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
Zone 6, South-central PA
.....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).
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.
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)
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!
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)
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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
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).
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.
On 1 Nov 2004 11:20:23 -0800, email@example.com (Jay Chan) in rec.gardens
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)
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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