Mulching Leaves with a Lawnmower


I live in Ohio and have 2 neighbors who said that they had good luck mulching their tree leaves by using a blade specially designed to mulch. (They said the leaves were cut so fine that they didn't need to be raked.) Last year I bought a mulching blade from Home Depot, and I used it once without much success and returned it to HD. I have a Murray 4HP gasoline lawnmower that has a 22" cutting width and I have maples and oaks in my lawn. It would be great if I could mulch the leaves rather than rake them. I am wondering whether others have had success mulching their leaves and if so what kind of blades they used. If other people have had the same experience that I have had, obviously I don't want to buy another blade.
Thanks,
JD
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I do it with the standard "whatever" blade that came with my Honda mower. Since matter cannot be destroyed (if you believe scientists), you can't wait until you have so many leaves that they hide the grass. It's got to be done when the mower is able to handle it, and that's different for every mower. Also, the leaves need to remain suspended in the mulching chamber long enough to be ground up. I find that using the highest setting for height does the trick. And, if the leaves are wet or damp, it doesn't work.
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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

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I got maples, willow and alder. I don't like raking either. I use my lawnmower to vacuum up the leaves into the grass bag and dump that into the compost. Regular grass blade, set mower to mid height cut and go for it. It works better when the leaves are a bit dried out(in other words before a rain)...and I cut the lawn at the same time.
snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com wrote:

I have a Lawnboy mulching mower and it does a creditable job on leaves although when they get too thick, I rake off lawn and compost. Same with grass, if you grow too long, you're going to have a lot of fine clippings. The mower comes with an attachment that blinds off the exit so grass/leaves stay under the mower to be mulched. I suspect this is your problem and leaves are somewhat chopped up but ejected before a good mulching job is done.
Frank
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Exactly what my 2 cents was gonna be :-) I also found that if there's too many leaves, the resulting "mulch" will prevent grass growth the next year. I don't "mulch" anymore. I just cut as usual but in a pattern such that leaves are blown into a pile ... then I rake the resulting "mulch" up and dump it on the garden to break down over winter. There's not much left after this process to contribute as mulch, but it's better than having 50 bags of leaves to dispose of ... my opinion.
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On 10 Oct 2006 14:01:39 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@spamgourmet.com"

I just mulch with the regular lawn mower and the regular blade. I've used at least 5 over the last 23 years.
One was actually a "mulching mower" which meant it had no chute, no opening, for the grass and leaves to be expelled through. But eventually I couldn't repair it.
Then I had a mower with a chute, and in the fall I taped a manila (that is, stiff and heavy) envelope over the opening, and that worked fine for a couple years. I took the envelope off except in the fall.
The current mower didn't have a chute cover -- you could actually see the blade while standing behind the handle bar -- so when I made the protection, I just blocked off the entire output. It means I can get right up to walls on both sides now.
Once in a while, when there aren't many leaves, they tend to escape before I catch them. The wind coming out from under the deck blows them away. 2 courses of action. Walk faster so that they are surprised and overwhelmed, as if by Special Forces who have sneaked up upon them. OR Pulll the mower backwards. Going backwards there is a no man's zone under the lawnmower between the blade and freedom. Once the leaves are under that, they can't escape easily, but the wind out the back isn't enough to cause them to flee.
If there are too many leaves, it pays to go slowly, to give them time to mulch. They can't escape even out the front, because other leaves are in the way.
There are places with heavier leaves than I get. I can have one or two layers covering the whole yard. Some get a lot more. But at the level I have, I can mow for the first time in weeks in the fall, mulch everything that is there, and have all the bits fall through the grass never to be seen again.

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