TO MULCH OR NOT TO MULCH?
Mulching grass clippings is an amazing way to return nutrients and nitrogen to your lawn. The cut ends are about 85 percent water, so they will decompose quickly. As they break down, the clippings will release nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These are essential nutrients that your lawn needs to stay healthy. Mulching is one of the most beneficial things you can do, creating a more beautiful, greener, and healthier-looking lawn.
THE QUESTION: HOW DOES IT HELP?
Mulching grass clippings into the lawn may feel like you are creating more waste. After all, bagged clippings get carried away, while mulched clippings remain in the yard. However, be assured that you are not creating more waste! The clippings are organic matter that will decompose quickly. Decomposing grass clippings provide the lawn with free, natural nutrients. Contrary to popular belief, mulching does NOT contribute to thatch build up. When you add a mulch baffling kit, it modifies your mowing deck, blocking the output or chute of the mower, trapping the clippings underneath the deck. The baffling helps move the clippings around, and allows them to be cut multiple times and blown down into the surface of the lawn. The grass clippings are composed of mostly water and cellulose, so these smaller pieces will decompose and dissolve quickly, creating an incredible boost to your lawn. On the other hand, the plastic bags used to bag the clippings do NOT decompose well. In fact, these plastic garbage bags fill up landfills, creating more environmental issues.
THE ANSWER: SPARTAN MULCH BAFFLING KIT
Adding a Spartan Mulch Baffling Kit to your mower could not be easier. Your local Spartan Dealer is a resource for not only ordering one, but for having it professionally installed. If you choose to do it yourself, the expert and knowledgeable staff at Spartan is one phone call away should you need advice or helpful tips. Each mulch baffling kit is priced at under $200, and comes with complete installation instructions, along with all the parts needed. The kits are available for the 54” and 61” mowing decks (currently unavailable for the 71” deck or the RZ mowers).
Mow and mulch when it’s dry. Dry clippings are processed much easier than wet ones. So, mow when the lawn is dry, after the morning dew or after the water from irrigating has evaporated.
Always use sharp blades.
The ⅓ rule. Never remove more than a third of the grass blade length at any one time. A healthy lawn can survive an occasional close cut, but you can do damage by cutting more length than necessary, producing a brown lawn.
Avoid mowing in the heat of the day.
Mow grass higher in shaded areas under trees. In these areas the grass has to compete with tree roots for water and other nutrients.
Change the mowing pattern each time you mow. Grass will develop a grain based on the cutting direction, tending to lean towards the direction you mow. Mixing your mowing direction each time will produce a more healthy lawn!
Water after you mow, not before. If you are going to water the lawn, you’re better off doing so after the mulch has been pushed back into the ground by your mower. The water also aids in the decomposition process of the fresh-cut grass.
Mulching is great for your lawn on a number of levels. Whether you are mulching leaves or returning lawn clippings back into the lawn, mulching saves time, money, labor, and is a great soil amendment. There is really no need for raking, bagging or hauling away either leaves or clippings. If you are interested in this kit or adding other accessories to your mower, your local Spartan Dealer has the answer and the accessories you need!