Since the early 1980's I have owned and operated a lawn and tree care business. I'm not only a manufacturer, I'm one of you! I started out mulching the clippings back into the lawns, what a mistake!
That first year I was offered a free John Deere hydrostatic Riding lawn mower with the dual bags behind my back. I got the mower for free as long as I mowed this client's (Jim Wolford of Grand Island, Nebraska) lawn for free for two seasons. I tried mulching the grass clippings, by recycling the clippings back to the lawn. It was widely advertised that by mulching, this practice would add back to the lawn the equivalent of one fertilization application of nutrients over a season. In other words, if you fertilize 5 times a season, you will now only have to fertilize 4 times. I tried to reduce the number of fertilizer applications of my mowing customers. Sadly, these lawns became yellow during the season and my incidence of leaf diseases and insect damage only increased, disproportionate to the bagging clients. In addition, I had to mow twice a week during the spring months and into early summer because the turf grew too fast. I ended up with a mess of clumping lawn clippings and windrows. Guess what?, I had to go over the lawn twice on some days, causing me to mow the same lawn four times a week.
As the season continued in 1984, I lost some of these clients due to the mess I left behind or the disease and insect issues that plagued the lawns when the lawn clippings were recycled back into the lawn. After 33 years in business and having fertilized over 326 million square feet, I'm an expert in a few areas; since 1984 I have made the connection that lawns that are mulched, have more leaf diseases, sod webworms or white grubs due to high thatch layers and the fact that the disease inoculate (spores) are no longer collected/bagged and carried away, it stay on the lawn and reinfects the new grass blades.
I for one, have always had to fertilize the mulched lawn as many times as the rest of my lawns. Furthermore, golf course superintendents across the nation will uphold this observation that areas where the clippings are bagged require no additional fertilizer to keep them as pristine as mulched/grasscycled/grass recycled areas disproving the "marketing theory" that by mulching you can save on fertilizer. I argue that lawns mulched don't look as nice as a bagged lawns and if you mulch your lawn, I bet you can tell me the name of your favorite fungicide and insecticide because you need to purchase these products every year. I will also bet you need to dethatch every year?
By the end of that first year I had accumulated several hundred hefty bags full of spent lawn clippings that I haphazardly threw into the pole barn until the end of the season. I sure wish I had invented the BioPac'r packaging system back then!
Now that BioPac'r has created a way to get rid of lawn clippings, why not reduce all the issues associated with mulching, and begin to package these waste clippings, to be converted into a high value livestock feed? For a two man mowing crew with two bagging mowers, you can increase your revenue as much as $90 in profit per day, everyday, throughout the growing season by converting Grass2Cash! And in doing so, will earn your communities environmentalist of the year award.
Until next time..