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I currently own an la115 and prefer to mulch, but have never been happy with the performance. Clumping being the biggest issue. I also like to bag in the fall and spring but swapping out the mulch kit is a nightmare. I'm not always able to mow at the ideal times.
I'm in the market for an x350 and am apprehensive about the mulch on demand kit. How is the mulching performance? How well does the side discharging work with the kit and mulching blades installed?
 

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Mulching is much different than mowing and takes different techniques. First, get an actual mulching blade that has either teeth or projections on the top side of the blade. Many manufacturers like to simply make their blades have a wavy pattern and call that a mulching blade. Second, is to completely plug the discharge port or chute so that the clippings are able to be cut several times before dropping to the ground. Also, seal up any holes on the top side of the deck. Third, is you cannot mulch tall grass well, at all. Fourth, and kind of part of the third one is that when mulching, you have to mow slower. You are cutting the clippings several times. If the clippings are clumping, you are either mowing too fast or the grass is too high. It does take some practice.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I've done all of that and still can't get the mulching right most of the time. I guess I'm wondering if I would see much of an improvement with the Accel deck over the edge. And in the cases where the grass is too long or too damp to mulch, how well the side discharge works with the MOD in the open position?
 

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The most important thing with mulching, once you have ensured you have the right equipment, and it's set up correctly, is to make sure you never cut more that an inch or two max, and the grass is dry or anything will clump. I've been mulching and discharging for years, and I think the number one issue that I see is people have too high of expectations. If you want zero residue, prepare to cut twice a week when necessary.

For many years I ran a 48C with the full mulching set up and while is was plenty capable of a perfectly residue free result, again the issue is, it's a lot of work to make sure you don't let the grass get too high. I really liked the fact that by returning the clippings, I could cutback on the fertilizer, but you need to watch the weather and essentially plan your mowing very carefully. If you miss a cut and it gets too high, then you are dealing with multiple passes to reduce the height incrementally. Again, it takes effort and you also might find you have to mow slower.

So, I eventually modified my outlook and went to side discharge with Gator blades that I keep very sharp. (0.020" break) It certainly can't provide a perfectly residue free result, but there is no clumping and compared to normal blades, the clippings are smaller, evenly distributed, and evaporate into the turf within a day or so. If I miss a cut or get delayed, I'm not stuck with an acre of clumps to deal with or doing a bunch of multiple passes.

I will mention that if you do some searching and read back, there was a very nice thread here where a fellow did a number of tests using different blades, and different mower setups, mulcher attachment on/off, etc, and he had some interesting results. I can't find it right now, but he even got the dealer out to the house to review the results of the various combinations. Good read.

Ultimately, I highly suggest if you are looking to buy new, to demand to give the unit a test mow. Every dealer should have a patch of grass to test a unit on so you can see how well it does. Better dealers will even bring a demo unit to your place to test it out. Make sure you try whatever you are considering prior to signing on the line.
 

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i still think the OP question is mostly how well does the new A-series deck accompanied by the mulch kit perform? am I right Kosh
 

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i still think the OP question is mostly how well does the new A-series deck accompanied by the mulch kit perform? am I right Kosh
Sure, that was the OP's face value question. However, when someone expresses dissatisfaction with an operation that across all lines do perform pretty well, the question then becomes a function of reasonable expectations and proper operation.

I don't care what mulching system you use, and most work darned pretty well, if you don't know how to properly handle, dial in, and perform the operation, nothing in the world will work well.

So thanks discounting the guidance a couple of us have taken the time to offer. The short answer could have been, all Mulching Systems work pretty well, if you know what you are doing. Sorry we chose to elaborate and help the guy out.

Over and out.
 

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Sure, that was the OP's face value question. However, when someone expresses dissatisfaction with an operation that across all lines do perform pretty well, the question then becomes a function of reasonable expectations and proper operation.

I don't care what mulching system you use, and most work darned pretty well, if you don't know how to properly handle, dial in, and perform the operation, nothing in the world will work well.

So thanks discounting the guidance a couple of us have taken the time to offer. The short answer could have been, all Mulching Systems work pretty well, if you know what you are doing. Sorry we chose to elaborate and help the guy out.

Over and out.
I appreciate the info. You certainly answered my question about mulching. Definitely enlightening. The only thing I was still wondering about was how much side discharging was compromised, compared to side discharge without the mulch kit, for those times when the grass is too long or wet to mulch.
 

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I appreciate the info. You certainly answered my question about mulching. Definitely enlightening. The only thing I was still wondering about was how much side discharging was compromised, compared to side discharge without the mulch kit, for those times when the grass is too long or wet to mulch.
With the MulchControl off, with damp grass, you can gain better leeway on avoiding clumps. I think the performance with MulchControl off is very similar to regular decks without a mulcher, and will work very well with a bagger. Folks that have the system tend to like it. Based on what you shared, I think this is a pretty good option for you, and you end up with the best of both worlds.

JD's site which goes over some tips with the MulchControl systems states to use the 1/3 method, meaning, never cut more than 1/3 of the total height for smooth and consistent mulching. And if the turf is long or damp, and you notice clumping, open the door and side discharge.
 
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