When it comes to lawn care, one question that often arises is whether you can use mulching blades with a side discharge mower. Mulching is the process of cutting grass into small pieces and leaving them on the lawn, which can provide valuable nutrients to the soil and act as a natural fertilizer. Mulching blades are designed for chopping grass into smaller pieces than standard blades, making them ideal for this purpose.
On the other hand, side discharge mowers are designed to discharge grass clippings out of a discharge chute and onto the side of the mower or other surfaces. This can result in an uneven appearance and leave clumps of grass behind, which can be a safety hazard and prevent grass from receiving the necessary nutrients. So, can you use mulching blades with a side discharge mower? The answer is yes, but it may not provide the best results.
In our guide, you can learn more about using mulching blades on a side-discharge lawnmower. By the end, you’ll better understand the best ways to cut your grass to avoid damage and to provide fertilizer to your lawn for added lawn care. (Read Oil Coming Out Of Exhaust Lawn Mower)
Why Should You Mulch?
Mulching is a simple yet effective technique that can help improve your garden’s health. One of the primary reasons why people mulch their gardens is to add nutrients to the soil. Organic mulches, such as grass clippings or leaves, will slowly decompose and release nutrients into the ground.
Mulching blades have a curved surface that helps to cut grass into smaller pieces before dispersing it back into the lawn through a side chute.
What Is A Mulching Lawn Mower?
A mulching lawn mower is a type of lawn mower that is designed to chop grass into tiny pieces, which are then spread back onto the lawn. This process creates a natural fertilizer for the grass, which can help keep it healthy and green throughout the growing season.
Unlike traditional mowers that collect and bag clippings, mulching lawn mowers are designed to leave clippings on the lawn. Using a mulching blade with side discharge can be an effective way to maintain a healthy lawn.
How Does A Mulching Mower Work?
Mulching mowers are becoming more popular with homeowners because they provide many benefits. Mulching blades work best when cutting short grass in dry conditions, where the clippings can easily fall back onto the lawn and decompose quickly.
If you need to mow other surfaces, such as sidewalks or driveways, or if you need to cut long, wet grass, side discharge may be a better option. If you want the benefits of a mulching mower but still need to use side discharge occasionally, consider purchasing a mulching kit for your existing mower.
A mulching kit includes special blades and baffles that attach underneath your current deck and create a chamber for the clippings to circulate before falling back onto your lawn. With this, you can you use mulching blades without a mulching kit. Installed, you can switch between side discharge and mulch mode without changing out any parts on your mower.
How To Use A Mulching Mower:
1. Don’t mow when it’s wet
First, you should avoid mowing when wet because this can cause clumping in the discharge opening and make it difficult for the grass to decompose properly. Additionally, it’s essential to mow often so that you’re only cutting grass, clipping off a small amount each time. If any more, and you may need to use a lawn sweeper to remove the excess.
2. Mow at the correct height
Another critical factor when using a mulching mower is to ensure that you’re mowing at the correct height. This will depend on the type of grass you have, but generally speaking, most lawns should be cut when you set the mower blade to leave three inches of grass growth. (Read Can I Use 10w40 Instead Of 10w30)
3. Maintain a sharp blade
Finally, maintaining a sharp blade on your lawnmower is crucial for effective mulching. A dull blade can tear the tips of the grass instead of cleanly cutting them, leading to uneven growth patterns and an unhealthy-looking lawn.
If you have a 3-in-1 blade, this allows you to mulch, discharge, and bag using the same blade.
What Is A Side Discharge Mower?
A side discharge mower is a type of lawn mower that is designed to release grass clippings to the side of the mower deck as it mows. The mower blade cuts the grass and propels the clippings out of the side of the deck, where they can be left on the lawn or collected for later disposal.
Side discharge mowers are commonly used for mowing larger areas where it may not be practical or necessary to bag the grass clippings. This type of mower is often favored by homeowners who prefer to leave the clippings on the lawn as a natural fertilizer, as it helps to promote lawn health and sustainability.
Side Discharge Mower Advantages
Side discharge mowers have several advantages over other types of lawn mowers. One of the main advantages is that they can mow larger areas more quickly and efficiently than other mowers.
Additionally, side-discharging mowers are typically more affordable than other mowers, such as bagging or mulching mowers. They also require less maintenance, as there are no bags to empty or mulching blades to sharpen.
Another advantage of side discharge mowers is that they can help promote lawn health by leaving grass clippings on the lawn. The clippings act as a natural fertilizer, providing essential nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
How Do I Mow My Lawn With A Side Discharge?
Mowing your lawn with a side discharge mower is a straightforward process. Here are some basic steps to follow:
- Prepare your lawn mower: Before you start mowing, make sure your mower is in good working condition. Check the oil, fuel, and blades, and make sure the deck is at the right height for your grass type.
- Clear the area: Remove any debris or obstacles from your lawn, such as sticks or stones, which could interfere with mowing.
- Choose your mowing pattern: Decide on a mowing pattern that will work best for your lawn. One typical pattern is to mow in straight lines, back and forth across the lawn. Another option is to cut it in a circular pattern.
- Start mowing: Turn on your mower and mow your lawn, starting at one end and working your way to the other. Keep the mower deck level and move steadily to ensure an even cut.
- Discharge the clippings: As you mow, the grass clippings will be discharged to the side of the mower deck. Ensure the discharge chute is facing away from objects or people and be careful not to remove clippings onto driveways or sidewalks.
- Finish up: Once you have mowed your lawn, turn off your mower and inspect the area to ensure you haven’t missed any spots. If necessary, trim around the edges of your yard with a trimmer or edger.
Mulching Vs. Side Discharge Which Is Better For Your Lawn?
Both mulching and side discharge can effectively maintain a healthy lawn. Mulching involves using a special lawn mower blade that cuts grass into finer pieces and spreads them evenly across the lawn. The clippings act as a natural fertilizer, providing essential nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
Side discharge, however, involves using a mower that releases grass clippings to the side of the mower deck as it mows. (Read Alternative To Straw For Grass Seed)
Regular Blades On A Side Discharge Mower
When using regular blades on a side discharge mower, it is essential to consider factors such as cutting efficiency, mowing height, and blade sharpness. Proper lawn maintenance, including regular blade maintenance and checking blade sharpness, can help ensure the best results when using standard blades on a side discharge mower.
Pros And Cons Of Mulching Blades
Mulching blades are an essential piece of equipment for any lawn care enthusiast. But what about mulching kits if you have a side discharge mower?
These specially designed 3-in-1 grass blades can be used for three cutting styles: side discharge, bagging, and mulching. Investing in a mulching kit is the key to using mulching blades on a side discharge mower.
This kit includes baffles to direct the clippings back through the blade multiple times for finer cuts. This process breaks down the clippings into smaller pieces that decompose more quickly and feed your lawn with valuable nutrients.
How To Use Mulching Blades?
Mulching blades are an excellent tool for those who own a lawn mower for their outdoor space. It is beneficial when dealing with overgrown grass, as it helps to reduce the amount of time spent on yard work.
Mulching blades act as an alternative to bagging and collecting clippings instead of dispersing them back onto the lawn in small amounts. This method does a better job of keeping lawns healthy with natural fertilizer.
What Are The Benefits Of Mulching?
Using mulching blades with side discharge on your lawn mower has pros and cons when it comes to mulching leaves. One of the benefits of using these blades is that they can create a finer organic material that can be used as free fertilizer to keep the grass healthy.
However, there are also some downsides to using mulching blades with side discharge. For one, it may not be suitable for particular tall grass or terrain, as it can leave clumps of grass or debris behind if the standard blade is not adjusted correctly. (Learn How To Know If Mower Blade Is Upside Down)
Drawbacks Of Mulching?
One of the main disadvantages of mulching is that it’s not suitable to cut the grass if it is long or you have wet grass. Wet grass clippings can clog the mower deck, leading to poor cutting performance and potentially damaging your machine.
Another drawback of using a mulching mower blade is that it won’t cut the grass cleanly compared to other blades, such as side discharge or bagging blades. The short answer here is in a side discharge mower, the blades suck air and then blow it out from the side discharge chute.
The lack of suction from the mower blades and deck in mulching lawnmowers can leave unsightly clumps in your yard or underneath your damp lawnmower deck.