Do you bag or mulch lawns you mow?

When you mow a lawn, your mower clips off the top of the grass and the clippings are left. Some service providers will mulch the clippings while others will bag the clippings. There are pros and cons to each method. Which one you choose to perform will depend on a bunch of factors like your region, the grass you are cutting, and the customer’s preference. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we get some insight as to what other landscape companies do on their lawns.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am new to the business and want to know what are the majority of customers wanting us to do with the grass clippings? I prefer to mulch as it’s easier and faster and I don’t have to worry about disposing of the grass but maybe I am missing out on a lot of customers who want that look after the clippings are bagged and removed from the property.”

A second business owner added “when I got started, back some 15 years ago, I used to bag all my lawns. Sure it was time consuming but it was the ‘in thing’ to do. Now in this day and age, I mulch the clippings. I don’t even carry a mower that bags anymore.

If a customers calls you and wants their property mowed and the grass is extra long, I tell them I have to charge a higher price to have it cut and a separate fee to have it raked and bagged. Mulching grass clippings contributes to about 30% of the total fertilizer needed for the lawn from what I have read. That lowers the need to add fertilizers after the fact and is a big selling point.”

A third said “I bag, every time no question.”

A fourth shared “bagging is more work for less benefits. I don’t see the upside. The only time I bag is to pick up leaves in the fall or if I perform pruning at a house that is also a mowing customer, I’ll pick up the clippings with the bagger and throw ‘em in the truck.

Well, I do bag one lawn because she gets it fertilized 6 time per year and it grows about 9″ per week. It’s totally ridiculous. I could probably sell the overfertilized grass back to a company and they could turn it back into fertilizer.”

A fifth responded “I always bag. Though it depends on the type of grass you are mowing. I talked with our mower shop and commercial product supplier and they both agree. In my area you really can not mulch. The grass holds too much moisture and you are going to need a rake and bucket every time. We have a Rye & Fescue mix here.

I wish I could mulch as managing the disposal of all the clippings is half the battle around here. To get rid of the clippings we do it a couple ways. In some areas a ‘green’ can is offered with your garbage pick up. We discount the disposal fee from the service if the customer has a green can and will let us use it. It saves a lot of time as we can just dump in the green can and the trash haulers take it away every week. In the surrounding areas, this service is not offered. We have to haul away the grass and other debris and take them to the dump. At the dump they offer free disposal of ‘green’ debris. They use it to make compost and sell it. It’s expected around here for grass clipping removal to be included, so we just have to factor it into our pricing.”

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