Welcome to the The Garage Journal Board forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   The Garage Journal Board > The Garage > Free Parking

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-13-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,209
Default Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

I use the bagger on my John Deere 111 so I can compost the grass clippings.

If I let the grass grow for more than 5 days, I have to mow the grass in 2nd or 3rd gear to keep from clogging the chute. Even then I usualyl have to stop, and shake out the shoot a few times because it clogs so easily.

I didnt think much of this, until I remembered buying blades for the mower. The parts counter guy asked if I wanted mulching or bagging blades. I told him I wasn't sure because at the time I didnt have the bagger attached, so he sold me some blades that he said were "in between".

Would not using the right blades have anything at all to do with it clogging?

Because swapping out the blades would be no big deal, but since these are pretty new blades, I dont want to do it for no reason.

Thanks
Tom2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 02:02 PM   #2
Bulldog13
Senior Member
 
Bulldog13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Beantown
Posts: 904
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

The mulching blades may not be providing the same lift as the cutting blades, I'd check to see if you've got a clog in the shoot...I've had to scrape my mower deck if I'm mowing frequently...
Bulldog13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 05-13-2009, 02:11 PM   #3
sammerdog
Senior Member
 
sammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 1,395
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

My old riding mower used to clog up if the grass was at all damp. Dry grass was basically okay, but if I cut in the morning (dew), I had to do the 2nd or 3rd gear thing too.

A buddy told me to try coating the chute and the bottom of the deck with WD40. Didn't make any difference.

Six words for you: dry grass. dry grass. dry grass.
sammerdog is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 02:42 PM   #4
Skyline
Senior Member
 
Skyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,184
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

A better solution is to use mulching blades and no chute. Bagging is a PITA. Mulching is much better for your lawn anyway. Have you noticed that virtually NO professional mower bags grass? And those few mowers that have the bagging feature, it is disabled by most landscapers. Basically, with the mulching blades, you close off the opening in the mower deck, (by buying a kit from John Deere including mulching blades and a little cover). It swirls the cut grass around and cuts it into little pieces, which just disappears into your lawn, (at least in theory anyway). If you let the grass get too long, you may need to use a backpack blower a bit afterward to get the last bits of cut grass to vanish.

For my lawn, I switch to mulching blades in mid May, and back to regular blades when the leaves start to fall. My mower has a trailer that follow behinds that catches the cut grass, (same type of chute system that you are discussing); but this is SOOOO convenient for picking up leaves in the fall. I get a lot of leaves, and barely ever touch a rake. In the spring, there are usually remnants of sticks and other material on the lawn left over from the winter, so I do a few mowings with the chute/trailer before switching back to the mulching blades.
Skyline is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 05:51 PM   #5
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,209
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Thanks for the advice.

And yes, the grass being dry makes a big difference. You pretty much have to wait until the afternoon for it to be totally dry.

Sorry for posting this in the General section. Meant to put it in Free Parking.
Tom2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 06:36 PM   #6
isr2kba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 252
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
Have you noticed that virtually NO professional mower bags grass?

If you have a professional do your lawn and you want it bagged, it's an upcharge. That's why you don't see them doing it that often except in high end properties. It may be better for the lawn to mulch or it may not, but I hate having bits of grass stuck to my feet when I walk out barefoot with the dogs in the morning, so I insist on bagging.
isr2kba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 07:15 PM   #7
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,209
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

The reason I bag is for the garden. Grass clipping make excellent mulch and weed control while adding and preserving moisture/nitrogen.
Tom2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 07:50 PM   #8
nate379
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 7,303
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

You need "high lift" blades. Had the same problem with my mower. All is fine now.
nate379 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 08:13 PM   #9
hetkind
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Posts: 996
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

I found my best source for blades is agri-supply, they claim to stock an immense inventory of blades and I used them to supply blades for my Deere GS45 commercial walk behind mower with a 48" cut. Now sold since we no longer have grass to mow up here on the mountain.

Howard
hetkind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
JCByrd24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bath, ME
Posts: 328
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

I'm fairly confident that no mower or set of blades will mow a wet/damp lawn with more than 5 days growth (during growing season) in top gear. This is a fact of life.

That being said, if you are bagging, you probably don't want mulching blades in, but you might not see much improvement from your "in between blades". Of course they are like 10 bucks so you could try some "bagging" blades and see what you think.

I personally don't much or bag. Mulching in the wrong conditions (too wet or tall) makes more of a mess than side discharge and you can't rake it as easily. It really looks marginally better than discharged when mowed under right conditions (dry and not too tall). I use a lawn sweeper after I've mowed in windrows if I've let it get too tall.
JCByrd24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 09:55 PM   #11
Beachbum
Member
 
Beachbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern US
Posts: 41
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Some thing to also consider is how you are mowing. If you make your first cutting pass along the longest straight edge of your lawn, for instance parallel to the street, and then turn out onto the street. Stay on the street and return to the start of your first pass. Now move to the right to make the next pass going the same direction. All of the grass from your first pass and your second pass is being discharged to the right. When you reach the end of your second pass, do a 180 degree turn and go the opposite direction in the second pass you just cut. This will put a nice stripe in the lawn. If you keep up with this pattern, all your discharge will go to the right each time and you will have no need to bag or close off your discharge with a mulching kit. This method requires a few extra passes and is sometimes called double cutting or striping but save the time of having to do something with the cuttings.

The other thing to consider is the horsepower of your motor in relation to your the width of your cutting deck. A 48" deck with a 23 HP motor is a great combination.

The last thing is how sharp are your blades? Everything works better with sharp blades. In the spring change them after 6-8 cuts. Buy a second set to put on while the first set is being sharpened. Also make sure new blades are sharpened. They don't come ready to cut out of the box.

Hope this helps.
__________________
I don't get it Big Dan.......
Beachbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2009, 10:03 PM   #12
nate379
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Palmer, AK
Posts: 7,303
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Why would you need a 2nd set while you sharpen the 1st?
nate379 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2009, 07:52 AM   #13
denis4x4
Senior Member
 
denis4x4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Durango CO
Posts: 266
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Just dropped $119 putting the correct cutting blades on a Zero turn Toro and mulching blades on a 38" Toro with a mulching guard. Seems the Zero turn had all of the mulching attachments that defeated the purpose of the bagger kit. Last time I checked, I have about 4 acres of cultivated lawn to cut.
denis4x4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2009, 08:23 AM   #14
TexasT
Senior Member
 
TexasT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 169
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate379 View Post
Why would you need a 2nd set while you sharpen the 1st?
Some might not have the time to remove and sharpen all in one session. They remove dull, install sharp and sharpen when they get a chance. Allows the ability to keep mowing even if one might not have the time to sharpen right then.
__________________
Rich

"What one man can do, another can learn. Nothing is unknowable." 307WYLD's Grandfather

TexasT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2009, 08:51 AM   #15
Tom2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,209
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Yea..My blades do need to be sharpened. I checked them last time I mowed. I knew they were dull just from the cut on the grass. More of a tear than a cut.

The deck was clean though.

I guess this is just the design of the bagger system. Pretty normal I guess.

Ill try to sharpen the blades before I mow next.

Its also tough this time of year because the grass grows so fast. Theres a time when I could mow it every 3 days. Now its been 4 days, and probably still wont need cut for a couple more.
Tom2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 10:58 AM   #16
IH82BL8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bowie, Md
Posts: 498
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

I'm having the same problem with my bagger. I think it's because in April-May the grass has a lot of internal moisture which makes it heavy. I'm also wondering if a mesh panel at the back of the bag would alow more air flow so the clippings would block to the back instead of clogging the chute.
IH82BL8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 11:08 AM   #17
stick004
Member
 
stick004's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St. Peters MO
Posts: 76
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
Have you noticed that virtually NO professional mower bags grass?
Quote:
Originally Posted by isr2kba View Post
If you have a professional do your lawn and you want it bagged, it's an upcharge. That's why you don't see them doing it that often except in high end properties. It may be better for the lawn to mulch or it may not, but I hate having bits of grass stuck to my feet when I walk out barefoot with the dogs in the morning, so I insist on bagging.
They don't do it becuase it is healthier for the lawn.

They don't bag or charge more for it because then they have deal with getting rid of the grass clippings. Plus it takes longer to pick them up, empty the catch bags, store it on the trailer, take it to the disposal yard... etc.

Although mulching is healthier to a lawn. Don't think for a minute it is why the services is doing it. they are just taking advantage of it for productivity.

Last edited by stick004; 06-05-2009 at 11:11 AM.
stick004 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 11:50 AM   #18
IH82BL8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bowie, Md
Posts: 498
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Mulching is better for the lawn during the Summer months because there's enough heat to compost the clippings.
IH82BL8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #19
Farmallgray
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Spring Mills, Pa
Posts: 84
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

You could also coat the inside of the chute with silicone spray or dry graphite.
Farmallgray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 12:57 PM   #20
MXtras
Senior Member
 
MXtras's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: On the Right Coast
Posts: 1,356
Default Re: Riding lawn mower bagger clogs easily. Switch blades?

Sharp, high lift blades and slower cutting speeds for tall grass will help prevent clogs.

Scott
__________________
Haul your MX bike without straps - visit www.mxtras.com to see how
Custom Storage Cabinets with FREE plans - http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ead.php?t=1773

Link to workstation plans for download (FREE) - http://reference.toolandfab.com/writ...nets/index.htm
MXtras is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:37 AM.