7 Mulching Tips Every Pro Should Know - BizPro Mower FAQ #2

Posted by Ryan Moore on Aug 9, 2013 4:11:00 PM

In this FAQ, Robin Miller, BDR for Horizon, describes 7 things professionals do when mulching to save time and get a better cut on the turf.

Video Transcription

There’s a number of rules that you should probably follow if you’re going to have a successful mulching cut on your lawn.

Tip #1 Use a Mower That’s Made For Mulching
Number one: You should select a mower that’s made for mulching. All the current mowers (these are commercial mowers here), but all of the current homeowner and commercial mowers are setup so that you can use them both ways.

They usually come with a grass catcher. And they come with a mulching plug or a mulching conversion with a different blade for mulching. Make sure you select one that’s made for mulching and it’s fairly modern.

Tip #2 Mulch Every 7 Days to Avoid Clumping
The second rule of mulching is that you should cut every 7 days or so. If you try and cut on grass that’s grown for 8 days or more, you may get a lot of clumps. It’s just too much for most mulching systems to handle. Try and cut every 7 days and even more often if possible.

If you’re cutting Bermuda grass at your mower’s shortest height of about an inch, try and cut every 4 or 5 days. The grass likes it by the way. And if you’ve got fertilizer on it and it’s warm and Bermuda grass is growing all through the summer, it’ll require that much mowing anyway.

Tip #3 Cut the Lawn  a Little Higher to Hide the Clippings
The next thing is to try and cut your lawn a little bit higher. If you’re cutting it at 2 ½” now, move it up to 3”. Or one notch in general. Try and cut it a little bit higher. It provides more loft and more tall standing up grass to hide the clippings in.

Tip #4 Mulch Later in the Morning
Try and cut later in the morning when it’s dryer. Wait for an hour or so for the dew to dry off the lawn. The dew makes the grass clippings stick together and stick to the inside of your lawn mower. And it creates a mess. So just wait an hour or two. Have a second cup of coffee and go out and mow after that. You’ll get a much better cut and you’ll be able to hide the dryer clippings much better.

Tip #5 Turning Techniques That Immediately Hide the Clippings
When you’re making your turns with your mower, there’s two things to keep in mind. Number one: When your lawn mower stops and you’re mulching, it’s going to leave a donut underneath the mower. A circle of processed grass clippings. And it’s going to dump it right on the top of the lawn. Wherever you stop.

And when you raise the front of the mower to make it turn, you’re gonna spray some grass clippings out. Just a little bit. So that means you’re gonna need to make your turn out in the lawn. Don’t go out on the sidewalk to make your turns. If you go out on the sidewalk to make your turns, you’re gonna dump a bunch of green, fresh-cut grass out there and it will stain your concrete.

So a good strategy when you’re mowing is to mow the field in whatever pattern you do and then at the end, make the perimeter turn all the way around it to clean up the edge.

Tip #6 Mow a Different Pattern Every Week
It’s good practice to mow your lawn pattern every week. So if for example you’re mowing this pattern this week. Next week, go across and keep the patterns crossed to each other so that you don’t get wheel ruts. That’s just good practice with any kind of mowing.

#7 Clean Under the Deck at Least Once a Day
And of course, with all of this finely ground grass clippings going on under our mower, it’s going to kink up and it’s going to get really dirty under there pretty quick. So it’s a good practice daily, if not multiple times every day, to get your backpack blower or a big brush or something dry and clean off all the clippings under your deck.

We’re reluctant to recommend using a water hose, squirt high-pressure nozzle, or anything like that because what happens is the water gets into bearings.

If you’re following these rules for mulching, you’re going to have a really good quality cut on your lawn. It will look like you bagged it. And you won’t be spending all of those hours and dollars taking away grass clippings or harvesting an agricultural crop that we’re not going to eat. We’re not going to feed to the animals. We’re just going to spend more money getting rid of it at the dump.

So leave those clippings on your lawn. Let it nourish your lawn.



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