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Why Do You Bag Grass Clippings?


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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  #1  
Old 07-31-2011, 09:40 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Default Why Do You Bag Grass Clippings?

Seriously. I still consider myself a noob, so I'm curious... while I'm going from one job to the next, why do I see all these guys emptying bags of grass clippings into their trucks instead of mulching?

Do their mowers simply "suck" at mulching? Do they ENJOY stopping every 4 passes to empty a bag? Is there a hidden benefit to having to drive all that crap to the dump and PAY to dispose of it?

I'm specifically talking about push mowers here, by the way. I carry my bag with me "just in case", but except in early spring when the grass is growing like mad, I don't bag - it's retarded.


Am I missing something?
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:55 PM
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There is only one good reason and it's not that good. Sometimes a fertilizing company has something against the mowing company so they will blast the lawn with more than a pound of N per 1000 sqft. It causes surge growth so the mowing company will bag up all the clippings and lower the deck to strip out as much of the nutrients as possible. That causes the fertilizing company to blast it again and it starts the whole cycle again.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:04 PM
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I wanted to add that I only bag one lawn and it is for the reason mentioned above. It seriously gets 12+ inches of growth in 7 days (except in the really hot summer months) and the customer will not allow more than one cut per week.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:14 AM
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Unless it's really tall I mulch except if it's the fall/spring to pick up the leaves. I have one customer that refuses to let me mulch it. I said I can cut it on a day your home and if you don't like it I will do it again bagging it but she didn't want to hear it. There is nothing left behind my blades cut it so much there's no trace. She also only has me cut it when she calls. About every two weeks. So I bag it and she said because there's issues with disposal just dump it into my garbage can.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Liberty Landscaping LLC View Post
Unless it's really tall I mulch except if it's the fall/spring to pick up the leaves. I have one customer that refuses to let me mulch it. I said I can cut it on a day your home and if you don't like it I will do it again bagging it but she didn't want to hear it. There is nothing left behind my blades cut it so much there's no trace. She also only has me cut it when she calls. About every two weeks. So I bag it and she said because there's issues with disposal just dump it into my garbage can.
Customers telling me how to do my job is a pet peeve. Worse yet is when a customer's neighbor starts bossing me around.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
There is only one good reason and it's not that good. Sometimes a fertilizing company has something against the mowing company so they will blast the lawn with more than a pound of N per 1000 sqft. It causes surge growth so the mowing company will bag up all the clippings and lower the deck to strip out as much of the nutrients as possible. That causes the fertilizing company to blast it again and it starts the whole cycle again.
Take a look at Weed Man Fert bag 16-0-6.
Makes the grass nice and green but not much else.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:09 PM
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had one I went to quote my first year that was about 8k of zoysia grass
wanted it done with a push mower
wanted it bagged
wanted it done once a month


She said that the last guy had done it for $15 but since gas had gone up she was willing to pay $18.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:55 PM
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Take a look at Weed Man Fert bag 16-0-6.
Makes the grass nice and green but not much else.
I don't put down too much fertilizer, it's the guy that think it's funny to watch me struggle so I cut it down to the ground and bag it up all season long.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:21 PM
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I was just curious because honestly, until I get a walk behind or something, I really have no need to drag a trailer around with me unless I'm using it to haul grass clippings - and I rarely bag, so the trailer sits at home.

As I go about my day, I will notice these larger outfits with dump trucks and I see them dump their clippings in the back. I dunno... maybe when you have 3, or 4 guys hauling a$$ on a property, you can take the time to empty bags, but I truly can't see the need to bag. My mower mulches beautifully, so why bother bagging? Maybe I'm cutting different types of lawns/grass than those guys?

I want a sticker for the side of my mower that says "Bagging is for Suckers!"
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:34 AM
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The only time we did it was to slow down growth as noted, no other reason and we avoided it at all costs.

As for other companies, sometimes it's the customer, they want that golf course look so they can walk around bear feet and have no grass on their feet, however what I almost always found was a lack of education, customers simply did not realize the benefits of leaving the clippings.
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