If you’ve ever heard the term mulching but aren’t 100 per cent sure what it is or why you should be doing it, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve asked garden experts and friend of the site Andy Wain for the lowdown on mulching. Andy is Head Gardener at Euridge Manor in the Cotswolds, where he spends many a day tending the lawns.
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‘One way to achieve a lush lawn is through regular fertilising,’ says Andy. ‘However this doesn’t need to mean using chemical treatments – mulching is a great natural alternative.’
What is mulching?
‘Mulching is basically the process of cutting the grass and chopping the clippings into tiny pieces, with one pass of the mower,’ Andy explains. ‘These clippings are then returned to the turf containing all the essential nutrients the lawn needs for healthy growth.’
How do I mulch my lawn with a lawn mower?
‘Mulching can be achieved by using a special mower that has been designed to mulch,’ says Andy. ‘These mowers are often not able to collect grass. Instead, they have a special profile in the cutter deck and a specially designed blade.’
“However, there are some mowers out there that offer the best of both worlds. They collect the clippings in a grass box but can also be converted into a mulching mower with an accessory kit.’
‘The Stihl RMA 339 C, RMA 443 C, RMA 443 TC and RMA 448 TC are all good examples of cordless mowers which can be fitted with a mulching kit. Most Stihl 3 series mowers through to 7 series can be converted to mulching mowers, too.’
‘For those who want a perfectly manicured and fertilised lawn but without the labour, then it is worth looking at robotic mulching mowers, too. As well as doing all the hard work so you don’t have to, you can control the mower from wherever you are simply by using an app. The STIHL iMow mows little and often, so that fine clippings are constantly returned to the lawn on a regular basis.’
Discover more: iMow robotic mower, from £999, Stihl
Is the length of my grass important?
‘Check the length of your grass – if it is too long the clippings can clump together and won’t break down. It can also cause problems with the performance of the mower.’
How often should I mulch?
‘Mulch up to three times every fortnight,’ suggests Andy. ‘Whilst this might seem a lot, it will help to maintain a healthy lawn, especially throughout the key growing season.’
Can I mulch when it’s raining?
‘Avoid mulching when it’s wet,’ advises Andy. ‘Damp clippings can build up under the mower and won’t break down on the lawn.’
You can follow Andy and more of his gardening exploits on Instagram @_andy__w
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