Clippings collection Vs Mulching

harks11

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Hello, Newbie here. I am in the process of going from an inner city block to ten acres. 2 acres of house lawn and the rest paddock. After much reading forums I like the Ventrac machine to do both jobs. However, there is little mention of grass clippings. The Ventrac does not pickup as a normal push or ride on. So how does it maintain the quality of a presentation lawn round the house. There are many references to using it with high quality lawns. Can I ask what is the referred option.
 
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Hello, Newbie here. I am in the process of going from an inner city block to ten acres. 2 acres of house lawn and the rest paddock. After much reading forums I like the Ventrac machine to do both jobs. However, there is little mention of grass clippings. The Ventrac does not pickup as a normal push or ride on. So how does it maintain the quality of a presentation lawn round the house. There are many references to using it with high quality lawns. Can I ask what is the referred option.
Hello-
I don't have a Ventrac, and I don't know a whole lot about them, but from what I have seen side-discharging on the Ventrac is the most "popular". If you are thinking about getting the 4000 series tractors, I know you can get a rear or side discharge deck, and you can get a mulching kit if you wanted it. There are also bagging systems, but they seem to be more useful for leaves.

Ventrac Side Discharge Finish Mowers

I know some other users have Ventracs on this forum, so we'll see who else replies.
Good luck, and let us know what you decide! :smile:
 

JackIL

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It all depends on the height of the grass you start mowing and how much you want to remove. For lawns, the usual recommendation from horticulturalists is to cut no more than one third of the length. So if the length is 4.5 inches, you clip off 1.5 inches leaving 3 inches. Most people would not bother collecting this small amount. Some might choose to use a mulching mower, but normally just cutting off the top third with a side discharge mower produces excellent results. However, if there is a delay in getting the grass cut due to rainy weather or other conditions and it grows to 6 inches or so in length, then a side discharge mower will definitely leave windrows. The manufacturers of mulching mowers generally say in their Operators Manuals that mulching mowers do not perform well in wet or tall grass, and I have found that to be the case. So I do not try to mulch if the grass is already too long. If it is too long, I typically mow once with a regular mower, and then go back and mow again in a different direction. Usually this disperses the windrows and leaves a reasonable finished look at least until I can get back on track of mowing regularly. If it is too long even for than I use a lawn vacuum. So, in general, rear discharge and mulching mowers work best on turf that can be kept mowed regularly with minimal length cut off. Mowing on golf courses is often done several times a week to maintain the high quality of appearance and grass length desired by golfers. Usually several different types of mowers are used depending on the grass length and the length of cut required.

I assume in your reference to mowing paddocks or pastures the grass would not be mowed nearly as often as a home lawn. Neither a mulching mower nor lawn vac would work well in tall grass. A side discharge mower can still work here if the grass is say 8-10 inches tall, but there will be windrows produced. Anything longer requires a deck designed to handle it. I use the Ventrac Tough Cut deck for tall materials. I maintain trails in a wetland preserve with it and it works very well. It is not suitable for maintaining a lawn around a home.

My bottom line is that you may need more than one type of deck to handle your 2 different types of mowing. However, if you have only one deck, then a side discharge style is the best compromise.

JackIL
 

harks11

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Thanks JackIL, very useful information. My new property is about ten acres (some sloped) and two around the house. I had in my mind to get a ZTR for the house and then a Tractor and slasher for the paddock. Hence when I read about the Ventrac I thought I could use the flail (tough cut) for the rough stuff and a normal mower for the house yard. This way just one machine.

The concern was around lawn clippings on the house area. Have spent most of my life pushing a domestic mower with a catcher on the back and dumping them. With the more expensive mowers I saw little reference to catchers, hence does the commercial quality do a good enough job with a catcher.

My take out from you comments is yes as long as the lawns a mowed regularly. I notice the Ventrac has a rear discharge with a mulching kit so that could be the go. Thanks
 
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I just let my lawn tractor go to side discharge with the clippings.
 
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It all depends on the height of the grass you start mowing and how much you want to remove. For lawns, the usual recommendation from horticulturalists is to cut no more than one third of the length. So if the length is 4.5 inches, you clip off 1.5 inches leaving 3 inches. Most people would not bother collecting this small amount. Some might choose to use a mulching mower, but normally just cutting off the top third with a side discharge mower produces excellent results. However, if there is a delay in getting the grass cut due to rainy weather or other conditions and it grows to 6 inches or so in length, then a side discharge mower will definitely leave windrows. The manufacturers of mulching mowers generally say in their Operators Manuals that mulching mowers do not perform well in wet or tall grass, and I have found that to be the case. So I do not try to mulch if the grass is already too long. If it is too long, I typically mow once with a regular mower, and then go back and mow again in a different direction. Usually this disperses the windrows and leaves a reasonable finished look at least until I can get back on track of mowing regularly. If it is too long even for than I use a lawn vacuum. So, in general, rear discharge and mulching mowers work best on turf that can be kept mowed regularly with minimal length cut off. Mowing on golf courses is often done several times a week to maintain the high quality of appearance and grass length desired by golfers. Usually several different types of mowers are used depending on the grass length and the length of cut required.

I assume in your reference to mowing paddocks or pastures the grass would not be mowed nearly as often as a home lawn. Neither a mulching mower nor lawn vac would work well in tall grass. A side discharge mower can still work here if the grass is say 8-10 inches tall, but there will be windrows produced. Anything longer requires a deck designed to handle it. I use the Ventrac Tough Cut deck for tall materials. I maintain trails in a wetland preserve with it and it works very well. It is not suitable for maintaining a lawn around a home.

My bottom line is that you may need more than one type of deck to handle your 2 different types of mowing. However, if you have only one deck, then a side discharge style is the best compromise.

JackIL


Thats where I maintain mine is 3" to help it keep a good turf.
 

JackIL

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Thanks JackIL, very useful information. My new property is about ten acres (some sloped) and two around the house. I had in my mind to get a ZTR for the house and then a Tractor and slasher for the paddock. Hence when I read about the Ventrac I thought I could use the flail (tough cut) for the rough stuff and a normal mower for the house yard. This way just one machine.

The concern was around lawn clippings on the house area. Have spent most of my life pushing a domestic mower with a catcher on the back and dumping them. With the more expensive mowers I saw little reference to catchers, hence does the commercial quality do a good enough job with a catcher.

My take out from you comments is yes as long as the lawns a mowed regularly. I notice the Ventrac has a rear discharge with a mulching kit so that could be the go. Thanks
I need to clarify some points. First Point: All Ventrac mowers except the Tough Cut (your term "slasher") can be fitted with mulching kits. When installed, the best performance will be with relative short length of cut. Leaving the mulching kit in place would not be suitable for tall grass or mowing your paddocks. Although the mulching kit could be removed for mowing tall grass, it is probably something you would not likely do on a regular basis. The rear discharge deck (60 inches) is well suited for mowing in public areas such as school yards, parks, and along municipal sidewalks where there is greater concern for discharged materials being dispelled that might accidentally hit bystanders or damage property. It also allows for close trimming on both sides of the deck. So it is primarily a special purpose design to address these matters.

Second point: The Ventrac Tough Cut is NOT a flail. It is a rear discharge design with 3 counter rotating flat blades and an underbody configuration that allows the material to be cut off and dropped with minimal chopping into smaller pieces. It is not intended for finish mowing.

Third Point: The Ventrac Rear Discharge deck which can be fitted with a mulching kit is probably unsuitable for mowing tall grass in paddocks. For tall grass, you need the Tough Cut deck or secondarily, a side discharge deck that you might need to run over the material twice to achieve reasonable results.

I think it likely you need 2 decks--one for the fine quality cut you expect around the house and a second for tall grass in your paddocks (which I assume you would only mow infrequently).

JackIL
 

harks11

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I need to clarify some points. First Point: All Ventrac mowers except the Tough Cut (your term "slasher") can be fitted with mulching kits. When installed, the best performance will be with relative short length of cut. Leaving the mulching kit in place would not be suitable for tall grass or mowing your paddocks. Although the mulching kit could be removed for mowing tall grass, it is probably something you would not likely do on a regular basis. The rear discharge deck (60 inches) is well suited for mowing in public areas such as school yards, parks, and along municipal sidewalks where there is greater concern for discharged materials being dispelled that might accidentally hit bystanders or damage property. It also allows for close trimming on both sides of the deck. So it is primarily a special purpose design to address these matters.

Second point: The Ventrac Tough Cut is NOT a flail. It is a rear discharge design with 3 counter rotating flat blades and an underbody configuration that allows the material to be cut off and dropped with minimal chopping into smaller pieces. It is not intended for finish mowing.

Third Point: The Ventrac Rear Discharge deck which can be fitted with a mulching kit is probably unsuitable for mowing tall grass in paddocks. For tall grass, you need the Tough Cut deck or secondarily, a side discharge deck that you might need to run over the material twice to achieve reasonable results.

I think it likely you need 2 decks--one for the fine quality cut you expect around the house and a second for tall grass in your paddocks (which I assume you would only mow infrequently).

JackIL

Thanks JackIL

I am pretty well of the view that the Ventrac can do both tasks. I will definitely get the get the tough cut for the paddock and then a finish mower for around the house. From my reading there does not seem to be a lot between the side and rear discharge. So probably the side discharge with a much kit would give the best flexibility.

cheers
 

JackIL

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Thanks JackIL

I am pretty well of the view that the Ventrac can do both tasks. I will definitely get the get the tough cut for the paddock and then a finish mower for around the house. From my reading there does not seem to be a lot between the side and rear discharge. So probably the side discharge with a much kit would give the best flexibility.

cheers
I agree with your decision.

JackIL
 

Raw Dodge

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I agree with OP and Jack....also I'd get the 72 if you can.. A 60 doesn't give you much trimming abilities, you'll be able to cut more with the finish mower and less weed whacking..
 
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