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Do You Need a Mulch Mower for Your Lawn?

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Mulching is a great natural way of feeding your lawn and retaining moisture during high temperatures. Mulching mowers help reduce waste, spare you from raking and bagging clippings, and shred grass to a finer consistency than conventional mowers. It's possible to mulch your lawn with a conventional mower, but your workload can double up on you.

The practice of mulching one's lawn has been termed "grasscycling." When you use a mulching mower, the shredded blades of grass clippings are cut again, creating fine compost that sifts directly into the lawn.
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Traditional push mowers simply can't create ideal mulch consistency, and they won't blow the clippings down into the lawn. Conventional rear-discharge power mowers typically have a bag that must be removed and a cover placed over the discharge chute to allow the clippings to cycle over and again inside the deck. Conventional side-discharge mowers shoot out clippings that you'll have to mow over in order to create consistent density and mulch depth in the lawn.

About Mulching Mowers

Gas-powered mulching mowers typically have more horsepower than conventional mowers, to cut the grass clippings down to size. A self-propelled mulching mower may cost up to $150 more than a push model, but it can save you a lot of time my converting your lawn directly into compost. Since you don't want to over-mulch a lawn (say, more than 3 inches deep), you can buy a bag converter attachment for your mower for times when you want to hold back mulching. Too much mulch can build thatch.

There are also cordless electric mulching mowers that are easy on the ears. With these, there's no waste gas, oil, or smelly exhaust. Generally, they don't have the muscle of the gas-power mowers, so it may take longer to do the job. You may have to walk just a little slower. 

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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