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  • Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

    I have a 42" cub cadet with the kawasaki engine, and got a mulch plug accessory as part of the deal. Are there any guidelines on when to use the mulch plug versus when to go with side discharge? I currently do side discharge, our grass is mostly fescue/rye/bluegrass...typical northeast blend, and I mow pretty high about once a week.

    I heard that once you start mulching, you should continue and mow more often to prevent clumps resulting from long grass. Also, it is reportedly more stressful on your belts and takes longer to mow since the blades are recirculating clippings.

    Any advice on this?

  • #2
    Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

    Joe, You can side discharge with regular or mulch blades, without using the mulch plug. I let it side discharge with mulch blades to prevent clumping under the deck on my sears tractor. I agree that it's a good idea not to let your grass grow high becuase of the reason you mentioned, otherwise you drop big clumps of grass that need to be picked up or gone over and over till they break up. The usual rules apply regardless of the blade used, try not to let it get too high, avoid cutting when wet or dampp to avoid clumps. You got a nice machine. Frank

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    • #3
      Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

      I have a great little Husqvarna ZTR (zero turn radius) mower and I mulch all the time. In the northeast it has been really great grass growing season. You could almost mow twice a week. Mulching shreds the clippings up really fine and helps the clippings to break down in short order. This year it has been necessary to go back over the lawn a second time or I will be leaving wind rows which I will have to take the leaf blower to, or mow over again. As I understand it, the clippings help to refeed the lawn.

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      • #4
        Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

        I mowed my lawn last night with the mulch plug installed, and was pretty happy with the results. My blades are the default ones that came with the mower, they look like normal blades. I did notice that the amount of clippings flying around me was much greater as I mowed, and there were a lot of clippings on the mower deck and on the mower in general when I was done. Maybe mulching blades will reduce this a bit, along with mulching more often (last night's grass was on the long side).

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        • #5
          Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

          I too open chute mow. I set my deck to float and blades are set at 1 1/2 - 2". I currently have a set of mulch blades on mine, I don't like them. They don't cut as nice as the standard blades. Personally I like the "gator" style blades, I just haven't gotten a set for this lawnmower. I have a 60" Lesco Commercial zero-turn mower with a 25HP Kawasaki engine. It use to take me 2.5 hours to cut my lawn with my old 42" craftsman 1000 mower, now it only takes me just over an hour. I have a PECO bagger system as well, but it needs a new motor and some work on the bracketry to get it running, but haven't used it since I got it.

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          • #6
            Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

            Years ago before I knew any better I used to bag all my grass clipping, now the only time I bag is in the fall when leaves are on the lawn and the very first cut of the season.

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            • #7
              Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
              Years ago before I knew any better I used to bag all my grass clipping, now the only time I bag is in the fall when leaves are on the lawn and the very first cut of the season.
              That's my plan for this fall

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              • #8
                Re: Lawnmowers: side discharge versus mulching

                Thanks everyone. The amount of grass flying around and piling up on my mower deck made me switch back to side discharge last night. Maybe I'll must mulch a few times a year and especially in the fall.

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