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To mulch or not to mulch????

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Best Cuts, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Best Cuts

    Best Cuts LawnSite Member
    from 63366
    Messages: 4

    When is the best time of year to mulch?? How much speed do you lose?? Is it REALLY worth it??? I live in the Missouri, and in the spring the grass is too lush and you just want it cut and OUT!!! Any suggestions??:confused:
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258

    Best cuts,

    All good but tough questions to answer because it all varies upon conditions, seasons, cutting heights as well as daily changes in all of these.

    Here are some generalities however for your region (please anyone cutting bluegrass/fescue jump in here). Spring is generally the most difficult time to mulch. The grass is growing too fast, is too wet, too lush and too tender. If the deck does not have a little rake in it, you can quickly have a mess that looks like green pudding. Not very tasty, sticks to the deck and stains everything it touches.

    Once things dry out you will be able to mulch. You can loose some speed and it may be enough to notice but it won't effect your productivity numbers that much. When you top speed in only 10-11 mph and you generally mow at 6-8 mph a 1/2 mph feels like a lot. Plan on slowing down 1 mph. You may not need to slow down that much on some lawns but others may require a little more. This also depends on your deck size vs. the engine horsepower. If your going to mulch a few more ponies doesn't hurt

    Mulching works best when only cutting off 1/3 of the blade of grass as well as 1" or less. You can mulch taller grass than that but it can't be overly damp.

    Summer/fall it works awesome. I don't like to carry leaves away, it takes time, it's not a lot of fun and there are just not a lot of reasons to do it. There are time however when you may need to carry them away such as the customer requires it, the leaves are too thick, matted and wet or if you've got a large number of oak or walnut trees. The oak and walnut leaves contain high levels of acids that the grass doesn't like. You can mulch them but you'll need to put down lime afterwards. Your county extension office may be able to supply more details on that issue.

    Throw into the mix the benefits to the lawn that you get with mulching, the reduction of thrown objects vs. side discharging and the ability to trim on both sides of the deck and you've got a winner.

    I like mulching. I like it a lot but it really comes down to your conditions, and what you and your customer prefer.

    Maybe a few of the other members in your area can be of some help as well.



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