Mulching Vs. Bagging

Kristian Zoppa Summer Mowing Tips

Mulching Vs. Bagging

Which One Should You Do?

A common question we get at Cleanr Mow is ‘do you mulch your grass clippings or do you bag them?’. Our answer is always the same — we mulch! Let me explain…

Mulching your grass clippings is the act of using a lawnmower with a specific mulching blade to cut the grass as finely as possible. Check out the picture below for a better understanding of how a mulching blade works. The left over grass clippings, or ‘mulch‘, is then left on the yard to act as a fertilizer for the lawn. Mulch is defined as “a material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.” The mulched grass clippings will decompose and turn into an organic fertilizer, full of healthy nutrients for your lawn. When you bag the grass clippings from your lawn, you are essentially depriving your lawn of a free, organic fertilizer that it could be utilizing to help aid in its growth.

The difference in appearance between a mulched lawn and a bagged lawn can be subjective, but it is nearly always unnoticeable. If you are mowing your lawn on a weekly schedule, the grass will not grow long enough that it will create many clumps when mulched. This will give it the appearance of a bagged lawn, even though you are mulching it and providing it with the organic goodness!

Grass clippings that are mulched right into the lawn settle down onto the ground and decompose. A properly tuned mulching mower will shoot the clippings deeper into the lawn to help them decompose even quicker. As the clippings break down, they add nutrients to the soil. The nitrogen levels in particular increase when you mulch your grass versus bagging. This is a crucial element needed to maintain a healthy, green, lush lawn! You need fewer chemical fertilizers when the mulched grass clippings are left in place. If you bag the grass clippings, you may need to add chemical fertilizers to boost the nitrogen levels in the lawn. For this reason, mulching is seen as a much more organic choice for home owners than bagging your lawn. You can avoid having to use harsh chemicals to keep your lawn looking good, which can be a large deterrent especially when you have animals or young children frequently on the lawn!

Overall, as long as you are consistent and are on a weekly lawn care plan, mulching is 100% the way to go!