mulching is an English word with several meanings: it means ” ground cover ” but also ” manure “. In gardening, it means a grass-cutting technique which does not recover the material from the mowing: the mower breaks it into small pieces which will remain on the ground, to reintegrate the organic matter.
Also known as mulching in agriculture, when plants or other plant matter are broken up and left on the ground to form a new layer. This practice is ecologically virtuous and represents the opportunity to enrich the soil with its own grass. Sometimes the word “mulching” is also used to describe simple mulching, but here we are getting into the technique of mulching. lawn care .
The practice of mulching began in the United States in the early 1990s to reduce grass waste for disposal in landfills. For a long time now, mulching has also spread in Italy, thanks also to increasingly efficient lawn mowers, specially designed to shred the resulting plant material when cutting. This is why it is becoming a trend in gardening.
What it means to cut the grass with mulch
How to mulch a healthy lawn
What materials need to be ground
When to cut
Benefits of upholstery
Disadvantages of upholstery
The choice of lawn mower
classic lawn mower
robotic lawn mower
What does grass cutting mulch mean
Mulch cutting simply involves leave the scraped grass in place you need a mower without a basket, which frees the plant material directly on the ground.
In gardening, mulching is carried out sprayer , because the more precise the cut, the faster the grass will decompose, avoiding the felt effect and, in general, the aesthetic defects of the lawn. The ” felt effect means the formation of a layer of dead plant matter that dries out in the long term and creates a cover that is harmful to the living grass on the lawn.
Therefore, good mulching requires a mower prepared for fine shredding and fairly frequent mowing .
A correct cut of the mulch has a very positive effect on the soil: by bringing back the matter which it fertilizes naturally. In classic mulching, plant matter is removed, gradually depleting the soil. Returning what has been cut to the ground holds water and nutrients in place. This keeps the lawn healthy and even and saves on fertilizer and irrigation.
How to mulch for a healthy lawn
Mulching is an extremely simple concept: the cut grass is left in place, so once cut it will decompose in place.
Good lawn management requires, first of all, three important precautions:
- The mower must be prepared to finely crumble what has been cut. Using a high quality tool is essential.
- The lawn should be mowed often. Mulching with tall grass is unthinkable, frequent mowing is necessary.
- The grass should be cut when it is dry to prevent the chopped grass from bunching up when kneading the mower.
In addition, two other useful tips are frequently check that the body of the trimmer attachment is clean removing any residue and change the cutting direction make work more uniform.
What are the materials to grind
In gardening, mulching is always done with the same grass that is cut . One could also cut leaves and hay, but in a lawn setting, no additional material can be added.
If you want to cover with bark, straw or wood shavings, you must proceed with care, as these are materials that do not contain nitrogen and when they decompose, they remove it from the soil.
When should the cut be made?
In lawn care, the frequency of mowing the lawn is very important. Mulching should be done frequently and at appropriate times. The grass grows more in summer, so with spring it must be mowed regularly, at certain times or even weekly.
As already mentioned, it is important that the grass is quite dry .
In the fall, it is usually worth hanging the mulch , because on the one hand it is difficult to find times when the lawn is dry, on the other hand the lower temperatures do not allow a good degradation of the residues and there is a risk that rot develops in the lawn. In general, mulching should be done when the soil microorganisms are fully active, so with a temperature above 10°C .
Benefits of Quilting
Mulch has many positive sides, which are good to list one by one.
- Save water to irrigate by reducing evaporation and providing a moist substance.
- requires less work to cut the grass and less time: it is not necessary to stop during mowing to empty the basket.
- Keeps the lawn lush even without fertilization: the grass that settles after being finely cut, releases nutrients into the soil and makes the lawn thrive.
- environmental value . When mowing the grass, the lawn is deprived of a third of the nutrients, because the removed grass tissue contains substances useful for the soil. By using the mulch technique, up to 20% of previously applied fertilizer can be recovered, reducing unnecessary waste.
- A living and active ground. The chopped grass left in the ground makes it moist and rich in organic matter, this promotes the presence of organisms that will soften it, all without spending money on fertilizers.
Disadvantages of upholstery
Quilting cannot be done everywhere and in particular not suitable for English lawns and gardens with fine, well-kept grass, so it depends on the type of grass. This method is excellent for hardy grass settings, while there are settings where the clippings would stand out.
At the other extreme, even in untreated lawns, it is not recommended: where the lawn is neglected, ground cover can promote weed growth and disease development, so it is important apply mulch only for managed grasslands .
It can also be considered as a disadvantage that this technique requires a higher cutting frequency: it is necessary to intervene often and never let the grass grow too much, otherwise it will not be possible to cut it correctly. On the other hand, although it is often cut, it is true that the operation requires less time, so the work is compensated.
It is also useful to know that the mulching mower has a higher electricity or fuel consumption, if we are talking about gasoline mowers. In fact, it has to fulfill a double function: in addition to mowing the lawn, it also shreds it.
The choice of mulch mower
Choosing the right lawn mower makes gardening enjoyable and satisfying and saves time. Choose a mulching mower it’s not easy: you have to take into account all the characteristics, pay close attention to the quality of the cut and the engine, but also to the ability to break it down into tiny parts. The mower performs three tasks simultaneously in a single pass: cutting the grass, mulching it and putting it back on the lawn itself.
It is precisely because of this complexity that it is worth choosing a high quality product from a known and reliable brand. STIHL lawn mowers, for example, which also inherit the tradition of Viking tools, are a guarantee.
Buying a lawn mower has undeniable advantages, as we have seen, and avoids having a basket that periodically empties during work and, at the end of mowing, heaps of grass to get rid of.
You can opt for a classic lawn mower with a mulching function and an automatic robot lawn mower.
Classic mulch mower
There are excellent lawnmowers designed for mulching, compared to basket models, they are quite recognizable – they have a higher hood and cutting blade. with counter propeller , which keeps the grass suspended and makes a smoother cut. Plus, they don’t have drainage holes or a collection basket. There is also combined models where you can decide to pick up or leave the ground grass on the ground.
robot lawn mower
The robotic lawnmower is a really useful tool for those who don’t have the time and inclination to deal with lawn mowing. They are small motorized devices capable of operating independently across the entire surface of the lawn, cutting as it goes. The concept is similar to the various robot vacuums used indoors.
Automation of the cutting operation this means you can afford to do it very often and still have a perfect lawn. This condition is ideal for mulching, as the chopped material is distributed very gradually and has time to break down.
Almost all robot mowers plan to mulch because it would be difficult to equip them with a collection basket. That’s why robots are a great way to spread this practice in gardening.
We can distinguish between blade lawn mowers and blade lawn mowers . The blades have remarkable cutting precision, continuously cutting through small patches of grass. Blade mowers struggle in the first seasonal cut or when the grass is high, while blade mowers have no problem even in high grass conditions.