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Do I need to bag the grass?


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Old 02-25-2010, 12:32 PM
B-2 Lawncare B-2 Lawncare is offline
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Default Do I need to bag the grass?

I have a new customer who is going to hydro seed this spring. Should i bag the first cutting of new grass. Or should mulch the grass? I am of the opinion that most people mulch to much. let me know what you guys think.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by B-2 Lawncare View Post
I have a new customer who is going to hydro seed this spring. Should i bag the first cutting of new grass. Or should mulch the grass? I am of the opinion that most people mulch to much. let me know what you guys think.
We always mulch unless the customer complains the grass is growing too fast then we will bag. Do you know what kind of seed they are going to Hydroseed? I find around here they have a high mix of Rye grass which can be a problem as it dies off fast, this is another good reason to mulch.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:35 PM
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Mulching can prevent several negative things from happening.

The only time I bag now, is if my customers grass is up to my knees.

I had a customer who hired a kid who used to always mulch, once a month.

You could imagine how much long grass was just laying on top of the lawn, suffocating it & preventing it from growing.

Pretty disastrous.

This customer can't afford to renew his destroyed lawn, so my job is to mow the weeds down, that's all his lawn has.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:45 PM
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We'd never bag. Too much cost and it is seems like just a waste. The blades that we had on the lawn mowers were special "mulching" blades and they worked good also. When you take clipping off of the lawn, that is just fertilizer you will have to replace.

You should let the new grass grow higher then usual so that it will properly establish. You want the new establish grass to have a good root system. When it comes to cutting, only cut a 1/3 maximum off of the blade. Much more and you will be hurting the grass + the grass will start clumping up which takes more time to correct.

Some home owners understand letting the new grass grow higher to properly establish, and others will complain.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:58 AM
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Default Dosent mulching every time = to much thatch,

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Originally Posted by picframer View Post
We always mulch unless the customer complains the grass is growing too fast then we will bag. Do you know what kind of seed they are going to Hydroseed? I find around here they have a high mix of Rye grass which can be a problem as it dies off fast, this is another good reason to mulch.
If you mulch all the time how do you control how mulch thatch is on the lawn? Do you dethatch in the summer? Another thing Is not a big issue but more of a pain in the but. Putting the mulch kit on my new tractor. most people around here want it bagged. And from the way it looks on the web it looks like i will have to take it off if i want to bag with this mower. I am not sure what kind of seed they are going to use. they are planing to do it with in the next month. Which I think is a big mistake. Spring wont hit here until May.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-2 Lawncare View Post
If you mulch all the time how do you control how mulch thatch is on the lawn? Do you dethatch in the summer? Another thing Is not a big issue but more of a pain in the but. Putting the mulch kit on my new tractor. most people around here want it bagged. And from the way it looks on the web it looks like i will have to take it off if i want to bag with this mower. I am not sure what kind of seed they are going to use. they are planing to do it with in the next month. Which I think is a big mistake. Spring wont hit here until May.
I am from minnesota and we grow KBG. We don't really have a thatch build up problem as big as some of the other "warmer states"

But back to the thatch question and why it needs to be address. Mulch DOES NOT build up thatch.

Taken from
http://www.smithlawnservices.com/Services.htm

HOW CAN I PREVENT THATCH BUILD-UP?

Contrary to popular misconception, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch build-up. In fact, fine clippings (when your grass is mowed on a regular basis and the clippings are not too long) act as a natural fertilizer that minimizes thatch and adds to the vitality of your lawn.

So what causes excessive thatch? Many things, including poor aeration, soil composition, rotten leaves and yard waste sitting on your grass. Even excessive pesticides and herbicides can aid in the acceleration of thatch build-up, because they drive away earthworms, your soil's natural aerators.

To prevent thatch, make sure your lawn is mowed regularly; remove fallen leaves promptly; aerate at least once a year to help air, moisture, and nutrients reach the soil; and when watering, make sure to saturate the soil completely to encourage the roots to grow downward rather than up towards the turf.



Be sure to educate yourself and your clients about this. I have had a lot of my clients ask me this question and once educated they will go with the proven advice.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:57 PM
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Andrew is correct with his answer. Grass clippings do not add to the thatch layer, well not really. If your lawn already has a thick layer of thatch that will slow down the breakdown of the mulched grass seeming to become thatch or add to the layer...did that make sense? Well makes sense in my head

If your lawn has a healthy layer of thatch (and yes thatch is all part of a healthy lawn) it will help break down the mulched grass.

But back to the OP questions.

Quote:
I have a new customer who is going to hydro seed this spring. Should i bag the first cutting of new grass. Or should mulch the grass? I am of the opinion that most people mulch to much. let me know what you guys think.
Because of the HydroSeeding I would clean up any clippings or debris before it is sprayed. Also, the turf should be mowed fairly short in order for the slurry to make contact with the ground and not be floating on the blades of grass. The slurry generally contains a fertilizer mixture so worrying that you'll be removing 'free' fertilizer by taking the mulched grass away need not apply in this case.

If a lawn is mowed regularly (once per week) and you are not taking more than 1/3 of its total length you should have no problem mulching. Some clients like the grass to be bagged as they don't want it tracked into the house by kids and pets, or commercial properties that want a crisp clean look.

If you are not mulching the turf I would recommend that you sell your clients on soil testing kits to make sure you are getting the right amounts of NPK and adjust fertilizing accordingly. Makes to be a great selling feature for 'bagged' clients.
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