How to Turn your Leaves into Mulch
It’s that time of year again. Leaves are falling off the trees, leaving behind a trail of brown. But don’t grab the rake just yet – did you know that mulching your leaves can provide your grass with much-needed nutrients which helps turn your yard a lush, green color? This week, we’re going to tell you how you can save money and time, while also making your lawn look great!
The Problem with Leaves
Besides making your lawn look ugly and uncared for, leaves also block air and sunlight from reaching your grass. The rain only makes it worse, turning this fluffy layer of leaves into a soggy mat. This thick layer of leaves can cause turf disease or worse. That’s why it’s so important to get rid of fallen leaves. That being said, raking isn’t always the best way to go. Raking your leaves is a time consuming, backbreaking task. Besides, leaves contain nutrients that can be good for your soil.
Benefits of Mulching Leaves
Rather than getting rid of your leaves altogether, mulching is a simpler, quicker solution to leaf management. Mulching Kits and Mulching Blades allow you to shred leaves into very fine pieces, which will allow them to filter through the grass and disappear from sight. Once they are shredded, mulched leaves help protect the soil – keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Leaves also contain valuable nutrients that can give your yard a healthy, green glow, without having to spend money on fertilizers.
Along with giving you a great looking lawn, mulching is a much quicker and easier alternative to raking. Rather than taking time to rake and bag all of the leaves, mulching is as simple as going over your lawn with a mower.
How to Mulch your Leaves
There are a few different ways to turn your leaves into mulch – the first of which is to use a mulching blade. Mulching blades mount right on your lawn mower and contain serrated edges that cut the debris more than once, leaving you with a collection of very fine pieces of leaves. With mulching blades equipped on your mower, raise the deck height to the highest setting, remove the bag attachment and mow the leaves and grass, leaving the debris on the lawn.
The second way to mulch is to use a mulching kit. Mulch kits consist of a deflector shield that directs the clippings back into the blade for re-cutting. This allows the blade to shred leaves into finer pieces. Mulch kits can easily be added to pretty much any lawn mower.
When to Mulch
The best time to mulch your leaves is when you can still see some grass poking through them. Don’t wait until it’s too late in the season to mulch. A thick, heavy layer of leaves won’t effectively turn into mulch.
- DO mulch twice per week
- DO raise deck height to the highest setting (at least 4″.) Anything lower will cause the clippings to clump.
- DO begin mowing on outside edge of the lawn, shooting leaves into the middle of the lawn.
- DON’T mulch if leaves are so thick that they make mowing difficult.
- DON’T mulch with a deck height lower than 4″.
- DON’T mulch if the grass is excessively tall. Since the mulching kit closes off the discharge chute, tall grass will have nowhere to go, causing grass clumping and blowouts. If grass exceeds 4″, mow with the highest height, lower deck height, and then mow again.
- DON’T wait until spring to mulch leaves.
Other Mulching Options
If for some reason, you can’t mulch your leaves, there are some other options available. Stihl Leaf Blowers are an excellent way to clear leaves. However, if you would prefer to vacuum the leaves and get rid of them altogether, Trac Vac Lawn Vacuums feature a powerful engine, wide intake hose, and a large capacity hopper.