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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
On 10 Oct 2006 14:01:39 -0700, " firstname.lastname@example.org"
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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