Mulching Helps Retain Moisture
Finally, mulching is especially helpful for lawns during the warmer, drier summer months. In the heat of the season, soil can dry quickly, but mulching helps the soil retain water. The layer of mulch on the soil bed acts as a sun shield, which helps reduce moisture evaporation and keeps the soil temperature cooler.
When You Should Choose To Mulch
In order to break down grass clippings, you will need high temperatures as well as humidity. This makes mulching lawn clippings is best while in the hottest months. Especially if you have time to cut your grass every four days or so, mulching can be a great option.
Another time you might want to mulch is if your lawn is thin and seems like it needs more nutrients. Mulching can naturally return nutrients to the soil and save plenty of money on fertilizers.
Is It Better To Rake Or Mulch Your Leaves
Can you smell that crisp autumn air? As breezes of pumpkin spice fill our noses, the magic of fall transforms our green trees into colorful masterpieces. But after the colors fade, the leaves fall and youre left with a mess of leaves on your lawn. What to do now?
Tradition tells us to rake our leaves, jump in the pile, then bag them up and get them out. Many homeowners prefer bagging grass and leaf clippings after mowing for a cleaner end result. However, there are just as many benefits to mulching these leaves into the lawn with a properly equipped mower as there are for mulching grass clippings rather than bagging them. When mowed properly, leaves and grass clippings add nutrients to the lawn, improve the soil, and save time, money and the environment. To help you get started, were answering your most common questions about mulching.
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Should You Always Mulch Your Lawn
The clippings should be mulched back into the lawn. One of the most important things you can do to improve the health and appearance of your yard is to mulch the lawn.
Mulching can be done at any time of year, but the best time to mulch is in the spring and summer, when the grass is at its most vigorous and healthy. Mulching is also a great way to reduce the amount of water that is lost to evaporation during the summer months.
In these areas, it is not uncommon for lawns to lose as much as 50% of their water in just a few days of heat and humidity. If you are concerned that your lawn may be losing too much water, you may want to consider adding a sprinkler system to your home.
How To Make Mulch With Leaves
Before leaves can be converted into mulch, they need to first be chopped or shredded. This allows them to decompose faster into the soil, while preventing mats of leaves from smothering plant roots. The best way to accomplish this is using something you already have: your lawnmower. Most lawnmowers sold today have specialized blades installed, along with a mower deck that optimizes airflow, keeping the leaves suspended and chopping them into tiny pieces. The end result should be leaf bits that are about the size of a dime, distributed evenly across the lawn for total coverage.
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Are Mulching Mowers Good For The Lawn
Since you dont have to empty the grass collection box, a mulching lawn mower can also be a good choice for cutting down on the total amount of garden waste and time spent cutting your lawn. You also wont have to worry about constantly replacing the bag or making your way to the compost heap if you are tasked with cutting a large lawn.
Another benefit about modern mulching mowers is that they push the freshly cut grass right back into the turf. If you have ever tried to mulch before, you know that two potential downsides are the possibilities for unsightly clumps of grass and a lack of aeration if mulching in wet conditions. The former can make your lawn look a bit messy and patchy, while the latter can block the air flow to the soil and roots of your grass, which can harm your grasss health and potentially promote rot.
Using a mulching mower correctly and at the right time is the key to successful mulching, resulting in a lush, green and healthy lawn thats the envy of your neighbours. Not only this, mulching your lawn while youre mowing will cut down on the time it takes to cut , while simultaneously providing all the benefits to your lawn explained above.
Mulching mowers are especially important in the UK due to our wet and changeable climate. Excessive rain can make mulch heavier and cling together more, making it harder to move and separate, so choosing the right time to mulch is important .
Will Mulching Cause Thatch Build
No, mulching grass clippings and leaves back into the lawn does not cause thatch build-up. Thatch is a naturally built-up layer of loose organic matter made up of grass stems and shoots that are slow to decompose, while grass clippings are succulent tissues that, along with fallen leaves, decompose quickly when mulched and return nutrients back to the lawn.
Pro Tip: Wait until the leaves are dry before mowing them. Wet leaves can be difficult to manage. Mow regularly through the fall to avoid an accumulation of leaves. A thick layer of leaves may have to be mowed several times in different directions to be properly mulched.
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When You Should Bag Your Lawn Trimmings
The experts allow for some exceptions to the general dont bag your clippings rule.
For one, says ORourke, If you havent cut your lawn in a while, dont be afraid to bag some of your clippings. Leaving too much excess grass on your lawn can block sunlight leading to patchiness and discoloration.
Also, a new lawn grown from seed may be too delicate to withstand a coating of trimmings.
The University of Minnesota Extension service suggests mulching is not appropriate if youre giving your lawn a big trim. In no case should you ever remove more than one-third of the length of your grass in any single mow. But if youre following the one-third rule and the cut grass is still long, remove it.
As a general rule, grass clippings of an inch or less in length can be left on your lawn where they will filter down to the soil surface and decompose quickly,according to the Minnesota Extension Service. Remove longer clippings because they can shade or smother grass beneath, causing lawn damage.
Shorter grass bits will break into the soil more easily, unlike longer ones, said Pol Bishop of Fantastic Gardeners, a London-based lawn service company. So next time you mow your lawn you will know if you should keep the grass clippings on or not.
Finally, some pet owners like to remove lawn clippings to prevent pooch paws from tracking them indoors.
Mulching Reduces Landfill Use
Mulching your yard clippings reduces dump fees and keeps yard waste out of already-strained landfills. Bagging is not so environmentally friendly unless you have a compost pile, which most people do not have, Truetken said. Some cities collect yard waste for composting, but usually it just ends up in the landfill.
Youre reducing landfill waste by not bagging, and cutting back on plastic, since the bag will inevitably be plastic, Michael said.
The mulching of yard trimmings has been a success story for landfills. A 2018 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, shows Americans generate about 34.7 million tons of yard trimmings per year. Thats 69.4 trillion pounds. But just 10.8 million tons end up in landfills. Thats down from 27 million tons in 1980.
In part, thats because the norm has changed, and people either mulch or compost their trimmings from grass plants. Also, state governments have taken action to keep yard trimmings out of their landfills. According to data from The Composting Council, 25 states have regulations limiting or banning yard clippings in landfills. The states are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, New York and Wisconsin.
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The Case For Mulching
Many experts say mulching is the best method. Leaving the clippings will save you time and energy, and it will return valuable nutrients to the lawn.
Lawns love to be fed, and grass clippings contain the same beneficial nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium nutrients as fertilizer. In fact, clippings can provide as much as one-third of the annual feeding requirement for your lawn.
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Mulching Can Be Very Messy
Whenever you see shots of a freshly mulched lawn in the marketing materials that lawn mower manufacturers produce, its picture-perfect. A lawn that even the Queen of England wouldnt be disappointed to see out of the palace window. But rarely does the reality come anywhere close to that expectation. Mulching grass instead of bagging your clippings can be a messy affair, especially if the grass is slightly damp or youre mulching tall grass. Those clippings will stick to your boots and youll end up trailing clippings all over your yard. And thats not even taking into account the windIf its windy your paths and patio area will look like theyve become part of your lawn.
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Trust Your Lawn To Outback Landscape
At Outback Landscape, wed love to answer any questions you have about mulching vs. bagging grass clippings.
In addition to mowing, we offer a full list of lawn and landscape services to keep your lawn healthy and looking great, including aeration disease and pest control fertilization seeding soil amendments and weeding.
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Hundred of homeowners in Eastern Idaho have been counting on Lawn Buddies to provide reliable lawn care services since 2001. Think of it as a new friendly face with the same level of service you’ve come to expect from Outback Landscape.
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Now Here Are The Benefits Of Mulched Leaves On A Lawn
The process of leaf mulching provides you with a wonderful natural organic material. Not only does this add nutrients to the soil on a lawn or flowerbed, similar to fertilizer, but it also saves you the job of raking leaves. Moreover, it is great for lawn health and a clever eco-friendly way to remove leaves without them ending up in landfill.
These are just some of the reasons to convince you is mulching leaves is good for your garden and lawn:
- No raking leaves or disposing of them
- Improved turf quality
- Mulch can be added to garden beds to protect against frost
- Can be added to the compost pile
- Greener and healthier grass all year round
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Should I Mulch Or Bag Leaves
You should preferably mulch them. Most of the tree leaves carry two percent of the nitrogen that is required by all plants. If you are mulching leaves, it means you are providing them with natural nitrogen fertilizer.
According to PJ Publish, the bagging of leaves occupies more space and produces methane gas when decomposing with other organic matter. As a result, greenhouse gases will be produced that will cause climate change. Also, you will have to do a lot of work to rake all leaves, pile them up and wait for the proper disposal or trashing.
In other words, mulching leaves is also good for the environment as it prevents the litter of leaves.
Keep in mind that mulching leaves is only beneficial when you mulch right with a lawn mower.
Does Mulching Make Grass Thicker
Grass mulching helps your lawn grow full, healthy, and healthy looking. Mulching is a great way to increase the amount of nutrients in your soil, which will help your plants grow healthy and strong. Mulching can be done in the spring or fall, depending on the type of mulch you choose to use.
You can also use a mixture of different types of grasses, such as grass clippings, leaves, twigs, grass seed, straw, etc., to make your own mix. It is important to choose the right grass for your area, as some types are better suited to certain areas than others.
For example, if you live in an area with a lot of shrubs and trees, you may want to consider using a mix of annuals and perennials. If you are looking for a grass that is easy to care for, look for one that has a high nitrogen content and a low phosphorus content. This will make it easier to maintain a healthy lawn.
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Will Returning Grass Clippings To The Lawn Create More Thatch
No. Thatch is a naturally-occurring layer of both decomposed stems and roots that grows between the grass blades and the soil.
The clippings that are left behind decompose rapidly and do not contribute to thatch. If you have a problem with excessive thatch in your lawn, the best way to manage thatch is to take a soil test and correct soil pH and perform a lawn aeration with a core aerator each year.
Honda Hrx217vka 23 Inch Electric Start Self Propelled Mulching Lawn Mower
The Honda HRX217VKA 23 Inch Electric Start Self Propelled Mulching Lawn Mower is a high-quality lawn mower that is perfect for anyone who wants an easy and convenient way to cut their lawn. This machine has a powerful electric motor that allows it to quickly and easily cut through the grass, and its mulching system ensures that your lawn will be clean and free of clippings after each pass. The Honda HRX217VKA also features a durable construction that will ensure that it lasts for years, and its easy-to-use controls make it simple to operate even for beginners.
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What Is Lawn Mulching
Not to be confused with the mulch material you use around your flower beds, lawn mulching is when the freshly cut grass clippings are left on the lawn.
You need a special lawnmower to do this, or have a mulching blade attached.
To mulch your clippings, you then simply close the side discharge chute and remove the bag if applicable with your particular mower.
If you feel you need to fit the right blade, take a look at this article on the best lawnmower blades and keep an eye out for the dedicated mulching options.
Some lawnmowers will have a mulch plug to block bagging and side chutes, while others might have it built-in. There may or may not be a switch that you set to mulch, depending on your machine.
Then you simply make a pass over your lawn as you normally would.
The mulch blade and deck design uses air flow to lift the grass into the cutting area and keep it there, so it gets thoroughly diced into smaller pieces.
These pieces are then deposited on your lawn.
Some mowers have three-in-one capabilities where you can side discharge, bag, and mulch with ease. Check out this article on the best cheap lawnmowers for some examples.
And watch the video below for a better understanding and to see the process in action.
When To Avoid Mulching Leaves Into Your Lawn
While mulching leaves can have a lot of benefits, there are some times when this isn’t a good idea. First, as winter is approaching, it’s a good idea to avoid mulching leaves. This is the time when the grass is starting to store nutrients for the winter. Because of this, they need plenty of sunlight. Furthermore, according to the University of Minnesota, too much shade during the colder months increases the risk of snow mold. It might also increase the amount of insect damage that is occurring.
Many of these problems can be avoided by starting to mulch in the spring, as temperatures are starting to rise. You can continue throughout the fall. But you will need to stop it at the start of winter.
It’s also important to think about the amount of mulch you have. As we’ll discuss there is a limit to how many leaves you can mulch.
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Saving Time Effort And Money
Mulching isnt all just beneficial to the lawn you can reap the rewards, too.
When youre dicing up your grass clippings and leaving them where they lie, you will save so much time stopping and starting in order to empty the lawnmower bag and clean the bagging chute.
I kid you not, marching back and forth to my compost heap with a heavy bag of grass clippings isnt fun especially when Im into the far-flung reaches of the front yard.
Youre not increasing your workload with mulching, and you can let the mower do the hard graft for you.
And as youre getting a natural fertilizer for your lawn you can choose to skip buying an expensive product which keeps money in your pocket.
Using Clippings As Mulch
In general, putting mulch around flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees helps reduce weeds, conserve moisture and moderate soil temperatures. Grass clippings are a good mulch option with a few conditions:
- Do not apply more than 1 or 2 inches of grass clippings at one time.
- Use dry clippings. Wet grass clippings can mat down, reducing reduce oxygen and moisture from getting down into the soil.
- When oxygen is limited, anaerobic decomposition of the clippings may take place, leading to the production of offensive odors.
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