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Why Buy a Mulching Lawn Mower?

by Marcia Passos Duffy, All About Lawns Columnist

Leaving the grass clippings when you mow (called "grasscycling") provides good nutrients for the lawn and saves you time and money--no more raking and bagging.

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While you can use a conventional lawn mower for the job if you mow over areas twice, an easier way to grasscycle is to get a mulching lawn mower.

What Is a Mulching Lawn Mower?

If your conventional lawn mower is at the end of its life, you may want to consider a mulching lawn mower to replace it.

A mulching lawn mower cuts up the grass blades into fine pieces and blows them down into the grass near the soil, where the clippings then break up and fertilize the lawn.

You can find mulching lawn mowers in electric-powered and gasoline-powered models. A mulching lawn mower generally costs about $100 more than a conventional lawn mower, as their engines are more powerful. Consumer Search lists of some of the better mulching lawn mowers with features and prices.

Tips on Using a Mulching Lawn Mower

Mulching lawn mowers should be used only when the grass is dry since they do not mulch wet grass properly and could cause damage to the lawn. The grass should not be allowed to grow too long between mowings; a mowing once a week is fine during the most intense growing season in the summer, and every two weeks in the fall and spring. For best results, keep the lawn mower's blades sharp--blades should be replaced every three years.

Also, remember that when you are mowing, you are also mulching--fertilizing the grass. Take it slow and don't rush the process.

About the Author

Marcia Passos Duffy is a freelance writer and a member of the Garden Writers Association. She is a frequent contributor to Turf Magazine and Growing Magazine. Visit her site at www.backporchpublishing.com

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