A mulching mower is an environmentally friendly type of mower because it does not collect the cut grass and instead recycles the clippings by distributing them back onto the lawn so that they can decompose into natural fertiliser and feed the soil on your lawn.
A conventional lawnmower cannot do this as the clippings are too large and tend to clump together which rather than benefiting the soil, would suffocate it whereas a mulching mower shreds the grass finely making it fit for purpose.
These mowers are constructed with a specialised deck formation and a designated cutting blade.
They are designed in such a way that that the cut grass is vacuumed into the deck and then the clippings are blown around the deck in a controlled fashion so that it is re-cut numerous times creating ultra-fine particles.
These tiny pieces are then propagated from the cutting deck and pushed into the turf so that they do not blow away or come into the house with you.
Advantages of Mulching Lawn Mowers
Using mulching lawn mowers has been to be 30% quicker than conventional mowers. This time-saving is due to a number of reasons:
- There is no need to keep stopping to empty grass container whilst mowing which means faster mowing especially if you have a gas mower which you need to keep stopping and starting,
- In addition to this, time is saved as you no longer need to keep making trips to compost bin/heap or collecting bags full to take to a landfill,
- As the grass is redistributed as you go along, you do not need to bag it, place it in a compost pile, wait for it to turn into compost and then spread it again,
- Also, there is no need to rake and collect the loose clippings after mowing and
- They also mulch leaves which saves more time, effort and bin bags
- Mulching saves you the cost of fertilising the lawn as you are recycling its own important nutrients so you don’t have to purchase additional compost and other feeding products to have a great lawn,
- It is space saving as it eliminates the need for a designated compost heap or garden waste bin area.
- These mowers require less physical effort to mow as you are not pushing around a container of clippings,
- It is the environmentally friendly option as it is not only energy and time saving but research has shown that a half acre lawn can produce up to 4.5 tonnes of cuttings which would otherwise have been disposed of at a landfill,
- These mowers are quieter than most other types of lawnmowers,
- Mulched grass also feeds micro organisms which live in your soil such as earthworms which may not sound like a good thing but they do in fact improve lawn and soil quality naturally.
- Mulching lawn mowers do not have a rear grass collecting container/bag sticking out and so they enable you to see where you mowing more clearly as well as allowing you to cut closer to fences, walls and lawn edges.
- Although some people suggest that mulching contributes to thatch build-up, it actually does the opposite and reduces thatch. If you cut your grass and then just leave long grass on the lawn then this may cause thatch but done correctly, mulching produces a healthier root zone and overall soil which in turn reduces thatch. Furthermore, the above-mentioned micro-organisms which feed off the grass clippings also help to break down any thatch that is present.
- The grass-cycled clippings return many nutrients as well as nitrogen back to the soil which forms humus. This humus helps to soften any hard soil or clumps allowing more nutrients and oxygen to reach the grass roots as well as helping sandier soil to retain much-needed moisture. This improves the consistency and substance of the soil which along with the reduction of thatch produce a clean, healthy looking lawn.
Disadvantages of Mulching Lawn Mowers
- As the bottom edge of the deck of the mower is designed to sit quite low to the ground in order keep the redistribution of clippings controlled, you are more likely to be affected by stones and other obstructions that may lie within the grass,
- This may also cause a problem if the ground is mossy as the deck will get caught on the moss making the mower hard to handle and push,
- Furthermore, mulching mowers struggle with long grass and so are not a good idea if you know you will be unable to mow regularly. The mower will cut but not very effectively and you will be left with a shabby cut and have to cut it twice if you want an even, tidy look
- These mowers are best used when the grass is dry because finely cut wet grass will ‘clump’ together and so you will end up with patches of unevenly distributed clippings on your lawn which will not decompose and fertilise your lawn to their maximum potential.
- The mower blades do need to be maintained and sharpened to keep the mower performing at its best.