Mulching Lawn Mowers
Mulch That Grass !!
The Purpose of Mulch
There may be people who enjoy spending hours mowing and bagging grass on a hot summer day, but we don't know any. If you have a grass lawn, one of the best, and easiest, things to do for it is to mulch the grass when you mow instead of bagging it. A mulching lawn mower not only cuts the grass, but chops it up and returns it to the lawn, where it acts as a fertilizer.
Mulching Lawn Mowers: No-Brainer
There are many benefits to returning cut grass back to the lawn with a mulching lawn mower: benefits not only to the lawn, but to you as the mower and to the environment as well. Here's a quick look at mulching, and why it should be your choice for mowing.
Grass Mulch: Great for Your Lawn
When you use a mulching lawn mower, the special blades cut the grass, then chop it into fine pieces and return it back to the lawn. This chopped grass acts as a natural fertilizer; it's 85 percent water and 5 percent nitrogen. It's estimated that grass mulch can provide up to 25 percent of your lawn's total fertilizer needs. When cut grass is bagged, you're removing free organic fertilizer from your yard! Leave it in place and you'll feed the lawn, enhancing the health and appearance of the turf. Mulched grass clippings reduce moisture evaporation and help cool the soil temperature, which further benefits the lawn and reduces the need for sprinkling.
Mulching Grass is Better for the Environment
When you bag the grass from your lawn, it typically ends up in a landfill, taking up space and not doing much good to anything. Mulching the grass with a mulching lawn mower recycles the beneficial clippings right back to the earth, where it naturally breaks down into nutritious food for your lawn. The EPA estimates that yard waste makes up 13 percent of our nation's total waste stream. That's too much!
Mulching Lawn Mowers are Great for Humans, Too
No offense to the lawn or the planet, but the best thing about mulching grass instead of bagging are the benefits it provides to you, the mower of the lawn. Bagging mowed grass takes much more time than simply letting the mower mulch it back into the turf as you mow along. There's no stopping to empty the mower bag, which can be a grueling, sweaty, dirty job on even the nicest days. Mulching gives you more time to enjoy the summer rather than doing back-breaking yard work.
Mulching Mower Do's and Don't's
If you do decide that a mulching lawn mower is the right choice for you and your lawn, there's a few simple things to keep in mind in order for things to work smoothly.
First, make sure your mower is designed for mulching. Most new mowers today offer the choice of mulching or bagging for convenience. Mulching mowers have specially-designed blades that chop the grass up into small pieces.
Next, make sure those blades are kept sharp. Have your blades sharpened each season, and replace them when they are worn out (uneven blade edges, rust, etc.) Dull blades pull the grass blades, instead of cutting them cleanly.
It's also important to not mow when the grass is wet or too tall. Mulching works best when the grass is cut into fine pieces; wet or too tall grass will clump, which can damage the lawn (and are not attractive). Wait for the lawn to dry out before mowing, and if it's too tall for mulching it may be necessary to bag it.
What about Thatch?
Most people who don't use a mulching lawn mower believe that leaving cut grass on the lawn will cause a buildup of thatch (a thick layer of roots and dead grass that builds up faster than it breaks down). Thick thatch can damage a healthy lawn, but fortunately mulching grass doesn't cause the problem. When incorporated into a healthy lawn-care regime (including proper watering, mowing level, and fertilization), mulch will only help your lawn.
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