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Mulching grass : How beneficial is it really & What’s the best way

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I’ll be honest I only started leaving all the grass clippings on the lawn recently. That’s because I always felt it left a lot of mess on the grass and I was mostl looking for a perfect striped finish.

That was until I found the best way to do it with my cyinder mower.

So, in this article I’m giving you the main reasons why mulching is beneficial to your grass and how to go about doing it so you can still have a lush looking lawn the whole time.

I’ll also tell you when not to mulch the grass if you don’t want it to look messy. After all, that’s normally the first thought crossing people’s minds when this subject is mentioned.

You may already know that there are loads of things you can do with grass clippings that means you’re not just chucking them in your garden bin.

 I’ve written a full article on these things called What to do with grass clippings…

Firstly, why are grass clippings beneficial for the soil?

Most scientists will tell you, that grass is 99% water. So, how does that help the soil? Well, the main thing is that it helps to keep moisture in during periods of drought.

No only that, the rest of the leaf will break down into100% organic nutrients, thereby helping to keep the fresh grass growth as green as possible,

So, this brings me

When is the best time to be mulching grass and leaving them on the lawn

Does grass really work as a natural fertiliser?

Grass clippings most definitely won’t replace your regular feeding or fertiliser routine.

Though it will mean that if you go loner than normal between feeds then it’s less likely to turn yellow due to a lack of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate and potassium.

So, now you know why, let’s move onto the how.

What’s the best way to go about mulching your grass

Like with most things, there are good ways and bad ways to mow the grass while mulching at the same time.

It’s also possible to leave the clippings on the sward without mulching.

A classic example of this is when you see public fields. The large ride on mowers which don’t have collector bags simply leave it on the top of the sward. You can always tell when it’s just been cut because it’s covered in clippings.

That said, I personally don’t like that look for my fescue lawn and so needed to find a better way of doing it.

Here’s how.

Mow with a rotary then mow with a cylinder

A good mower setup is a rotary mower (with a rear roller) and a cylinder mower.


Because the rotary means you can cut it when it’ longer. Then the cylinder will give you the best striped finish.

If your grass is really long, you’re not going to want to go straight at it with a cylinder mower.

So, the best thing to do is mow lower with your rotary and collect the clippings in the box.

Then, leave the box off your cylinder mower and simply let the clippings blow out onto the lawn.

This works well because the clippings are short enough not to make a mess. It also saves you time because it means you won’t need to keep emptying the cylinder box which is often smaller than the standard bag collector.

Ultimately, this is my favourite method. I don’t have time to

Add a mulching device to your rotary mower

Many mowers these days will come with a mulching device. These work by keeping the clippings in the blade area of the mower so they can be shredded up and dropped back on the grass.

Again though, if you let your grass get too long and then try to use this device straight away, there could be a few complications with the mower getting clogged up and the blade struggling to spin properly.

So even if you don’t have a cylinder mower, you should still trim the top off first and then just leave the small clippings to be mulched

Mow regularly so you’re never taking much off

This is tough for probably 80% of people who lead busy lifestyles and have more to think about than waiting to give your lawn it’s next cut. However, if you have the time to mow 2-3 times a week, then this is by far the best way to go.

You’ll literally be adding beneficial organisms to your lawn the whole Summer.

Of course, longer holidays and family/work life can get in the way of this but even if you can do it a couple of times over the course of 2-3 weeks it will be beneficial.

When not to mulch your grass

I’ll be honest, there’s no time of year when mulching grass isn’t beneficial.

The biggest problem with leaving grass clippings on the lawn is that they start to turn brown and make the sward look messy. Probably the main reason people don’t like to do it.

So, really it comes down to how you manage your own mowing programme.

For example…

If you want your grass looking picture perfect, then you can’t leave super long clippings on the top of the sward because they’ll eventually turn brown and look a bit of a mess.

They may even clump up. Particularly if it’s wet, which is most of the time here in the UK.

So, even if you don’t mow your grass regularly, you can still find a way to mulch while keeping your grass looking neat and tidy immediately afterwards.

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