What is Mulching?
Mulching is the process of recycling finely cut grass clippings back into your lawn to provide nutrients, moisture and resistance to pests and disease.
It is a common misconception that mulching is just the same as not collecting the grass clippings after you have mown your lawn; however this is not the case. To mulch your lawn properly, you will need a mulching specific mower or a mulching kit which can be purchased for most standard mowers to convert them. Mulching specific mowers and mulching conversion kits will have unique mulching blades designed with additional cutting surfaces which work in conjunction with added baffling underneath the mower deck to cut the clippings multiple times. These modifications from a standard / traditional mower enable the successful process of cutting down the clippings to small pieces before being forced from the cutter deck deep into the base of the lawn where they will break down quickly due to their size.
Pros and Cons of Mulching
Grass clippings are a great source of nitrogen which is a valuable nutrient essential for a healthy lawn as well as many other trace elements including iron, calcium and magnesium to name a few. By mulching the clippings as you mow the lawn these valuable nutrients get absorbed back into the lawn helping to keep it healthy and nourished.
Mulching can also help to keep lawns hydrated in drier periods of weather. Grass mulch clippings are roughly 80-90% moisture and start to breakdown almost immediately as they hit the ground releasing up to 30% of your lawn’s required nutrients.
Time. This is something that can often get overlooked but mulching your lawn can save a considerable amount of time as you don’t need to stop to empty the grass collection bag. In autumn you are even able to mow over and mulch fallen leaves (within reason), time saved can be as much as a third which can now be used to admire your beautiful, freshly mown lawn!
As for the negatives, there aren’t any as such but there are things that should be taken into consideration such as weeds or an existing thatch or moss problem. Mulching does not cause thatch or moss build-up and can even help prevent it but it can add to an existing thatch or moss problem. In these situations it is best to treat the underlying weed/thatch/moss problem and cut and collect clippings for this period before mulching once the issue has been resolved.
Mulching Mowers vs Mulching Kits
Due to the annual rainfall levels here in the UK, year-round mulching is not always advisable. If the lawn is wet or very damp, the mulching mower will start to clog up and won’t be able to freely disperse the cuttings and clumps of grass will be deposited onto the lawn. If the lawn is wet it is best to let the grass dry out for a day or two, or simply cut and collect the clippings on this occasion. Therefore, having a dual purpose mower that is able to cut and collect as well as be adapted to mulch clippings with a mulching kit would be a preferable option rather than a specific mulching mower for the UK climate.
The EGO Power Plus range of mowers are cordless and battery powered with patented 56V ARC Lithium batteries that have the industry’s highest hand-held capacity providing power that can outperform petrol. The EGO 50cm Self-Propelled 3 in 1 mower is ideal for medium to large gardens and is able to bag, mulch or side discharge clippings giving you the required flexibility to meet your lawn’s needs to keep it looking vitalised all year round.
For medium to small gardens the EGO LM1701E 42cm Mower may be better suited with the EGO ABP1700 Mulching Kit attachment. The mulching kit comprises a factory sharpened steel blade and mulching plug. This push mower has the additional bonus of folding neatly making it easy to store and is very space efficient.
If walking behind a mower isn’t for you, then the Robomow Robotic Mower or the Ambrogio range may be what you’ve been looking for. As there is no grass collection function on robotic mowers so it is best to keep on top of lawn growth with a twice weekly mow cycle keeping clippings small and easy to break down. It is best to remember that the smaller the cuttings, the quicker they will decompose releasing the nutrients and moisture into the lawn. Having small cuttings also ensures that they are able to find their way deeper into the lawn and are not picked up on shoes or bare feet and transferred to paths and into the house.