Are you mowing, watering, and fertilizing your lawn at the same time? Believe it or not, you may already be doing it. Grass blades are composed of about 85% water with other organic matter and nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, making up the rest. If you leave clippings on the yard after mowing you’ve fed and watered it with no extra work required.
Leaving the clippings in the yard is almost always best but in some situations, you may choose to bag them. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each and let you decide.
Leaving the clippings (mulching & discharging)
All mowers are capable of discharging and will have a chute on the side or back for grass clippings to exit. The difference in mulching and discharging is in the chute (and blades). If you have a mulching kit to plug the chute, the cut grass blades will recirculate inside the deck, allowing them to be cut into finer pieces. They will eventually make their way back down into your lawn.
Mulching pros and cons
Healthy for your lawn – clippings are returned to the lawn maintenance, providing nutrients and helping the soil retain moisture. Despite popular belief, leaving clippings in the yard won’t contribute to thatch.
Less work – raking, bagging, and handling the clippings can take a lot of time and effort. Letting the lawn naturally decompose clippings is much easier.
Better appearance – discharging will leave larger clippings in the yard, so mulching them into finer pieces will make the yard look cleaner. Keeping the clippings circulating under the deck will also prevent them from ending up on the road or walkways.
Harder on your mower – if you try to mulch when the yard is tall, your mower is working harder to chop up the clippings.
Doesn’t work well for wet grass – when the grass is wet, you may run into some issues when trying to mulch. The grass clumps together and sticks to the underside of the deck.
When to bag yard clippings
Mulching is great, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. You may decide to bag clippings for a variety of reasons. The most common is when the yard is several inches tall and clippings cover the lawn, preventing nutrients from reaching the grass below. Around fall when leaves start to cover your lawn, having a bagger around will save some time raking. If you notice signs of disease, you may want to collect the clippings to prevent it from spreading. You could also have a compost pile for clippings.
Be sure to check local and state laws if you decide to bag and dispose of clippings.
Most of the time, mulching your clippings is the best option. You should bag your clippings if the grass is tall, leaves are covering the lawn, or you need to prevent disease and weeds from spreading.
Let the professionals Handle
Although some people consider handling tree mulching as a DIY task, by far, it is better to seek the assistance of professional mulching services in Halifax.