It’s completely a myth that using a mulching mower causes thatch buildup – nothing could be further than the truth. Using a mulching lawn mower is good for the grass and for the environment. To have a healthy lawn, and reduce waste at municipal facilities, consider using a mulching mower.
Keep Grass Healthy with a Mulching Mower
The way you mow your lawn makes a big difference in its health. A lot of people mistakenly think that leaving grass clippings on the lawn causes thatch problems. Thatch is not composed of grass clippings, but rather of living and dead pieces of stem between the soil and the green grass blades. Mowing grass with a mulching lawn mower can actually help decrease thatch problems by keeping turf healthy. All types of grass are heavy feeders. One of the best ways to return nutrients to the soil is to leave the grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings are high in nitrogen, and thus make great compost; however, they also help restore the soil by adding nitrogen back to it, when left on the ground. As long as a regular mowing schedule is maintained, and you do not remove any more than 1/3 of the grass blade in any one mowing session, the amount of grass clippings left on the lawn, and the length of those clippings will not be prohibitive to breaking down quickly. (This means that you might have to adjust your mowing schedule if it rains frequently-to keep from removing too much grass blade at one time.)
How is a Mulching Lawn Mower Different than other Mowers?
It is possible to accomplish similar aims with a regular push mower that you can with a mulching mower, but mulching mowers have certain features that make it easier to “grass-cycle,” or return grass to the lawns. A mulching mower typically has rotary blades and a mechanism that chops the grass clippings finely and blows them back down into the lawn where they can break down. For best results with a mulching lawn mower, it is important to mow when the grass is dry and before it has gotten too long, necessitating removal of more than one third of the blade at a time. To return grass clippings to the lawn with a conventional power mower, cut grass to a height of between 2 and 2.5 inches. Mow every seven days when grass is actively growing, and every two weeks in the spring and fall. To chop up the clippings and retain an even mowing pattern, rotate your mowing direction 90 degrees with each mowing. To mulch with a conventional mower, always keep the mower blades sharp.
Costs of Mulching Mowers
You will pay a bit extra for a mulching lawn mower in comparison to a regular walk behind bagging mower. It does, ultimately depend upon the brand of mower, and the features of the mower. It is possible to purchase a high-end bagging mower and a lower-end mulching mower for about the same cost. Whether you use a mulching lawn mower or a traditional bagging mower, mulching grass clippings and letting them remain on the soil is good for the grass and the environment.