Mulching Leaves vs Bagging Them

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by griffithtlc, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. griffithtlc

    griffithtlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Just wondering how many people bag leaves and haul them off site compared to mulching them? I have read that if you mulch them and decompose they act as a organic fertilizer. Any other pros/cons?
  2. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    A very good, 95 years old, friend of mine always say (about the leaves): "the Good Lord put it there and the Good Lord will take care of it too"

    I bag all my residentials and haul it off to the landfill site. Most of the yards don't have too many trees so it's not that big of a deal. My commercials just gets blown. I use mulching blades however. I try to mow them later in the day when the leaves are really dry and they break up easier.

    There are 2 lco's around here that mulches the leaves and I can tell you, once they're done with that lawn it dont look half as neat and clean as my bagged lawn.
    It just gets harder and harder to mulch in a thick layer of leaves. You have to go over it so many times and with the grass being in the slow growing season, it's slow to recover from that tire track damage as well.

    At the end of the day it's your choice. To me it's maybe a little bit of extra work bagging the leaves, but my clients appreciate their lawn looking clean and leave free.

    Good luck
  3. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    So I guess you didn't take his advice.

    Personally I mulch them until they are all down, then if need be will clean out beds and areas where they have collected and remove from property. By doing this I am reincorporating at least 50% of the leaf drop back into the soil structure. Sure it doesn't look perfect after I leave, but a day later you wouldn't know the difference.
  4. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    I wish I could, but how am I gonna make a living? LOL:)
  5. lazer 46

    lazer 46 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 521

    I mulch with a Exmark TT48inch deck with gator blades. I don't wait until the leaves are so thick that you can't get through them. The last couple of cuttings each year I use the mulcher and this gets rid of a lot of them. After they are all down I go back and mulch them. It takes longer but it beats raking them and dragging them with a tarp. My customers are very pleased with this method. I'm sure a vacuum system would give a cleaner appearance, but by next spring things look great.
  6. doublesharp

    doublesharp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    Dixie Chopper with single gator blades. Mulch em. Gone in a couple of days.
  7. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    I have a total of 0 yards that I bag. Mulch all the way.
  8. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    I mulch up to a point, then put on the bagger....all of this is on my Exmark Lazer HP!

    When all the bulk of the leaves fall is when I switch to the bags. This way I give them the benefit of compost from the mulched up leaves, but then take away the bulk so there isnt too much just laying around.
  9. maple city

    maple city LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    We bag all of them. The yards look great when we're done and the customers are happier. If you keep up with the leaves, it's not that big of a deal to bag them. It gets rough when the customer only wants 1 clean up when they are all down.
  10. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Here is a quote from this site.

    "Purdue turfgrass specialist Zac Reicher has spent four years mulching leaves right onto turfgrass with a mower. When he tested the mulched turf, he found that the turf suffered no damage from the chopped leaf cover, and soil conditions appeared to improve."

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