With spring in full swing and summer just ahead here in Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver, Washington, the grass is growing quickly! If you’ve spent any time doing landscape work around your home, the question of mulching grass clippings has probably come up. If you’re still deliberating on what to do, hopefully this article will clear things up. Mulching grass clippings is a quick and easy method of cutting your grass. It provides essential nutrients to the lawn, and shaves off time that you would otherwise spend dumping the mower bag.
The ease of mulching grass clippings is undeniable. The easiest (but most expensive) way to get started is by purchasing a mulching lawnmower. Just like any other mower, it’s as simple as starting it up and keeping your lines straight. The mulching mower comes with a few built-in modifications that effectively mulch the grass clippings. Special mulching blades, with bigger cutting surfaces, work in tandem with extra baffling underneath the mower. The chute, or output, is blocked to trap the clippings underneath the mower. This allows the clippings to be cut multiple times and blows them down into the surface of the lawn. All of these attachments can also be purchased separately and can be added to most existing mowers.
Mulching grass clippings isn’t just a more convenient way to mow the lawn, it’s also a sure-fire way of providing much needed nutrients that your lawn craves. Recycled grass clippings provide a rich source of nitrogen to the lawn. A typical lawn needs around 4 pounds of nitrogen every year to maintain it’s healthiness. When recycled regularly, these clippings contribute up to a pound annually. The clippings are also rapidly consumed by worms, beneficial bacteria, and fungus, diversifying the intricate food web taking place beneath your lawn, which, in turn, bolsters the health of your lawn.
The benefits of mulching lawn clippings don’t stop at the biological level; there are substantial financial benefits as well. The disposal of clippings involves time and effort. Stopping the mower, finding a place to dump, and dumping the bag adds a serious chunk of time to any mowing process; and you know what they say about time and money. Furthermore, the more nutrients your yard is receiving organically, the less money you end up spending on fertilizer.
Things to Avoid While Mulching
As beneficial as mulching is, there are certain practices to avoid. If you have an abundance of weeds, like crab grass and dandelions in the lawn, it may be best to collect the clippings, as to avoid the further spread of these undesirable plants. If the lawn hasn’t been mowed in a while, it’s a good idea to either collect the clippings or go over them multiple times to better distribute the clumps, to avoid creating dead patches in your lawn. Clippings may not break down if there has been repeated use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizer. Insecticides always end up doing more harm than good and can render a lawn virtually lifeless. Moreover, while some people will tell you that mulching leads to thatch, they’re sorely mistaken. Grass clippings can contribute to an existing thatch problem, but, if mowed regularly, will never cause one.
The perks of mulching your grass clippings are astounding. If your lawn is mowed regularly, is free of weeds and poison, and has no existing thatch problem, mulching is for you. It provides essential nutrients to the soil, cuts out significant amounts of time, and saves a good chunk of money. With summer on its way, mulching grass clippings is an alternative we are excited to offer. If you are interested in mulching, or have any lawn care questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 360-567-6399, or contact us here. You can also fill out a free estimate request form online!