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grass clippers removal

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-09-16          165703


We cut our lawn of 2 acres with a ZTR mower normaly and sometimes use a CUT with FRM. Part of our lawn grows right fast now we are out of drougth and it producing a good bit of grass clippings. In years past we used a Snapper High Vac mower with grass catcher. We have decided we want that look again. Happen to still have two of those mowers but they are slow but could put catcher back on them and cut the 1/2 acre that is the biggest issue but rather be able to do so with about 1 1/2 acres of the 2.

Have thought about one the lawn wheel rakes, lawn sweeper and lawn vac. Don't like the lawn vac because one the price and two it must be used with lawnmower and the ones I have seen sure would hurt the use of the ZTR mower.

If I go with a rake would want to be able to rake running around house in a spiral going from house to edge of lawn to get clippings out. I have used mulching blades in time past and the best I remember they might have helped some but not a lot.

Suggestions? Implement and also brands.

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-09-16          165709


We had your same issues and ended up with a catcher attachment on the mower.
We do have one of those little wheel rakes, it works well and kinda fun to use but by the time you get done mowing then rake the clippings it took more time than emptying the bagger, plus the clippings made our garden care a lot easier.
My wife has every John Deere adult lawn toy they ever built including two of their lawn sweepers, a new model and an older model, one is a joke and the other one is even funnyier.
frank. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-09-17          165715


A second mowing (especially after a couple of days so the clippings are dry) will chop up the clippings so they're barely visible, and will provide some nutrients to the lawn.

I finally got a dedicated machine that works well (8-horse, pull-behind, flail and vacuum actions) but use it only for heavy leaf-falls.

(What kind of a mower is an "FR"?)

....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-09-17          165722


Auer;
Tell us more about your 8hp. vacuum. That is something the Mrs. doesn't have YET, so it must not be a John Deere.
I'm having a ball again with the "Gator" blades on the mower seeing how far I can make walnuts fly from under the mowser deck. I am easily entertained. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-09-17          165724


Got it last year from Agri-Fab in Quebec. Honda motor spins ground-hovering flails that loosen the debris, as well as vanes that vacuum the pickup into a couple of baskets. Can't find it on their site, so maybe discontinued. At the time they had a larger one for commercial use, and mine (which I think listed at $4k but I paid much less).

Works well. Doesn't macerate leaves much, so the baskets (screening over aluminum ribs) fill sooner than I'd like (though if they were any heavier full than they are now, I couldn't lift them). ....

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grass clippers removal

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-09-17          165725


Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 165715
A second mowing (especially after a couple of days so the clippings are dry) will chop up the clippings so they're barely visible, and will provide some nutrients to the lawn.I finally got a dedicated machine that works well (8-horse, pull-behind, flail and vacuum actions) but use it only for heavy leaf-falls.(What kind of a mower is an "FR"?)


Why it is easy not to see the forest??? So I guess I need to add lights to lawn mower LOL. I really like to cut early evening due to heat.

The FR mower, had letters out of order, should have been RFM or rear finishing mower.

Now to Hardwood's question, more info please. ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-09-17          165729


You did say RFM; I erred. I assumed M was for mower, so meant to ask about the RF.

Anything in particular I can I tell you about the lawn vacuum? One neat (if irrelevant) feature is a couple of hefty clips on the machine top. They hold a plastic tube -- into which go the rolled-up manuals (for the engine and for the vacuum). So the manuals never get lost and are always in a logical location.

The engine is at the front (balances the collection baskets at the back). With the exhaust there, plus all the fast-moving parts, it makes major noise.

My garden tractor can handle it but I pull it with the Yanmar. When the baskets are full I lock them into the tractor bucket and drive to the compost pile where the bucket dumps the leaves. ....

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grass clippers removal

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-09-17          165732


Auerbach, I have looked at Agri Fab web site and do not find what seems to be what you have. Do you mind looking and post a link? I see vac for use with a mower but not all one unit unless just over looking it.
....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-09-17          165736


Ken, that was the first place I looked, which is why I wondered if both models (mine and the larger one) are discontinued. As soon as I can get under its tarp in the barn I'll get the details, do a better search, and let you know.

Meanwhile, I searched ebay to see if there was a photo of one for sale. I did find a tow-behind Agri-Fab Lawn Vacuum. It seems about the size of mine, but with only a 5-horse engine, and instead of two pull-out collection baskets, the whole back is a dump box. Agri-Fab used to have a good site with all its products clearly shown, but I can't find it now. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-10-03          166138


Thank you guys for your suggestions.
We passed on a lawn sweeper and at present also passing on vac.
Went back and recut it as suggested and that has solved it. At least at present. If not will put grass catcher on an older Snapper we still have for the small amount that might still need it. Sometimes the best advice is just like this was to me, think a little and save the money and storage space.
Again thank each of you. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-10-05          166172


I had an epiphany over the weekend while helping a neighbour with just this very problem. In his case the only part of the lawn that needs anything more than a set of mulching blades is over the septic tank and under a few deciduous trees he has during the fall to collect the leaves.

We jury rigged a 2"x4" that went between the two front caster wheel axles and stuck out to the right (discharge) side only. All along the length of this 2"x4" that stuck out to the side we screwed a small cheap poly tarp (5'x8') along the short side and turned up the end along a short vertical piece of wood.

As he cut the grass the clippings blew out onto the tarp which trailed alongside him. When the tarp got loaded down he just stopped and scooped the clippings into a box trailer behind another machine.

I may have come up with a whole new "Murphy Pipe" for summer use!!

I'll start working on the metal version shortly.

Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-10-05          166173


This interesting Murf. I don't remember where but recently saw a similar setup for square hay bales to gether them in a group for squeeze forks to pick them up. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-10-05          166174


Kenny, the grass grows faster & greener over the septic bed, but not enough to warrant baling it.......... yet.

LOL LOL LOL



Best of luck. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-10-05          166180


I hear you, must not be eating enough pork! ;-)

....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-10-06          166193


We have walnuts that need picked up but they usually aren't any good so I got the Gator blades on again this fall and go walnut smackin with the mower. With the plastic grass chute tipped up they go quite a ways.
I didn't know that Murf was in the "Geezer" category yet. The young guys like fast cars, us old guys are content with lawn mowers. ....

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grass clippers removal

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7141 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-10-06          166198


Frank, I must be middle-aged then......

I have fast lawn mowers!! LOL


Best of luck. ....

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pony976
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9 new trip[oli pa
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2009-12-16          167538


If you do any mowing with a zero turn and a second cutting is required, make the second cut perpendicular to the first. Every time I get one of the "my mower broke 3 weeks ago, how much to cut..." calls it's what I do. People are amazed I can get the lawn to look like a ball field and no bagger. My lazer has a bagger but I don't like to use it. If I need something for leaves or if I do a dethatching I break out the Trac Vac. Twin 35 gallon cans and a 5 horse motor pulls just about ecerything out of the lawn. They hav all different kinds of sizes from single can up to dump trailer style units. Can be found on ebay or craigslist all the time. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-12-16          167540


I find it funny I use a ZTR and my brother in laws both use tractor style JDs. Paying carefull attention to my cutting (slow down when pushing leaves) have been pleased with how little any sign of the leaves is being left. It seems they are having more problems than I am with their mower and while tpying this remember one used our MIL rider this past Saturday and he ended up raking leaves left but boy does its deck ride on the grass so it pushes leaves totally. That probably is the same issue with either the design of their JD or how low they like to cut. Both are of the school the lower the better.


Frank, ever have squirrels out there trying to catch those walnuts? ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-12-16          167542


I do the diagonal baseball field pattern with the regular Deere 435 rider. I make sure that I always go the same direction following the same swath as the second time before. I have people ask me "How do you do that?", anyway it brings a lot of compliments.

I've never had a squirle,(or how ever you spell it) catch one comming out of the mower yet. We do have plenty of squirles around the house in town, we're only a block from the grain elevator. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-12-16          167543


Ny typo, 345 not 435 Deere. ....

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pony976
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 9 new trip[oli pa
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2009-12-16          167544


Cutting "as low as possible" or "the lower the better" ends up working against you many ways. 1)stresses the lawn as the ground dries out much faster 2) more opportunity to weeds to take hold(healthy turf chokes out weeds) 3)encourages thatch buildup 4)clippings, leaves, and other "debris" can't be hidden in shorter turf. All those issues and with the deck all the way down, no matter what the design, will act like a plow pilling the leaves in front of the mower. ....

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