What are some LELE Tips for Landscapers?

Some simple tips for effective and efficient mulch mowing from landscapers experienced with LELE practices in the field:

  • SLOW DOWN! Mulch mowing is different than grass mowing. (Slower speed allows finer leaf chop.)
  • Install mulching blades (e.g.; “Gator" blades or mower brand-specific blades) on mowers.
  • Close the mulch plate on the mower deck.
  • Keep your mower blades well-sharpened.
  • Mow grass high through the fall so that leaf shreds can settle between grass blades.
  • Adjust the blade height to 2.5-4 inches high. (You'll need to experiment to determine optimum setting for your mower and site turf conditions to maximize leaf chop and minimize throw from under the deck.)
  • Mulch when leaves are dry or semi-damp, whenever possible.
  • Take on no more than 2/3 or 3/4 of a deck's width of material at a time. (With a full deck's width, you may be making the machine work too hard, often resulting in the “toss” of some un-chopped leaves right out the front and sides of the mower deck - it's simply a case of too many leaves at a time for the mower.)
  • Face mower discharge to the work-to-be-done side for easy re-grind when necessary.
  • If required, multi-pass to shred leaves completely (around 1" square is target size).
  • On subsequent passes, use a criss-cross pattern over the lawn to minimize rutting.
  • With deep leaf piles, raise the front of the mower to "attack" into the pile, then lower deck back down. Repeat this "raise & lower" chopping technique as required. (Hint: a counter weight on the rear of the deck helps reduce the effort to raise/tilt the chassis.)
  • Blow excess leaf shred on surface of turf across a wider lawn area to even out. Excess shred can also be blown into nearby landscape beds as a mulch.
  • Mulch mow collected leaves next to a target area where you desire to use the resulting mulch.
  • Learn the ROLLING CHOP technique to allow the mulcher man to work in concert with the man with the blower so that in a short time, everything is processed "in situ." (See details here.)

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