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What do you do with all your clippings?

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by blakerugg, Feb 18, 2010.


What do you do with your clippings?

  1. Bag, dump on site

  2. Bag, Haul away

  3. Mulch

  4. Discharge

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    I did that for years. Please dont remind me. Best way to do it if you dont have a dump
  2. PecoVacs

    PecoVacs Inactive
    Messages: 130

    Do you use the compost from the places that you dump your clippings? Do any of you use compost in your fert programs?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  3. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    i sub out fert
  4. CrazyBlonde

    CrazyBlonde LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    I said this on another thread somewhere on lawnsite, but I feel it may help SOME LCO's decide, or get their customers to ALLOW them to leave the clippings:

    Cutting grass high allows it to shade its own roots, conserve moisture and keep out weeds. If the grass doesn't shade the weed, the weed will shade the grass. Sun is food. Food is strength and life. Shade is weakness, disease and death. Grass will shade the weeds only if it is tall enough. The shade of tall, dense grass turf will prevent essential light from reaching most weeds and, will aid in the destruction of new baby weed seedlings (such as the notorious dandelion).

    MYTH: "If I mow short, it will be longer until I have to mow again." False! Your grass needs grass blades to do photosynthesis (convert sunshine into sugar) to feed the roots. When you whack the blades off, the grass has to grow amazingly fast to make more blades to make sugar. This fast growth uses up a lot of the grass's stored sugar, and weakens the plant. It is now vulnerable to disease and pests! Tall grass is healthier and can use the extra sugar to make rhizomes (more grass plants) thus thickening the turf.

    Mowing higher has the following benefits:

    more shade to the soil leads to less watering
    deeper roots which leads to less watering
    thicker turf which leads to fewer weeds
    slower growth which leads to less mowing

    GRASS CLIPPINGS: -provide nitrogen and reduce the amount of fertilizer needed.

    Grass clippings in moderation should be left on the lawn. When they breakdown with the help of micro-organisms in the soil, they feed soil organisms, recycle plant nutrients, and contribute organic matter to the soil, making your lawn healthier, and a beautiful green! As a result, water is conserved and less fertilizer is needed.

    A mulching mower or blade kit can help with this process promoting faster decomposition.

    And as for fert guys using chemicals instead of organics. The chems are killing all the micro-organisms that help to decompose the grass clippings, so basically you have dead soil, that is DEPENDANT on the chems to feed it to sustain the lawn, so you will build up thatch. That lawn is a victim of a vicious cycle of chemicals.

    I would ONLY bag occasionally, when you have a extra amount of clippings due to extra growth.

    Grass clippings have been banned from landfills by approximately half of the states in the United States.

    As they decompose in landfills, the nutrients they contain are not only wasted, but the chemical pesticides also contribute to landfill leachate and groundwater contamination.

    Grass clippings typically comprise 10 to 20 percent of the solid waste in landfills collected by communities on a year-round basis.
    During the summer months, grass clippings can account for nearly half the weight of the waste collected in some communities!
    Curbside collection of grass clippings increases trash, handling, and hauling costs, while burying grass clippings reduces available landfill space.
  5. RCSindiana

    RCSindiana LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Blow it into the neighbors yard:laugh:
  6. TeamLawnCare

    TeamLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I bag all of my lawns, I empty the lawn mower bags into the bed of my truck which is lined with a heavy duty tarp. At the end of each day we head to the local dump and for $3 a time we empty the truck. I actually take pride in the way I empty the truck, after watching countless other companies take an hour to empty their truck I can pull up drop the tailgate, me and another employee grab the corners of the tarp and heave ho! We dump the grass, grab the tarp, while the other employee uses a blower to make sure the bed is free of all grass. Hop in the truck that is still running and we drive away. It amazes me how long it takes some of those companies to get rid of their waste. The time you use to dump your clippings is time that you won't be earning any income, it is essentially downtime. Don't let it be a deterant to your business.
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I sit in my truck and push a button... The people out there with pitch forks and rakes unloading next to me hate me... lol!

    I do have to get out to drop the tail gate, but I do that while the bed is going up (it's kinda slow on the big dump bed).
  8. climber338

    climber338 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    guys why even bag at all. if you mow on a regular basis then just let them fly they should compost into the lawn over a weeks time. If your getting allot of thatch then you have nothing breaking down the clipping and you need to add life to the lawn. There's no more hauling clipping around all day and then forking them out later. By bagging the clipping your actually hurting the lawn by taking away a THIRD of the lawns nitrogen in the back of your truck. If you do bag then you better compost it and then put it back onto the lawn in the form of compost tea. IMO there's no reason to bag at all. one of my clients asked me to bag and i told him that it was going to cost him and it would do damage to your lawn for those reasons and he said "oh well then forget about it just do what you know is best". As CrazyBlonde stated above mow high and let them fly. Ive shaded out allot of the weeds in all of my lawns and now there much greener and require less watering and are overall allot easier to maintain.
  9. joel29m

    joel29m LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    i side discharge and mulch, easier on me and the client if you know what i mean....
  10. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    Impossible to do on my lawns, except maybe in august. They are all irrigated and fertilized. If I didn't bag, the lawn would look like crap. Clumps everywhere. I would have to mow 2-3 times a week in the spring to mulch the grass. Its just how its done around here. Crappy lawns you can let it fly. Real nice lawns must be bagged.

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