Mulching With a Lawn Mower: This Is How You Do It
Lawn mowers are essential outdoor tools that are designed to give your lawn a healthy and professional look, simply by cutting the grass to a uniform length. While this is true, one can’t help but wonder where all that cut grass end up. Lawn mowers with a side discharge feature allow the grass clippings to fly out the side, however, they can still leave some unsightly piles of clippings on your lawn. Also, bagging the grass clippings can be pretty stressful and inconvenient as you have to make a number of stops while mowing in order to empty the bag.
Mulching mowers, on the other hand, help chop or shred the grass clippings into fine matter, and then return them back into the lawn. This way, you can easily convert your side-discharge mowers and bag mowers into mulching mowers. A mulch mowing system is a lawn care system that helps insert grass clippings back to the soil of your yard. To achieve a better result, you need a mulching lawn mower as well as a system that will prevent your grass from overgrowing. Once you can start this lawn care routine, not only will it save you time, it will also save you the energy while improving the general condition of your lawn.
Mulching with a lawn mower, this is how you do it:
- Remove the bagging attachment
- Cut the engine before fitting the mulch plug
- Check where the mulch will go
- Outer edge clippings should go to the center
- The lawn should not be damp or wet
- The grass should not be too long
- Do not cut more than one-third of the grass height
- Cut every 7 to 10 days
Mulching is a very essential practice for your lawn or garden. Not only does it help retain enough moisture needed for the grass to grow, but it also adds important nutrients to the soil. However, if you simply dispose of all the clippings gotten from mowing your lawn, you won’t be able to enjoy these amazing benefits. By practicing a little bit of creativity, you can easily turn the most basic lawnmower into a mulching machine that will help pulverize grass clippings into small pieces that decompose very quickly, and also put them right where you want them on your lawn. Employing this method also minimizes, or even eliminates the need to rake your lawn after mowing. Do you want to know how to mulch using a lawnmower? In the rest of this article, we will be talking about how this is done and how you can apply it to your lawn.
What Is Mulching?
Mulching is a process by which organic materials are added to the surface of your yard or soil in order to protect it, retain moisture, and discourage the growth of weeds. Mulching mowers are used to achieve this; they help to maintain a healthy and green lawn by re-circulating and chopping the grass clippings under the mowing deck, producing a fine mulch. Still in this process, the fine mulch is then returned to the lawn forcibly, where it decomposes, returning valuable nutrients into the soil. Mulching helps to provide an environmental benefit to your yard, and it also helps you to save cost on chemical fertilizer. Due to this, you won’t have any clippings to dispose of, which also means that you won’t have to worry about making regular trips to the garbage dump or having piles of rotting grass in your garden.
Why Should You Mulch?
When you look at the numerous advantages of mulching, not only to you or your lawn but also to the environment, you’ll realize it is well worth considering. This process has a lot of benefits, some of which include: providing precious nutrients for the turf, retaining moisture needed for your grass to grow, protecting the soil, and providing a healthier, greener, and perfect looking lawn. Mulching is also a great way of recycling environmental waste gotten from mowing. In addition, it reduces the cutting time and effort spent, you won’t have to be moving back and forth with your cuttings to dispose them, and it is also a great way of using natural resources to improve the general health of your lawn. These days, more people are beginning to consider mulching as part of a biological approach to gardening, as well as lawn care. This process, of course, has a great impact on the environment as you now have fewer road miles, less black bag usage, and less carbon released into the atmosphere from rotting vegetation.
When Should You Mulch?
Generally speaking, mulching is best done during the spring and summer. This is when the grass is fresher, greener, and adequate enough to provide better amount of mulch. After mowing your lawn and cutting the grass, leave the fine mulch on the lawn to decompose, sending good nutrients back into the soil. On that note, it is important to know that thatch and mulch clippings on your lawn are not the same, and clippings definitely do not cause thatch.
Do You Need Special Equipment For Mulching?
The simple answer to this is Yes. To achieve better results, you will either need a mower specifically made for mulching, or a mower that includes mulching as one of its features. Usually, the process makes use of a specially shaped blade and, in the case of a dedicated mulching mower, a special deck that is designed to keep the clippings moving around the blade. As a result, dedicated mulching decks are usually rounded and sealed, with enough space for the grass clippings to move around the blade. The deck and blade of a dedicated mulching mower are specifically designed for this process, with the decks creating an excellent airflow, and the perfectly shaped blade to chop the clippings and push them down to the soil rather than sending them out, sideways.
How to Get the Best from your Mulching Lawn Mower
● Remove the bagging attachment:
Remove the bagging attachment from the lawn mower, while following the safety instructions recommended in your user manual, before you start mowing.
● Check where the mulch will go:
Decide where you want the mulch to go, by positioning your lawn mower on the grass that needs to be cut with the exit chute facing that area. Adjust the mower’s height to remove about one-third of the grass top- do not remove too much grass in a single cut.
● Outer edge clippings should go to the center:
When you mow on the outer edges of the lawn make sure the clippings are deposited toward the center.
● Cut the engine before fitting the mulch plug:
You must always turn the engine off before fitting or removing the mulch plug. Never attempt to clear the clippings while the mower is running.
● The lawn should not be damp or wet:
To get the best results, you have to make sure your lawn is not overly damp or wet. Damp grass is often sticky and can block up your cutting area, hence mulching will not be able to take place. Also, your under chassis will be packed with grass sludge and will require constant cleaning. It is important to note that mulching can only be very successful in drier weather when you’re cutting drier grass. If you decide to mulch damp or wet grass, the whole process can get very messy, especially if you try to remove too much grass in a single cut.
● The grass should not be too long:
Another important tip to keep in mind is that grass must not be left for too long in between cuttings. For an average lawn that is under mulching cutting conditions, if the grass is cut to around 35mm after mowing, the grass should be re-cut when it grows again and reaches around 50mm. Stadium type grass should be cut-mulched between 40mm and re-cut around 60mm. If your grass is left to grow a bit longer than it should be, probably when you don’t have the time to get onto the lawn to cut it, then it is recommended that you use a mulching and catching lawn mower model (if you have one), using the catcher mode to remove the excess grass before switching back to the mulching mode to mulch the grass.
● Do not cut more than one-third of the grass height:
It is very important that you do not cut off more than one-third of the grass in a single mow or pass. If you took some time away and your grass has grown higher than the usual height, then you should reset the mowing height such that it does not cut more than one-third of the grass blade in a single mow. After using this length to mow, you can come back after a few days to re-cut your grass, so as to get it down to its normal cutting height. If you cut any lower than one-third of the grass blade, it will reduce the mulching ability of your grass, and may even leave some really ugly lumps as well as a layer of ground-up grass all over the lawn surface. Not only does this look unappealing to the eyes, it is also not good for your lawn.
● Cut every 7 to 10 days:
When using the mulching feature on your mower, try to cut your grass every 7 to 10 days rather than once a fortnight.
If you take a closer look at the numerous benefits that come with using mulching mowers, you’ll see that they are worth considering. Lawnmowers that have mulching feature can do a good job, however, if mulching is your aim, then you should consider a dedicated mulching mower as this is the ideal option for you.