Grass Mulching Reduces Thatch Buildup
Thatch is that layer of dead grass and other organic material that accumulates on a lawn bed. If not raked or removed with a dethatcher, too much thatch buildup can suppress grass growth by restricting water and nutrients from reaching the grass’ root systems. Mulching’s effect on thatch is twofold. First, the super fine clippings fall all the way to the soil and decompose very easily compared to regular grass clippings. Second, the microorganism-rich environment stimulated by higher levels of grass mulch creates greater populations of hungry microbes that chomp away at existing thatch.
If you’re looking for an efficient dethatching solution for your yard, the best machine for dethatching in the Ariens lineup is the power brush. to learn more about dethatching equipment.
What Is A Mulching Kit And Can I Add One To My Mower
A mulching kit is an add-on that can be attached to certain mowers if you wish to convert them for mulching purposes. They usually contain a mulch plug, mulching blade, and sometimes additional deflectors to deflect the clippings outward so as to make them easier to re-cut before they are pushed back into the soil. However, they are not compatible with every type of lawn mower, so youll want to make sure that any kit you purchase is compatible with your lawn mowers model.
How To Maintain Your Lawn During The Summer
Cutting, watering and mulching tips to keep grass green in the heat.
The health of your lawn is determined by your watering and mowing techniques. Too much water, for example, can make the grass yellow, and mowing too low can turn your lawn brown.
Though are many different types of grass, they all have similar lawn care guidelines during the summer. Here’s what you need to know to keep your lawn green, even if your thumb isn’t.
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Benefits Of Mulching Leaves
Here are 7 more reasons to consider mulching your leaves instead of bagging them for the garbage collectors.
Are There Any Downsides To Mulching
Simply put, there are no real downsides to mulching. As long as you follow a cutting schedule and mulch when the conditions are correct as explained above, then there is no reason why mulching will not provide the benefits I have discussed.
You may pay a little more for a mower that has the ability to mulch, but the benefits far outweigh the additional cost. For example, if you were to purchase a Bosch Rotak 37 LI Ergoflexmower, the optional mulching plug would cost around £15 extra and is readily available on Amazon. To give an example of a corded mower that has the mulching ability built in, the Mountfield Princess34 mower costs around £100.
You can see why the demand for mowers that mulch are becoming more popular there really are very few downsides to mulching your lawn if done correctly.
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Does Bagging Have Any Disadvantages
Bagging is harmful to the environment since all the grass clippings are bagged up in a plastic and all that plastic ends up in a landfill, emitting harmful greenhouse gases. According to Tomlinson Bomberger, 20% of waste in landfills comes from yard debris.
Bagging also takes away the nutrients present in grass clippings which couldve otherwise been recycled. The cost of plastic bagging and waste disposal costs more and proves to be an exhausting task as bagging mowers require you to put in more energy and effort than normal mowers.
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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Summary: What Is Mulching
- Mulching is the process of applying shredded plant matter or other material as a loose layer on top of the soil
- Mulch protects the soil and returns nutrients to it as it breaks down
- Create your own mulch using normal garden waste
- Make sure you use the right mulching material for the different areas of your garden
- Mulch mowing cuts grass, finely chops the cuttings and scatters the particles directly onto the ground
- Studies have shown that mulch mowing saves time and money and is good for the environment
What Are The Best Mulching Lawn Mowers What Are The Options
When choosing a new lawn mower, already many decisions need to be made such as do I go for a petrol, corded, cordless or even a robotic mower, and what deck size do I need?
Well the good news is that mulching mowers do not need to add to the stress of choosing the best suited lawn mower, they are available in all of the above types. Robotic mowers by design only have the ability to mulch the grass cuttings and are ideal as they are mowing for long periods on a regular basis, so the grass never has a chance to grow too long.
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It Helps To Reduce And Control Lawn Thatch
Many gardeners assume that leaving grass clippings on the lawn adds to the build-up of thatch.
This couldnt be further from the truth.
Fresh, organic matter causes a spike in microbial activity which is essential in the breakdown and control of lawn thatch.
When you mow and mulch on a regular basis you keep this microbial activity high. In turn, you keep lawn thatch at manageable levels.
Also, over-application of chemical fertilisers can cause thatch to build-up. By mulching, youll never over fertilise again.
The only time mulching could add to the latch layer is if you try to mulch overgrown grass. This is because the long grass often becomes tough and stalky which makes it difficult to break down.
What Is The Difference Between Mulching And Side Discharge
Mulching cuts the grass into much smaller pieces compared to the side discharge option. The mulching plug is used to block the grass exciting the deck until it has been cut small enough to drop down towards the soil . With side discharge the grass will exit immediately from the mowers deck leaving clumps / lines of longer cut grass on your lawn.
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Mulching For Your Lawn Achieve A Lush Green Lawn Naturally
Your lawn can also benefit from an organic mulching technique. In fact, not only does mulch mowing return natural nutrients to the grass, it also saves you time and effort. Thats because you no longer have to collect cuttings in the grass collection basket, as a mulching mower finely chops these clippings and scatters them over the grass. In doing so it combines the three key steps of any lawn care regime mowing, disposing of the cuttings and fertilising in a single step. Its easy on the environment and your wallet.
How Does Mulching Work
Mulching helps soil retain moisture by shading the earth and acting as a blanket. It means water can be stored more effectively in the ground, so the soil remains loose and will not dry out too quickly. Mulching also helps plants to grow by forming a protective layer against heavy rain and cold temperatures. Over time, plant matter used for mulching is broken down by earthworms and soil-dwelling organisms into valuable natural fertilisers and nutrients for plants.
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Its A Great Idea To Mulch After Regular Recent Granular Fertilizer Treatments
Do not bag after recent granular fertilizer treatments!
If you bag the clippings, there is a good chance that youre sucking the product in to the bag, especially if youre using an organic product which tend to be light. Id definitely recommend mulching or you wont get the benefit of any product you put down.
Benefits Of Mulching Grass Clippings Instead Of Bagging Them
Many lawn care professionals prefer to bag grass clippings during mowing for a crisp, clean look. However, there are several benefits to mulching grass clippings instead of bagging them. So, the next time you mow a lawn, consider leaving the grass clippings behind, and mulching them into the yard.
Mulching grass clippings provides more nutrients for your soil. As they break down, the clippings will release nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These are essential nutrients that your lawn needs to stay healthy. To avoid a thick “thatch” of grass clippings on the lawn, be sure you have a reasonable grass-mowing height. Don’t wait too long before mowing a lawn mow frequently and consistently so clippings do not turn into thatch.
At the outset, mulching grass clippings into the lawn may feel like you are creating more waste. After all, bagged clippings get whisked away, while mulched clippings remain in the yard. However, be assured that you are not creating more waste – the clippings are organic matter that will decompose quickly. On the other hand, the plastic bags used to toss clippings do not decompose quickly. In fact, these plastic garbage bags fill up landfills. If your lawn care company is looking for ways to go green, investing in a mulching kit is a great place to start.
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Check For Hidden Objects
No, your lawn hasnt been converted into the set of a cool new game show. BUT, if youre dealing with a good covering of leaves, there could be some surprises hidden beneath the surface.
And if those surprises turn out to be a rock or another hard object, running over them with a mower isnt a great idea. It can actually seriously damage your mower, with a bent blade or crankshaft the likely result .
Thats why I always pace up and down my lawn before I fire my mower up. I use my feet to feel under any spots that are completely covered over by leaves, and remove anything that I find.
How To Compost Lawn Clippings
Reardless of your reason, if you do decide to remove the trimmings from your lawn, you can use grass clippings as part of a compost pile. The heat of the composting process will convert into fertile soil for your garden beds, raised beds and vegetable garden plots.
Composting has become a common practice for lawn clippings. Americans have come to make mulch ado about composting. According to the EPA, Composting was negligible in 1980, and it rose to 23.4 million tons in 2015.
Grass falls into the green portion of what is necessary for successful composting, said Michael, whose site includes a compost bin guide. Along with water and some browns, such as paper, cardboard, sawdust, or leave clippings, you have the makings for successful composted soil. Dry leaves, wood, and straw are other browns that will balance out your grass clippings.
Since fresh grass clippings are about 80 percent water, you may not need to water the compost pile when blending in the clippings. Dry grass may require sprinkling some water on the compost pile.
Missouris extension service recommends a 1:1 to 2:1 ratio of brown to green. Be sure the clippings are pesticide free before adding the organic matter to the compost pile.
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Go Slower Than Normal
It can be tempting to tear right through a lawn covered in leaves, particularly if youre on a ride-on mower or you have a self-propelled mower, but a steadier pace really is your friend when mulching leaves. You see, your mower really needs that extra time to put the leaves through the cutting cycle again and again to ensure they are as small as possible. If you go faster, you make it rush its work. So the slower the better in my experience. Thats how you get really good mulch.
About Tom Greene
I’ve always had a keen interest in lawn care as long as I can remember. Friends used to call me the “lawn mower guru” , but I’m anything but. I just enjoy cutting my lawn and spending time outdoors. I also love the well-deserved doughnuts and coffee afterward!
Can I Mulch Bagged Leaves For The Garden
Bagging leaves for mulching in your garden beds is another good practice to improve your soil. The extra layer of protection they provide will reduce weed germination and insulate the plants and soil during the winter months.
However, donât place full bags of leaves in your garden without mulching them first. This will block water and air circulation from reaching your soil and cause it to stay wet. Clumps of wet leaves on top of the soil creates an environment that will allow diseases to grow within your perennial beds.
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Lawn Mulching Benefits Too Long Didnt Read
Although this is a relatively short article, I can appreciate we all lead busy lives and time is of the essence.
For anyone just wanting to get to the good stuff, the seven biggest advantages to mulching grass are:
Yard waste reduction, moisture retention, fertilizing, time saving, helping weed prevention, and promoting healthy soil.
Lets explore these plus points in a bit more detail, below.
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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Is It Better To Mulch Or Side Discharge Grass
If you are simply looking for a quick cut, the side discharge method is likely the way to go. It wont look as neat and clean as bagging, but it will take substantially less effort. If youre looking to really give your lawn a new life and get more vibrance out of your grass, mulching may be the way to go.
When Should I Mulch My Lawn
Knowing when it is the right time to mulch your lawn is important. We need to remember what we have learnt about mulching so far to know when it is the best time to mulch. As I said above a mulching mower is like a big kitchen blender and needs the grass cuttings to fly around the deck to cut them smaller and smaller.
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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.
Bottom Line On Side Discharge Vs Bagging Vs Mulching
The way you should handle your lawn care clippings greatly depends on your individual goals and lawn.
Using this infographic on how to handle lawn clippings can help you decide which grass clipping method is best for you.
Best of all, if you dont feel like taking the time to figure it all out, reach out to the pros at GreenPal, and they will handle it for you!
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Is Mulching Good For The Lawn And Why
The simple answer is yes! For decades golf clubs have been cutting the fairways and greens without collecting the grass cuttings. This is the same method as mulching your lawn. We would all love a lawn that looks as good as a golf course green, so what better recommendation for mulching than this?
Obtaining a green lush lawn can be time consuming and costly. Many gardeners have given up and have outsourced the task to a lawn maintenance company who will periodically treat their lawn with chemicals. This is not ideal as its expensive, not environmentally friendly and its still down to you to cut the lawn regularly.
The small particles of grass are forced deep down into your lawn where they decompose within a short period of time and release nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphate. These nutrients are then transferred into the soil via micro-organisms organically fertilising your lawn without you having to use expensive lawn services or costly synthetic fertilisers. Mulching is also pet and child friendly unlike synthetic fertilisers.
A blade of grass is 80% water, so this moisture is also released into the soil providing much needed water reserves during the drier and hotter periods of the summer.
So yes, there is no disputing it, mulching is extremely good for the health and condition of your lawn.