Mulching mower guide
How mulching mowers work
The secret of the success of a good mulching mower is in the cutting deck design. The deck is aerodynamically designed on the underside to make the air, and the grass cuttings suspended in the air, travel in two directions. At the same time as air and grass clippings move in a rotary direction around the inside of the deck, they also travel in a vortex which allows the grass to pass through the cutting cycle many, many times. Finally, both air and finely chopped grass particles are blown out of the cutting deck with a positive downward pressure to conceal the particles of grass in the base of the turf.
In addition to specifically designed cutting decks, mulching mowers also feature a specially designed blade to provide the air flow required. Beware of mowers that claim to collect and mulch as there will always be a compromise on performance, a collecting mower typically cuts the blade of grass only once before blowing cuttings into the collector.
Electric mulching mowers
Electric mowers are much quieter than petrol models, and there are no exhaust fumes. For small gardens, a mains electric mower may be the perfect grass recycling machine.
In general, electric mowers are not as powerful as petrol mowers, so they usually have slightly shorter blades and will have to be pushed a little slower in overgrown wet grass – but they are easy to start, easy on your ears and good for air quality.
Petrol mulching mowers
You can now buy petrol engine pedestrian lawn mowers that offer mulching cutting systems.
Specifically designed mulching mowers will recycle grass much better than conventional collecting mowers that are later converted to mulching. Power-driven mulching machines are usually more than expensive hand propelled machines and are designed for cutting slopes or larger gardens.
Whichever, petrol mower you choose, try to run the petrol tank dry when you stop mowing in the autumn to avoid the residue left in the tank going stale.
The quality of construction varies with the price; choosing a higher priced model usually means it will last longer and be more reliable, working out more cost-effective in the long run.
Ride on mulching mower
For larger areas ride-on mulching mowers make life much easier, you can cut your grass without having to stop and empty the collector saving time and allowing you to concentrate on the job.
On lawns of this size disposal of grass clippings can be a real problem, you may well have piles of rotting grass all over the place. Mulching mowers solve this problem by recycling clippings back into the soil. The time saved compared to conventional collecting systems and improvement in lawn quality make mulching ride-on mowers an ideal choice for large gardens.
“We’ve just moved to a new house with a 120ft lawn – when I used my standard 13inch mower and collected up the clippings it took me over 2 hours to do the lawn – and I filled 2 compost bins. We decided to invest in a 16inch Recycler and we just couldn’t believe the difference – the lawn took 45 mins to cut and we are still bewildered as to where all the cuttings went! I can’t recommend them highly enough!” (5 out of 5)
If you use a mulching mower and would like to let us know what you think, email us with your comments including the number of stars (out of 5) at [email protected]