that doubled whats on the lawn.

I also took some footage while i was mulching the leaves, so you can kind of see what the leaves where being reduced to before bagging

with that amount of leaves, do you think it would still be better to just gun it with baggers and skip mulching?
it does make sense what you and my friend said about the larger leaves being easier to suck up due to more surface area but does this still hold true with that many leaves?
 

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with that amount of leaves, do you think it would still be better to just gun it with baggers and skip mulching?
it does make sense what you and my friend said about the larger leaves being easier to suck up due to more surface area but does this still hold true with that many leaves?
I would skip mulching if you have a powered bagger and gator blades. They practically turn the leaves to dust. You can't get any more crunched up than that.
 

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Blow to the curb, mulch, then vacuum and I have basically 2 44 gallon cans of debris in the back of the truck if I have to remove them. If you have trouble vacuuming after mulching, drop the deck down as low as it will go. The dust that can't be vacuumed gets returned to the lawn. No one but me knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mulching leafs reduces the volume from a truck load to a can full.
If you are using 2 mowers.
Why blow to curb first.
Setup like that. I would have one mower mulching. Other follows behind sucking up the clippings.
With little to no blowing at all
I would skip mulching if you have a powered bagger and gator blades. They practically turn the leaves to dust. You can't get any more crunched up than that.
We ran a setup similar to what you said , a vride 2 with a chute blocker and a exmark lazer z with a powered bagger
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we would blow out the beds, id go crazy mulching with the vride then he would come with the exmark to suck up everything-the virde had a bagger and i used it but it would fill up quickly with the leaf mulch- cant imagine how fast it would fill up with regular leaves.

my dream leaf cleanup machine would be the 37 hp 52 vride 2 with x blades and powered bagger. the problem with just running gators is while they definitly mulch the leaves to nothing, and pack baggers, they dont always have enough suction to pick up all the leaves, especially with how they are designed to recycle leaves- thats how they chop them up so fine. so a gator blade paired with a standard probably gives the best of both worlds.
 

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My hustler with gators and a powered bagger did a great job getting most of the leaves. The problem I had was all the dust in the air. I ended up going back to high lifts to try and mitigate that. I usually blow the leaves into the woods before bagging and use the mower to make it look pretty
 

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My hustler with gators and a powered bagger did a great job getting most of the leaves. The problem I had was all the dust in the air. I ended up going back to high lifts to try and mitigate that. I usually blow the leaves into the woods before bagging and use the mower to make it look pretty
Don't high lifts make it worse? It did on my Toro.
 

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They have the most lift so I would think they would suck up the most leaves.
The powered bagger chops up the leaves some don't they? This is my first one.
But they also cause the most blow out the front skirt. At least it does with my X-Blade set-up.
 
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This year two towns we service have eliminated curb side pick up and we dont have woods to blow to. Our principal operation now has gone to blow beds and all paved areas to the grass. Run over everything once with the stander and let it fly, then suck up everything with the Walker, then run it through the truck loader. We have done the route one full time this month and the dump trailer is not even half full. Damn near turns back to dirt. Lawns look amazing and we have actually reduced time on the route by a tiny bit.
 

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This year two towns we service have eliminated curb side pick up and we dont have woods to blow to. Our principal operation now has gone to blow beds and all paved areas to the grass. Run over everything once with the stander and let it fly, then suck up everything with the Walker, then run it through the truck loader. We have done the route one full time this month and the dump trailer is not even half full. Damn near turns back to dirt. Lawns look amazing and we have actually reduced time on the route by a tiny bit.
I keep telling guys....., mulch those puppies!!!
 
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