Too much Mulch??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by VnDrWLawnCare, Nov 5, 2001.

  1. VnDrWLawnCare

    VnDrWLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Guy asked me to mulch the leaves in his yard instead of picking them up. So i began to mulch then. There was double the amount of leaves this week as compared to a week ago when i picked them up. Well i only mulched the front and then stopped because i began to wonder if too much mulch will kill out the grass. Will it sufficate the yard if the clippings are not watered in? I will continue to mulch if that is not going to affect the yard next year. I personally feel that it will look nicer if they are picked up, but wanted to try and do what the customer asked of me.
  2. grassman50

    grassman50 Banned
    Messages: 36

    I did the same thing this weekend. I had about and inch of straight mulch of leaves on the grass from mulching about six inches of leaves on the whole lawn!!! It is alot faster than bagging them, and you get just as much money.. but i cant say that it is that great for the lawn. Some mulch is good for the soil but what you are describing and my past weekend experience, its not that great! What i would do is mulch them and run back over the lawn with a vac system and suck up the remaining mulch.. still being much faster than bagging them from the beginning. Just my thought.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I think you have to use your best judgement and if it looks too thick then you have to pick some of it up. From my reading it also seems like you will be better off if the leafs are Maples. Double and triple cut if you have to to get them broke down as much as possible.
    This is my first year really grinding them and the results are great. The lawns have not gone dormant yet and the ones that I have mulched are looking great.

    So to sort of answer your question, my procedure is
    run over the lawn with the Toro w/mulch kit and doubles at least once, if thick twice. Take the Walker for a ride over the high spots at almost full speed (which aint that fast). I reduced 100 bushels to about 5 (thats 10 hoppers down to about 1/2 of 1)on the first lawn I tried it on. If you don't have a vacuum system you can try and distribute the clippings with the backpack blower or cut 4 times but this takes time($$).
    Good Luck.
    The customer is (always-sometimes-never) right.
    You pick;)
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    not sure this applies to your situation,but this is why i leave
    the discharge open. with doubles theres very little leave
    of any kind. can be a bit dusty ,if its dry.
  5. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    i agree with awm we are running the doubles (with a little help from eric,) and we dont have any thing left on the ground (leaves) when we get done. gotta make 2 sometimes 3 passes depending on how heavey it is......
  6. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Don't forget, each week when you go over this lawn, the leaf particles will keep getting smaller. 2 weeks ago was when the leaves came down here big time and I had to go over them 3 times that week, but I adjust the price for this too, so I don't come out on the short end. Last week the leaves weren't as heavy, so just a double cut turned them to dust.

    This spot I am referring to is a developement that the name ends in FORREST, so there are lots of 100 year old Oak trees and others that really have lots of leaves.

    To give you an idea, when I picked them up I would get around 15 loads in my 22 bushel lawn vac during the heavy week of leaf dropping on a 1 acre lawn. That is over 300 bushels of leaves that were chopped by a JD 60" deck plus the lawn vac reduced the size too, so they were really packed in there. I have been mulching them now for the past 7 years without problems and the owners say the lawns look better doing it this way. I mulch the leaves weekly. I used to pick them up weekly, so the time span is the same.

    I hope this helps. ;)

    Here are a couple pictures, a before and after so you can get an idea of how mulching works on fairly deep leaves. As you know, I live around the windy city, so a few dropped before I got the final picture. Also you will see some chopped leaves there too, but we keep mulching until the first snow fall, so they get chopped up even more later on.


  7. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    another quality picture by eric :)
  8. Scraper

    Scraper LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    Looks good because that Chopper blows them all up on the roof! ;)

    j/k I see them in the b4
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662


    I was just curious if you cut the same direction during your mulching methods or will you cut 2-3 different patterns at a property to get the desired look???

    We will end up rotating patterns at each stop to get the leaves mulched but your pic looks as if you've had acceptable results running the same direction. The only reason I asked was because sometimes the lawns are a lil bit wet and I didnt know if you ever had a problem with rutting at all???


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