Grass mulching when it comes to lawns is quite different from the traditional mulching.
While the conventional mulching has to do with placing organic materials like wood cravings on a surface, grass mulching on lawn involves the double cutting of grasses while reducing the grass on the lawn.
This means that grasses are cut off the first time to reduce their height, and the part that was cut-off will be cut a second time into smaller pieces.
This article, which is solely on grass mulching pros and cons, outlines the benefits and the downsides of mulching grasses.
Grass Mulching Pros
The following are the pros of using grass clippings as mulch.
1 Addition of nutrients to the soil
The grass clippings that result from mulching are broken into the soil by microorganisms and soil fauna like earthworms, and add nitrogen to the soil. This is a major source of fertilizer that helps your grass to grow healthier and greener.
This process is easily achieved because the clippings have been ground into much finer pieces a second time after the first cut. The clippings go underneath the soil where the conversion process takes place.
It’s important to make sure that there isn’t too much weed on your lawn so that these clippings don’t also fertilize the weed. This could defeat the purpose of mulching.
2 It is easier
Grass mulching is easier compared with just mowing. Mulching means that you don’t have to worry about decomposing the grass clippings. You won’t have to worry about raking the clippings all around your lawn and putting them in one place. Or moving around with a clipping collector bag while mowing.
Raking and having a collector bag are two options of disposing of grasses that won’t be things to be concerned about when you choose to mulch grasses. The whole process is much easier and stress-free. This is because the mulching process takes place immediately the grasses are cut.
Have in mind that you’d only get to enjoy this automatic, fast, and seamless process when you use a dedicated mulcher or a combi machine.
3 Lawn looks cleaner
When you chose to mulch, the grass is cut in a way that the clippings are hidden under the grass. Basically, the grass you leave should be about 1.30cm higher than you would leave them while collecting the clippings or leaving them to spread out.
This height ensures that the grasses are tall enough to hide the clippings and make your lawn cleaner and more beautiful.
It’s a good practice to mow once in a week in the cutting season. You don’t want to cut too often to avoid over cutting, or cutting less frequently and ending up with too tall grasses that won’t make mulching ideal.
4 Free mulch & recycling mower waste
Grass mulching is one of the free mulching options to employ. It is a cheap and automatic process of recycling your mower waste. The clippings are returned to feed your lawn and grow your grasses to give a beautiful appearance.
Some of the other free mulch options suitable for various purposes are homemade compost, wood products like sawdust, leafmold mulch.
Grass Mulching Cons
Below are the disadvantages of mulching grass.
1 It could enhance fungal disease
The idea of grass mulching is to grind grass clippings into readily decomposed pieces. This can, however, be defeated if mulching is done when grasses are wet. Mulching wet grasses will increase worm attraction and enhance fungal disease.
Wet grasses may not decompose easily and will suffocate your lawn, thereby causing more harm than good.
Your best bet is to mulch when the weather is dry and the grasses aren’t gone. And this is why it is also advised to avoid mulching in the early hours of the day when the morning dews haven’t dissipated. Doing this may cause more damage than anticipated.
2 Requires a dedicated mulcher
As discussed earlier, the process of grass mulching is easier because the cutting and mulching are done automatically within a short while. But this comes with a problem. The automated process has to be done with a machine that is specially designed for this purpose.
To enjoy the automated process, you have to get a dedicated mulcher or combi machine. The dedicated mulcher is specially designed for cutting and mulching while the combi machine is meant for cutting only but can be modified to also include the mulching feature.
Getting either of these machines could pose some challenges if you’re on a tight budget since they aren’t cheap.
3 Mulching wet areas could be tough
Generally, you go slower on the lawn when you choose to mulch than when you just want to cut. This is majorly due to the double processes that are carried out when you mulch. There’s even more trouble when you cross hard surfaces or go over wet areas.
Your mower loses vacuum and dumps all clippings when you cross hard surfaces. As for wet areas or in wet seasons, you have to move even much slower than you would in the dry season. This could be boring, tough, and generally time-consuming.
You also have to clean the deck more often when you mulch wet areas. This could be a daunting task.
4 Not recommended for tall grasses
Basically, clippings need to be buried in the grasses for the lawn to appear neat and beautiful. This will not be achieved if the grass is anything above 8cm or 3 inches. The clippings will be more than required and will not be hidden as desired.
Mulching in this situation is not recommended as it won’t make your lawn look nice. You may still have to go through the rigor of raking and collecting the clippings if your lawn appears too awkward.
Technically, this means you have to mower your grasses regularly to achieve the aim of grass mulching.
5 Blades wear faster
The specialist blade used for mulching in a specially designed mulcher is quite different from the conventional blade used in the traditional deck. While the former is designed for double cutting, the latter is made for single cutting.
This means that the blade used for mulching will wear faster than the traditional blade since it’s doing a double job. It will cut off the grasses the first time and cut them again the second time while they’re falling off.
6 You may over-fertilize
The clippings add nutrients to the soil and act as fertilizers. This may result in over-fertilizing your lawn if you over-mulch. And this may cause damage and waste of effort. Also, if you mulch while you have a lot of weed on your lawn, you’d also fertilize them and enhance their growth.
Generally, mulching comes with some level of weed problems.
If you’re considering switching to grass mulching, weigh the pros and cons to determine if switching will suit your needs or not.