What is mulching? Why mulch and when not to mulch.
When mulching grass, you combine three steps of lawn care in one activity: mowing, clearing the clippings and fertilizing the soil. You save work, time and money in the process. Sounds perfect! But what is mulching exactly? When is the best time to do it? Why should you mulch and when shouldn't you do it?
What is mulching?
Mulching is covering your garden soil or lawn with a layer of garden debris such as leaves, garden waste, compost or grass clippings. Mulch is usually shredded very small, so it decomposes naturally within the foreseeable future. When mulching the lawn, you leave the finely shredded grass clippings scattered on the lawn. This will provide natural protection. Mulching your lawn is done with a lawnmower with mulching function.
There are several reasons why mulching your lawn is beneficial.
Lawn care the natural way
Mulched grass gives the lawn natural nutrients. It is an organic fertilizer in the form of finely shredded grass. In addition, a mulch layer prevents weed growth and protects the soil and soil life from weather conditions. Think of this as protection from extreme temperatures and from drought in the soil if it has not rained for an extended period of time.
The power lies in the way the grass is shredded. During mulching, the grass clippings are finely shredded by the blades of the lawnmower with mulching function and evenly distributed over the lawn. The clippings sink to the ground among the blades of grass, providing effective, natural lawn care.
Great for your wallet
Because the fine grass clippings from the mulching mower function as a good source of nutrients, less fertilizer needs to be purchased. This is not only good for your wallet, but also good for the environment.
Saving work and time
After mowing with a regular lawn mower, you need to clean up the loose grass clippings from the lawn or empty the collection bag. By mulching, the grass clippings are spread across the lawn. So you don't have to clean up and dispose the clippings yourself. Also, mulching reduces the need for weeding. By regularly cutting weeds short, they don't get the chance to grow and spread further.
When to mulch?
For best results, it is a good idea to pay attention to the points below when you want to start mulching.
Mulching for the first time
The best time to mulch is during spring and summer. For best results, mow regularly. Consider mulching your grass once to twice a week, depending on how fast your grass is growing.
During spring & summer
The best time to mulch is during spring and summer. Make sure the grass is cut to a maximum of 3 cm.
Start mulching when the grass is dry. The clippings can spread well across the lawn and sink in down among the blades of grass to the ground.
When not to mulch?
Despite its many benefits, mulching is not suitable for every lawn. In some cases, it is better to cut your grass with a different mowing configuration.
When mowing wet grass, the clippings clump together. As a result, it partially sticks to the mower deck and there is no proper spreading across the lawn. The clumped clippings have a negative effect on the decay process, which in turn has a negative effect on your lawn.
Note that if your lawn is mostly shaded, the grass will stay wet for longer after rain. In that case, it is better to maintain your lawn with a conventional lawn mower.
If you mulch when you have high grass, more grass clippings are created. Even though this does get shredded properly, the mulch layer becomes too thick for the lawn. The lawn does not get the proper nutrients, the grass does not get enough light and not enough air reaches the roots.
Not enough time
If you do not have the opportunity to mulch regularly, it is better to go for the regular mowing technique. If you mulch irregularly, you will not achieve the right results. The grass grows too high and as a result too much clippings remain on the lawn. Besides, irregular mulching gives weeds room to flourish and the seeds will be spread by mulching.
Choosing the right lawnmower
Whether you choose to mulch or mow in a traditional way depends on your situation. Buying a lawn mower is usually a longer-term investment. So you will have to think about this thoroughly.