best-lawn-mowers

What Is A Mulching Mower? What Are The Benefits?

Written by Kirsten
Last Updated on February 22, 2021

Mulching Mowers - Our Best Guide

If you've been looking into buying a lawnmower for your garden, then you've probably come across mulching lawnmowers and wondered what they are, and how they differ from regular push mowers.

Well, mulching mowers have a similar aesthetic design to push mowers but differ in how they work. Mulching lawnmowers don't leave grass clippings behind like a standard lawnmower, and instead, use a special blade to grind these grass clippings into small pieces which are known as 'mulch', this mulch is then dispersed back on to your garden. 

So now you are probably asking yourself how these mowers can do this and what the advantages are to having mulch deposited back on to your lawn, in comparison to none.

We have put together a comprehensive guide below to help you figure out if you need a mulching lawnmower or not and the benefits of using one in your garden.

What Is a Mulching Lawnmower?

As we mentioned above, a mulching lawnmower is a machine like a regular push mower that collects your grass clippings and grinds them into mulch to be deposited back on to your lawn.

The grass clippings left behind on your lawn act as an organic fertiliser and can help keep your grass healthy and promote the growth of new grass. The blade of these machines can have multiple different blades or a single jagged edge blade depending on the mower you buy.

How Does a Mulching Lawnmower Work?

Now you understand what a mulching lawnmower is, we can get on to explaining how these designs work.

Mulching mowers don't have discharge chute like regular mowers and use their blades to toss the grass up into the machine so as it can be cut multiple times by the blade and form mulch which is small enough to sit on the soil of your grass like a fertiliser.

These mowers additionally have a taller mowing deck than regular models to allow for the grass to be cut multiple times due to being swirled around inside of the mower.

The mulch created by these mowers does not need to be removed like a regular one as its small enough to not suffocate your lawn beneath you.

Mulching mowers come in three different types; electric corded, electric cordless (with a battery) and gas-powered. Each type of mower will mulch your grass clippings the same but have advantages/disadvantages depending on what you want.

When Do I Need To Use a Mulching Mower?

If you are a homeowner trying to maintain your garden in the best way possible with minimal effort, it could be worth investing in a mulching mower due to the fertilisation it brings to your lawn.

They also stop you from having to empty garden waste often and are great if you have a garden that is full of leaves that you have to rake away constantly as it can mulch them instead.

So if your home garden is looking a little beat down, a mulching mower could potentially restore its health and promote new grass growth with little work.

What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks Of Buying a Mulching Lawnmower?

Mulching mowers come with a large number of benefits for your lawn, including making it healthier.

However, this is not say mulching your lawn with one of these mowers is all good, as they can also come with some disadvantages which you should be aware of before buying your mower.

Advantages

Mulching mowers are not only a great way to fertilise your lawn without spending money, but they are also much more eco-friendly than man-made fertiliser and help your lawn to become self-sufficient, meaning you don't have to maintain your lawn as much.

These types of mowers also don't tend to cost much more than regular ones and are perfect for people with allergies due to the way the machine self-contains its grass and doesn't disperse the pollen into the air.

Other advantages to mulching mowers have to be the fact you don't have to spend time and effort collecting the grass clippings or emptying your grass bag from the mower, they also stop you from having to rake leaves as the machine turns them into mulch.

Pros

  • Eco- friendly fertiliser.
  • Promotes a healthy lawn.
  • Good for people with allergies.
  • Saves time.
  • Doesn't cost too much more than a regular mower.
  • Makes your lawn self-sufficient.

Disadvantages

Even though mulching mowers are great for your lawn, they do come with some drawbacks. For example, your lawn will not look as neat after mowing due to this mulch deposited, which can be annoying if you are after a freshly mowed aesthetic for your garden.

You will also have to mow your lawn much more frequently to avoid having to cut long grass, as longer grass will be much more likely to form clumpy mulch and brown on your grass.

If your grass produces too much mulch it could potentially suffocate your grass too, especially if you are mulching the dead leaves in your garden, so you might end up having to redistribute some of the mulch anyway like collecting normal grass clippings.

Cons

  • Your lawn will look messy.
  • Can suffocate your grass if mulch is in excess.
  • Needs mowing more frequently.

Overall, as long as you don't mind a less aesthetic lawn after mowing, a mulching mower is a great investment if you are looking to make your garden more self-sufficient and want to avoid placing chemical fertiliser down on your soil.

What's The Difference Between Mulching & Side Discharge?

If you are after a fertilising mower, then you have probably seen old school side discharge mowers.

Both types of mower functions are great for promoting a healthy lawn due to the way they disperse clippings back on to your grass, however, they do have there pros and cons when compared against each other.

Side Discharge

Side discharge mowers spray their grass clippings out of there side discharge chutes and give a very quick and clean-cut to your grass.

They also allow for continuous operation which makes them perfect for larger lawns and great for cutting taller less maintained grass.

However, side discharge mowers in comparison to mulching models are very messy, as the discharge chute can spray your clippings anywhere such as driveways or flowerbeds, meaning you might have to clean up in a lot of places after using the mower.

It's cutting system also does not cut grass clippings as fine as mulching, making it a poorer fertiliser and giving it the ability to throw rocks or sticks out of its chute which can be dangerous.

Pros

  • Quick and sharp cut to your grass.
  • Continuous operation saves time cutting larger lawns.
  • Great for taller grass.
  • Tend to be a little cheaper.

Cons

  • Can be very messy.
  • The chute can disperse other objects such as rocks and sticks.
  • Clean up may be needed.

Mulching

Mulching mowers in comparison to side discharge ones do all there cutting inside their machine and the clippings just fall into the ground and do not get forced out a chute, making them cleaner and less likely to throw clippings in places you don't want.

This mulching function additionally does not fling rocks or stones out of its chute and makes the grass clippings a better fertiliser due to the way the grass is ground in their blades.

Downfalls of mulching vs side discharge have to be the slower blade speed and operating system which make this kind of machine less suitable for bigger lawns with very tall grass.

Pros

  • Clippings are less messy.
  • Better for fertiliser.
  • No chute can throw out dangerous items.

Cons

  • Slower blade speed makes it less suitable for larger gardens.
  • Not good for taller grass.

To round up both styles of fertiliser, mulching mowers tend to be better than side-discharge mowers if you have a small home garden which you want to be self-sufficient and don't want to be cleaning up grass clippings that have gone everywhere after mowing.

Side discharge mowers could be better if you care less about the mess created from the chutes and want to be able to mow larger areas at a quicker speed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mulching Mowers

Can I buy a mulching attachment rather than a mulching mower?

Yes, if you are reluctant to invest in a mulching mower and already have a great regular mower at home, you can buy a mulching attachment that will come with blades for mulching instead.

Is it possible for mulching to help your grass grow?

Mulch will act as a fertiliser for your soil and help new grass grow, it also can help control weed growth on your lawn.

Can you mulch wet grass?

No, mulching wet grass will cause it to stick together in clumps on your lawn and can end up blocking your mower.

Final Words

Overall, a mulching mower is a great way to fertilise your lawn and make it self sufficient in comparison to a regular mower.

This is thanks to its special mulching blades which suck up grass and cut it multiple times before depositing it back on to the ground to create fertiliser for your soil.

About the author
Written by Kirsten
Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.
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