Lawn Mower Question Series (4 of 6): Should I Mulch Or Not? What’s The Benefits and Drawbacks?

30th Aug 2012

This is the fourth post in this series of the most common lawn mower questions that we receive.

There has always been arguments as to whether mulching actually provides benefits for both yourself and the lawn, or whether it causes more harm than good.

We can honestly say from our many years of experience that mulching can cause more problems than benefits, mostly for the sake of emptying a grass box!

One Advantage…If Done Correctly

One of the reasons that some lawn enthusiasts mulch is because it reduces the need to fertilise the lawn as the returned clippings provide the nutrients required to continue feeding.

Although this is true, it only works effectively if you cut the lawn very regularly, not letting the grass grow too long. The grass has to be cut very fine to avoid large clumps of grass being deposited onto the lawn, which can kill and discolour the grass when left for a long period.

Notice how local councils cut grass verges and you will see the same effect taking place.

Another restriction is that you have to ensure that the grass is dry before cutting as otherwise, large deposits of grass will be left on the lawn in this scenario as well.

A cylinder lawn mower is usually required to properly cut the grass as fine as possible to avoid clumps from being created.

The Other “Benefits”

In an ideal world, these are the other benefits of mulching. In reality though, most of them have drawbacks attached to them!

  1. Mowing the lawn is faster because there is no collection box to empty. (Drawback: When the grass is fairly long, the mower becomes blocked while cutting meaning that you have to mow over the same area multiple times)
  2. Having somewhere to dispose of grass cuttings isn’t required. (Drawback: Cuttings on your lawn carry on your feet when damp and within a short period of time, you have cuttings on your paths and patio, or wherever you walk. Windy weather can cause cuttings to blow around your garden and into you borders as well.)
  3. Mulching means that the mower is lighter because it is not carrying the weight of clippings as they are expelled out of the side of the machine and onto the lawn. (Drawback: When the grass is long, the mower tends to get stuck in the deep mulch making it feel heavier to manoeuvre)

Conclusion

We always urge everyone to avoid mulching as the drawbacks clearly outweigh the benefits in most situations. Further problems like uneven lawn surfaces can become apparent as well over a longer period of time.

Return back soon for post number 5 of 6 in this series. (“When’s the best time to buy a lawn mower?”)

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Lawn Master (Head Office) This article was written by:

Lawn Master is a national lawn care and treatment company in the UK, with over 50 specialist outlets around England, Wales and Scotland.

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