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Advice on mulching mowers

Hi Guys,

I have been cutting domestically now for about 6 years I'm based in northern ireland  but been thinking of buying another ride on mower.

I was wondering what the thoughts are on zero turn mulching mowers and whether there is more established grass cutting firms that use mulching mowers to cut domestic gardens on a fortnightly basis? Whether this is possible? I tend to think it may not be as growth rate might be too great for this type of mower.

Also been looking around at kubota high tip gzd15 collecting machine second hand but hard to come by any recommendations? I currently run a mid deck john deere 155r which is good but looking to add a 2nd machine.

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  • I have been using Stiga mulching mowers for over eleven years now [12 seasons]. They are very good. There is one caveat. On the smaller domestic lawns where there needs to be no sign of any clippings it is sometimes necessary in high growth periods to go over the ground twice to ensure complete invisibility of grass clippings. It is though still much faster than collecting and disposing of grass clippings.

    . What you do is cut the grass at the height you require, then raise the height of cut slightly and go over it again. Any remaining visible grass clipping will then completely disappear. The Stigas are fast machines. The forward and reverse top speed is much faster than a garden tractor which you have to factor in.

     I do some high end jobs for a large country estate where grass collection was specified. I said I would not be collecting but mulching. The previous contractor spent ages collecting and taking the grass to the tip. I sometimes need to go over the area twice but I am still finished in much less time than collecting. After the first cut I did one resident emailed the estate office to say how lovely the grass looked, particularly compared with the previous contractor’s efforts.

    I also run a John Deere zero turn but don’t mulch with it. I use that for playing fields etc. You can fit a mulching kit but I find the four wheel drive Stiga a better bet for high finish jobs. The zero turn has the habit of spinning a wheel occasionally and scuffing the turf, not a problem on a council play area but not on a lawn. Go with the four wheel drive Stiga for domestic/high finish/ bank-slope work.

    This is a picture of the job I mentioned above where the resident emailed in [I took the picture before I had strimmed the edges]. You can just see the Stiga. The finish is perfect.

    3756803616?profile=RESIZE_930x

    • Hi Vic 575  

      Really appreciate the reply I have spoken with a few dealer which have put me off the mulching mowers for cutting domestically fortnightly as they say it will leave visible grass especially in high growth periods but the finish in your picture is super impressive.

      How do you find it fortnightly in the height of summer?? Like you say even  covering twice would be quicker is that a typical finish you achieve everytime?

      • PRO

        I also use a Stiga like Vic. I have the Pro 125 deck and cut at number 2 (which is around 40mm I think) all year long and never have any issues. Occasional double cut. Cut over on a higher cut when there is a lot of leaf fall. Still much much faster than collecting.

         

        • Seth makes a good point. Get a Stiga with a three bladed deck. Having had a two bladed type as well, I can say that the three bladed ones are far superior.

          I have a Stiga 740 PWX with the 100 3 bladed deck. The narrower deck is ideal for the churchyards where narrow gaps are the norm. Also get one with the V Twin engine rather than the single cylinder type. More power, smoother, quieter – more refined.

          • Vic 575,

            Brilliant advice and feedback I really appreciate I will certainly look into the stiga model you mention I think the out front mower would have many benefits especially over mid deck machines. That's real tidy work I can see why you seem to have a lot of work on by the pictures.

             

            Would love to push things on and branch out into commercial work but it's pretty tough over here as our councils do most of the parks and churchyards so not sure where to start tbh but thanks for the help so far really helpful cheers

        • Seth Burgess thanks for the reply

          I had initially looked at the stiga bit over here not many guys have them so great feedback for the brand. Also from what I have seen everyone collects so great to hear it can be possible to mulch fortnightly 

      • The thing is that as we all know every job is different. On each job the grass is not only different types but grows at varying rates. It is never one size fits all. I have a couple of small domestic lawns that I use the Stiga on. Even in late spring when the grass is off and away, the Stiga is still quicker than collecting. On these very small jobs it is possible to spin over the grass three times if needed, in a matter of a few minutes. Think of how long it takes to stop, remove and empty the collector and how long it take to dispose of the grass if you aren’t using the customers green bin that is. Not having to stop is the key.

        I use the Stiga in most of the churchyards and cemeteries I do. The churchyards are only 11 cuts per year, or every three weeks. It’s not feasible to mulch completely under these conditions as I only go over the ground once. Some areas are twice due to having to back out again in the maze like old churchyards and with some ‘shunting’ needed. But even under these difficult conditions it is amazing how much less grass is left visible when compared to the John Deere zero turn that I use in one of the churchyards. So even on jobs where grass collection is not required and visible grass clippings are perfectly acceptable, the Stiga will still make a better job. This is because even with the mulching bar removed for rear discharge, the blades are still the mulching blade type, so you will still get a degree of mulching even then.

        I suppose the dealers recommendations are often biased to what the dealer sells, has in stock or has knowledge of.

        This is a once over job I do.

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    • PRO

      Hi Vic

      Do you use Massey's as your local Stiga dealer? I'm looking at a Stiga for this season and would like to find a Midlands based dealer with a decent show room?

      Thanks

      • Hi Steven,

        No, I had never heard of them until you mentioned them. I have used Belmont in South Normantion for 12 years now. They are a small dealership about 11 miles south of me. They are that old fashioned dealer that look after you properly. They will discount a machine more than anyone else. I get all my spares from them. They are the best spares centre I have ever dealt with.

        I would go with Belmont and not someone who also sells garden furniture.

        • PRO

          Thanks Vic. I'll check them out.

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