Mulching leaves into lawn...?

Page 1 of 2  
Howdy,
I am considering running my mulching mower over our lawn rather than raking the (modest amount) of leaves off...
[] Good idea...
[] Bad idea...
[] Other...
Thanks for any thoughts,
--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I do it every year, it works like a charm, and provides some organic material to feed the lawn. The trick is to mow several times over a period of days or weeks as the leaves are falling, so you're not trying to tackle a thick buildup.
Cheers, Sue
--
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMearthlink.net
Zone 6, South-central PA
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

period
a
.....which is exactly what I tried yesterday. Some mowers might handle thick buildup, but mine didn't. Oh well. Someone should design a mower patterned after a cow: More than one stomach (or mulching chamber, as it were).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Doug Kanter" sayeth:

LOL Brings back memories...
I ruined a mower when I was kid. The grass grew to one foot high and it was my turn to mow!
The mowers should have bigger engines. That nice 454 cubic inch in the '71 Buick Riviera would have worked great! Or was it a 455? I know it had a Rochester four-barrel carb.
The day I traded the broken lawn mower for the Buick, the Buick ran out of gas as I drove it into the driveway.
Ended up getting a riding lawnmower and I broke the belt on that. Those lawnmowers don't like high grass. If the grass is high, ya just have to go real slowly, an inch at a time. The 5 minute mowing won't work.
--
Jim Carlock
Post replies to the newsgroup.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload



Back then... just talking the bigs one, Buicks had 455s, Olds and Pontiac has 455s as well, Chevys had 454s, AMC 401s, Dodges had 440s and Fords had 427s, 428s and 429s.
Patrick (also an auto enthusiast)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A decent 6.5 bhp mower like the Ariens will basically deal with anything up to a foot high - just take a pass with the wheels set high before trying to cut it to regular low height. If you try to grind it all in one pass, I imagine you could choke just about anything!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know about the lawn but if you can bag them, dump them in your gardens. Your garden next year will be beautiful.
I don't have a mulching mower but when I see bags of mulched leaves out at the curb on garbage day (duh on those people), I grab them and bring them home. I *love* them.
Giselle (and so did my herb garden)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kenneth wrote:

I mulch most of them into the lawn. If there are a *bunch* of them, I'll go over them rather quickly with the mulching mower, then attach the grasscatcher bag and mow over them again to rechop and bag the excess leaves (which then get dumped in the garden).
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have been doing that for 40 years and wouldn't do it any other way.
The leaves I have are usually dry and "fluffy". If they are two heavy in one area, they get pushed in front of the garden tractor until the load evens out, so they all get mulched eventually. I go over the lawn every week until the leaves stop falling. My leaves are a mixture of oak, ash, Bradford pear, ginko, and assorted leaves that blow in from the surrounding forest.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Kenneth wrote:

Depends on how many leaves we're talking about!
In my backyard, that strategy works great. In my front yard, there are so many leaves that even if I ran the mulching mower over and over again, I'd still have a layer so thick it would suppress the grass.
In the front yard I use a leaf vac - a big one that looks like a lawn mower from a distance. The bag holds almost 2 cubic feet of shredded leaves, and I'll get two bag-fulls twice a week from less than 400 sq ft of lawn. No way I could leave that much on the lawn! I dump about half of it on my vegetable garden, toss some manure on it, cover it with a tarp, and till it all in come spring.
But the back and side yards just get mowed with the mulching mower, and it works just fine. And the front yard usually gets the mulching mower treatment once or twice as leaf season finishes. I just have too many of them there to use it as the only way to handle leaves.
--
Warren H.

==========
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly, if there is a lot of leaves, mulching alone will still leave a layer of mulch leaves on the grass; they just cannot decompose fast enough -- not good. I will use my mower to "bag" the leaves. My Honda mower will mulch the leaves to small pieces despite the fact that I set it up for bagging not mulching. Then, I dump the whole bag of mulched leaves into my compost pipes. I will mulch agin (instead of bagging) if there is only small amount of leaves or if I am mowing the lawn.
Moreover, using a self-propelled lawn mower is MUCH easier than using a leaves-rack. I would much rather to get my exercises through other means.
I remember my old JD lawn mower cannot cut the leaves into small pieces if I use it in bagging mode. Somehow my Honda can do this in bagging mode. This must have to do with the fact that the Honda lawn mower has 4 cutting blades instead of just two.

I also have a leaf-vac. Unfortunately, it is not a self-propelled version, and pushing (actually is pulling) a leaf-vac over the lawn is not easy. Therefore, I stick with using the self-propelled lawn mower to bag the leaves from the lawn (this also can cut the leaves into small pieces). Now, I only use the leaf-vac on flat surface, such as the drive way and the curb. I might have used the lawn mower to take care of leaves on flat surface in the future; but the leaf-vac "seems" to do a better job in sucking leaves from flat surface, and I can use it to shred fallen tree branches along the way. When the leaf vac dies, I may use the lawn mower to take care of everything.
If you have a self-propelled leaf vac, you will have the best of both worlds.
Jay Chan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:

Do you shovel the snow from your grass also?!?! It is the same idea. When the temperatures are cool and the grass is covered by leaves or snow, it goes dormant. By spring the snow and leaves are all gone and the grass is greener than ever. I have been mulching leaves for 40 years and the lawn loves it. By mid winter there is no sign of any leaves. After we have snow, the lawn snaps back greener than ever. For this to work best you need to leave a little length to the grass. Leaving mulched leaves on a putting green doesn't work as well, but cutting grass short like a putting green is the worst thing you can do to normal grass (fescue, rye & bluegrass).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Glad to hear that mulching all the leaves works for you.
But this doesn't work for me. Mulching alone just cannot take care of the large amount of leaves on my lawn. When I tried that, I ended up getting a layer of yellow or red shredded leaves on my lawn. The large amount of yellow/red shredded leaves could not blend in with the green lawn. This creates a very messy look. And I am not cutting the grass short either. I cut them at the recommended height for my Kentucky Bluegrass -- 3". Good thing I can use the shredded leaves in my compost piles; therefore, the only difference between mulching the leaves and shredding-bagging-and-composting the leaves is the number of trips to my compost piles. This is really no big deal for me. I can live with this rather than leaving the lawn in a very messy look.
When I am mowing the lawn, I almost always mulch the grass. The shredded green leaves blend in perfectly with the green lawn. But I will not do this with leaves, especially a large amount of leaves.
I think this depends on whether someone can live with the messy look, and whether the extra trips to the compost pipes is too much a trouble for that person, and whether that person has a compost pile at all. If that person doesn't have a compost pile, and if he can live with the messy look, I guess he will be better off mulching the leaves to add the organic matters back to the lawn.
Jay Chan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1 Nov 2004 11:20:23 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) in rec.gardens wrote:

I think it has to do with the *amount* of the leaves.
A lot of people think that a single layer is a fall's worth and they are unfamiliar with leaves several inches deep in late november. (I wish I was unfamiliar with that)
FACE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Exactly.
The other possible factor may have to do with the kind of grass that the lawn has. If the lawn has warm season grass, the grass probably turn brown or yellow when the weather gets cold in cold region. In this case, someone probably can let shredded leaves on the lawn and let them decompose. The color of the shredded leaves probably blend in well with the color of the dormant grass. Actually, I don't know if this is true or not because I have never seen this in practice. Anyway, I have cold season grass on my lawn that stays green in fall and winter. Shredded yellow/brown leaves simply cannot blend in well with green grass.
Jay Chan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:

Our cold season grass (rye, fescue, blue grass) stays green in spring and fall, but turns brown in the winter when the ground freezes solid and there is snow on the ground. The only thing green then is the dandelions and plantain and, by spring, the dead nettle is coming strong.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is not my experience. The bluegrass in my lawn stay green through out the winter. The differences in our experiences may be caused by:
1. I am in zone-6. May be you are in much colder region.
2. May be our definition of "green" is different. For me, "off-green" is still green.
One more thing is that I am under the impression that "rye" is not as cold tolerate as other cold season grass. If you have plenty of rye in your lawn, they "may" die and turn brown in very cold weather. Honestly, I am not exactly sure about this because I don't intentionally seed rye in my lawn, and have very little experience with rye.
Anyway, if your lawn turned brown in winter, the shredded brown leaves probably can blend well on the lawn. And I can understand why you have no problem leaving shredded leaves on the lawn.
Have a good weekend!
Jay Chan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I get about one foot of leaves in the frontyard, and a more modest amount in the back. I mow/mulch them all, then as my neighbors pile bags on the curb, I take those for the vegetable garden. So I use all my leaves and bring in about half a ton a year extra. They are really one of the best soil conditioners around, and in spring they disappear completely.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote:

I do the same. The earthworms love the stuff, and will aerate the soil beneath wherever you deposit it.
I use an electric mower to mulch quite a load of leaves, but if they are dry and I take my time, I can completely powder them in a reasonable time. I always sharpen the blade halfway through the job.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

yes. for the lawn, it is certainly a good idea to pulverize them, though I find that even coarsely chopped they disappear by May. for the garden, it is best not to chop them, so that they can suppress weeds well into august the next year. and in fact it is best not to put them on the garden during winter, but rather as far away as possible, because they will attract rodents. it is still a good deal work wise: to move half a ton of leaves twice (once now, once in May) takes two or three hours. to weed the beds twice during the season can take days of work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.