Is mulching leaves good for the lawn? Overall, yes, using a mulching mower benefits your lawn. Find out more as I discuss, pros and cons of mulching your lawn.
Making mulch out of fallen leaves is a common buzzword in yard maintenance, but is it really necessary? One thing is for sure, mulching saves you labor and disposes of your leaves in an eco-friendly manner. So, if you don’t want to be out there using a leafblower or raking read on.
Here I give a quick explanation as to why you should mulch leaves. As well as and how to make and use leaf mulch for a healthier lawn.
Should You Leave Leaves On Your Lawn?
Although some yard maintenance blogs may advise that you leave leaves on your lawn. It is not quite as simple as it sounds. The nuanced answer is that you should mulch fall leaves and spread this over the lawn to get maximum benefits without the disadvantages.
These are some of the pros and cons of leaving whole leaves on a lawn.
Advantages To Leaving Leaves
- Helps to protect soil from freezing in winter
- Decomposing leaves add nutrients to the soil
- Less work for you
& The Dissadvantages
- Can smother grass
- May attract pests and unwanted insects
- Slippery when wet
Benefits of Mulched Leaves on a Lawn
The process of leaf mulching provides you with a wonderful natural organic material. Not only does this add nutrients to the soil on flowerbeds, similar to fertilizer, but it also saves you the job of raking leaves. Moreover, it is great for lawn health and a clever eco-friendly way to remove leaves.
These are just some of the reasons to convince you is mulching leaves is good for your garden and lawn.
- No raking leaves or using leaf blowers
- Improved turf quality
- Mulching blades remove leaf litter
- With a mulching mower, the chore is quick and easy
- Less volume when bagging leaves
- Reduces growth of weeds
- Reduces yard waste on landfills
- Boost nutrient levels in the soil
- No need to pay for lawn bags or leaf removal
- Less strenuous yard maintenance task
- Mulch can be added to garden beds
- It is a good brown matter that can be added to the compost pile
- Greener and healthier grass
How to Mulch Leaves Into Your Lawn
Is mulching leaves with the mower good for the lawn? Yes, and in fact, it is the quickest, easiest, and best way to do it. For those of you that don’t have a mulching mower or a mulching blade fitted. You can use a regular lawnmower, but, this will not do the job as quickly or quite as efficiently.
Although mowing leaves does the job for you, you may have to run over the lawn a couple of times. By doing this the mulch will be chopped smaller, this serves two purposes.
Firstly, the smaller the leaves are chopped the faster they will decompose. And, secondly, for those of you that like a leaf-free lawn, the leaf litter will disappear into the grass on the second pass.
- lawn mower with mulching function
- fan leaf rake
- safety gear
1. Wait for a Thin Layer of Leaves
Before shredding leaves with the lawnmower, only wait until the leaf layer is approximately 1-2 inches. Any thicker and you may end up with too much mulch on your lawn. This may mean mulch mowing the lawn 1-2 times per month during the fall.
2. Spread Leaves Evenly Over Lawn
Using a rake, remove leaves from flowerbeds and underneath bushes and spread these over the lawn until there is an even layer.
3. Shred Leaves with Mower
The first pass over the lawn is for shredding leaves. You will need to set the lawnmower higher than for cutting grass, about 2-3 inches. In order to get the best results, move in a regular pattern across the yard, i.e from left to right or up and down.
4. Mow the Lawn in the Opposite Direction
It is important that on the second pass, you move in the opposite direction. So, if you went from left to right, now go up and down. This is to downsize the already shredded leaves still further, ensuring that they decompose quickly.
5. Repeat Steps 3 & 4
Depending on how efficiently your mulching blade works, you may have to repeat steps 3 and 4 until you get the ideal leaf mold.
6. Remove Excess Leaf Mold
Remember, lawns only need 1 inch of mulch. If your layer of mulch is thicker than this, simply pass over your lawn again using the collection bag. Unfortunately, if your mower does not have a bag then you will need to rake. This will remove any excess from the mulched layer.
7. Add Lawn Feed (Optional)
If it is the time of year when you would usually add a feed to your lawn if you do not have a lot of leaf litter to mulch. As the final step go ahead and feed your lawn as normal.
Lawn Care Maintenance & Tips
Mulch adds healthy soil microbes to the lawn which is why you get greener and stronger grass. However, you will only get a healthy lawn if you do the mulching correctly and still keep up with other lawn care tasks.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts of mulching to get better results.
- Add mulched leaves to flower beds and under other plants such as trees and shrubs
- Invest in a good mulching mower
- Rake fallen leaves into an even spread
- Remove excess mulch
- Apply more than 1 inch of leaf mulch on the lawn
- Wait too long before mulching the lawn
- Try to mulch large numbers of leaves
- Stop at large chopped leaves
People Also Ask (FAQs)
If you still have more questions about leaf mulchers and what to do with this organic matter? Here are a few final things to know about mulching leaves and grass clippings for lawn care.
Can I just mow over my leaves?
As long as the layer of leaves is thin enough, you can just mow over them with a regular lawn mower. However, this is done more easily when your mower model is already fitted with a mulching blade.
How often should you mulch your lawn?
How often you mulch your lawn depends, to a certain extent, on how many leaves you have. Wait until there are about 1-2 inches of dead leaves on the ground and then mulch. Once you have a layer of mulch about 1 inch thick that is enough. You now need to rake or collect using a mower with a collection bag.
Will mulched leaves kill grass?
If the layer of mulched leaves is too thick it can smother grass, this can either damage or kill it. Make sure that the blades of grass are always taller than the mulch. The ideal thickness for a layer of mulch on grass is about 1 inch.
How long does it take mulched leaves to decompose?
Mulched leaves decompose faster and take, on average, 3-6 months to decompose, although this does depend on the type of leaves. However, a mulch layer of grass cuttings will disappear and start decomposing after approximately 7days.
Mulching tree leaves is a great solution for getting rid of leaves while taking care of your lawn and garden. It is also an easier option than raking or blowing leaves, making it a simple yard chore when using the right mower.