Out of convenience, I've wanted to mulch leaves (mostly Maple) into my
lawn with a mulching mower. However, I've heard this might change the
soil pH and end up killing the grass. Is mulching safe or is raking the
way to go?
On your lawn mower keep you grass catcher on the back. I never rake
leaves, I always mow them up. It is also better for your compost if
the leaves are cut up smaller. So, mow your lawn with the leaves on
the grass, then empty them into your compost bin (you do have one don't
Bye for now>>>>>>>>>>Kit
There's usually no problem mulching leaves or other plant material. As long
as its mulched fine enough to breakdown quickly. Avoid mulching during wet
or damp conditions.
Most grasses are resilient to PH changes.
If its a problem for you, rake all the leave in one section of the yard.
Dump the leaves in another and mulch that entire area. See the results next
spring. Then get back with us on the humbug someone told you.
"Chris Spencer" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
I routinely mow up as many leaves as possible with my mulching mower
instead of removing them by other means. Never had a problem. I check
soil PH every few years and haven't seen any diff either. Mulching
them that way is conveneient and beneficial to the soil and lawn, as
long as you don't mulch too much at one time.
That's all well and good as long as he has kept up with his fallen leaves
so far, but if he hasn't cleaned up his leaves until now (Dec 4) he's
asking for trouble by not doing the required yard clean-up first, if he has
Then take all the leaves to the burn pit. The remnants from this, the ink
in the burnt paper and cardboard, et al will all mix up and keep some other
type of foliage happy.
Or do a one time this season all leaves mulched at once. The grass will
adjust to the PH change, if it exists. Then readjust as mulching is done
The leaves will all go someplace and decay someplace. Its better now than
in some plastic bag a thousand years from now in a burial pit for community
That caught my attention. Why avoid mulching while wet ? They break down
quicker when wet. When I used to use a shredder I kept a hose going
continuously on the output. Do you cover your compost pile to keep it dry ?
A dry pile of mulched leaves will take a long time to cook - a wet pile will
produce heat in 48 hours.
The key here is you kept the _output_ wet. If the leaves are wet before you
try to shred them, they don't shread as well.
Also, whether or not it's suitable to just shred and leave them on the lawn
depends on how many of them there are. I vac and shred the leaves from my
biggest tree, and they produce a pile of shredded leaves that's 10'x10', and
about 9" deep. The area that they fall in is about three times that area,
but that would still mean I'd have a 3" layer of shredded leaves covering
that part of my lawn. If all I did was run the mulching mower over them, by
the mid-point of leaf season I wouldn't have the strength to push the mower
through the remains, and it would probably stall-out, anyway.
On the other hand, in my back yard I have a lot of smaller trees, and it
does just fine with the mulching mower.
Now if someone thinks I'm exaggerating, next fall they're welcome to come
over and demonstrate how a mulching mower would be enough on my front lawn,
as long as they're willing to post a bond large enough for me to have the
damage repaired in the spring.
I have 14 big tree canopy's over my immediate lawn, there's no flippin' way
I could consider mulching all those leaves where they fall down. It would
destroy the turf in one season.
These general questions are tough to answer with one size fits all.
I think that the main reason for not mowing up leaves when wet is that they
just lay there all wet all uncooperatively and do not pick up and be cut up
and mulched or thrown around. Lazy wet leaves.... I try to double cut them
by sending them inside my circle of cut and then once in a while turning
around and sending them outward. Seems to work OK that way. I do this when
it is dry.
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