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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    36
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2100HST 4wd, FEL, Woods 48" brush mower, 48" box blade

    Default Best methods for finish mowing

    Greetings to all. I have not been following the board lately (getting ready to start school in september). God, the messages add up fast! Took me a week to get caught up. Anyway, I have seen all the discussions on mid mount vs 3pt finish mowers and there are advantages to both. For me, the important thing will be the quality of the cut, and the overall health of the lawn. I seeded part of the back yard earlier this summer and now have a good base going. I am following the Scotts 5 step process. I want the lawn to be as nice as I can keep it. When all is said and done, I will have about 1.5 acres to mow. My concerns are as follows:
    1. to bag or not to bag? if bagging is best for the lawn, problem solved.
    2. If not to bag, then to mulch or not to mulch. Can any mower, mid or 3pt, be set up with mulching blades? And are the small clippings really good or necessary for the lawn if you are fertilizing regularly?
    3. I can't imagine that it is the case, but is a B2100 too heavy for really nice turf?

    Cost is a concern too. A mid mower is ~2200 and a bagger has to be close to 7-800. A rear discharge mower is ~1500. I have no idea what a mulching kit runs if it is even available. So, the bottom line is what do you all recommend for maintaining the best possible lawn?

    thanks, Mike.


  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    36,983
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    Mryan, when I lived in town and kept a manicured lawn, I not only tried both with and without bagging, but talked to a lot of other people about it. Mulched clippings to decompose and return to the soil sounds good, but I can guarantee that the prettiest lawns I've ever known of were mowed using a bagger, and I soon stayed with that. Sorry I can't help you with the other questions.

    Bird

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    127
    Location
    Oklahoma CIty, OK
    Tractor
    John Deere 4300 HST

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    Mike, I agree with Bird, bagging makes the lawn look good every time. Occasionally, mulching will leave windrows or clumps if the grass is a little wet or tall. Mulching works when the grass is growing slow or you mow every 3-4 days The mulch is, in fact, good for your lawn. As the grass decomposes it produces a natural fertilize equivalent to about a 4-1-2 application of fertilize. If you fertilize anyway there is no real advantage to mulching other than time saved by not having to empty the bag. If you don't bag mulching is better than just regular mowing. I have not seen a rear discharge finish mower but from what others have stated here they seem to leave a better appearance than the side discharge types. Maybe somebody else can speak to this. I wouldn't think a B2100 would be anywhere close to too heavy unless your lawn stays soggy all the time. I'm guessing the B2100 weighs about 1400#. Not knowing the soil conditions you have makes weight a little tough to answer. I water my lawn 1" twice a week and would not think twice about mowing it with a B2100. My tractor weighs about 2900# and I believe I could mow with it if the ground wasn't wet or if I had turf tires. Just my opinion. Keep posting your results, I am very interested in your results. I just haven't gotten my courage up to spend $1500 on a finish mower then pull my 2900# tractor out on my lawn and find out it won't work. I would also like to have the option to mulch or catch the grass and finish mowers don't give you that option.


  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    800
    Location
    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    I believe that there are baggers available for the B2100 mid-mower. I have yet to see a bagger for a 3pt mower. You might consider a lawn sweeper, though. I had never used one until the other day and was impressed with how well it worked (once I got the brushes adjusted properly).

    As far as your B2100 goes, the weight should not be much of a problem if you have turf tires (the sales brochure shows its weight to be a little over 1400 lbs; of course nobody seems to agree on whether that weight is as "delivered to the dealer" or "delivered to the customer"). I notice from your profile you have a FEL and an engineering background. Therefore you'll understand that the B2100 could possibly exert less pressure on the ground (considering the heavier weight and larger tire footprint) than a typical riding lawn mower. I haven't run the calculations, but I'm sure that you could. You would most certainly want to remove the FEL to reduce the load on the front wheels.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    255
    Location
    Athens, Georgia
    Tractor
    B2410HSD

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    One consideration in whether to bag or not is the type of grass you've got. If you've got a very dense grass, like zoysia, the clippings will show no matter how much mulching you do. Also if your grass type is prone to fungus or mold, then clumps of poorly distributed clippings will cause trouble. If you've got a low density grass, like fescue, and if you keep it 3 inches high, clippings dissappear almost immediately and return valuable nutrients to the soil.

    At some point, like for a fairly dense bermuda grass that you keep low, bagging becomes more a matter of personal style than anything else.

    If you are looking for free advice, I'd say skip the expensive bagger, and buy a tiller or a snowblower or anything else you can't live without.


  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    41
    Location
    Chester County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2100/L301 loader

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    Mryan, I have a B2100 with filled turf tires for occasional loader work, with a belly mount mower it does a fine job. I cut my grass to a 3" length and try not to cut off more than an inch at a time. The wet summer here (SE PA) has made grass cutting an every five to six day chore.

    Keep your blades sharp, the slower you go (within reason) the better the final cut will be. Make sure the grass is dry in order to keep the clippings from building up under the deck. The kubota deck gives as good a cut as the Woods deck did on my last tractor, but I think that the clippings build up under the deck faster.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    Mryan,
    I just bought a 2910 with a 60 in midmount and a bagger and the baggers aren't cheap! I looked at the 2410 and the 2910 and the bagger was the same price. almost $1700.00. I'll recieve the machine next week and let you know how the bagger works. I'm hoping it picks up pinecones and sticks....

    Regards,
    Chrisfromct


  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    597
    Location
    Edgewood, New Mexico
    Tractor
    JD4100

    Default Re: Best methods for finish mowing

    Myran, I have a JD4100, which is very similar in size/weight (1600#) to your B2100. I have R4 tires and I never have any problem with the weight on the lawn. To answer your question about the mulching conversion-I have a mid-mount mower deck with the mulching conversion kit (JD cost about $100 installed). The kit consists of mulching blades and a round flange which mounts under the deck to block the discharge shute, and redirect the grass back into the blades for mulching. I like to mulch my grass (Kentucky bluegrass/red fescue/ryegrass mix) most of the summer, but occassionally when I get behind on mowing and the grass gets too high, then I follow the mower with my push mower/bagger to pick up the clumped clippings (BIG BUMMER). So to answer your question, mulching will work fine and it is very good for your lawn nutrient-wise, but don't let the grass get too high between mowings. One good thing about the mulch kit is that it is easily removed if you want to use the discharge chute to windrow cuttings.


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