What Is A Mulching Mower And Do You Need One?

As you meander through the garden department at your local hardware store, you may have noticed that there are quite a few mowers on the market that boast the ability to “mulch.” Are you perplexed by what this means?

What is a mulching mower, and do you really need one?

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A mulching lawn mower is often times a popular option for many homeowners today because they have a variety of different ways to help you get rid of your grass clippings or leaves.

The following guide will help you learn exactly what a mulching mower is, and whether or not you really need one.

How Does A Mulching Mower Work?

First off, it is important to understand that a mulching mower is a machine where the blade and mowing deck are designed specifically for chopping the grass or leaves multiple times before the clippings go back into the yard.

Mulching mowers come in all different shapes and sizes, including push mowers and riding mowers.

There are side discharge mowers that are able to direct clippings to the side and are capable of using a bag attachment so that grass clippings can be gathered into a bag instead of contributing to thatch in the yard that won’t have time to decompose before the next season.

A mulching lawn mower also leaves you with finely cut grass cuttings, these are different from regular clippings because they are more broken down and degrade or decompose in less time.

These clippings can also provide fertilizer for your soil, and if you don’t use a bag, then this type of mowing is referred to as mulch mowing.

How To Use A Mulching Mower

A mulching mower usually appears much like other mowers, in so many ways.

Most mowers, regardless of whether they are push mowers, or ride on mowers, or pull behind mowers, require lift so that the grass stays vertical while the mower blade cuts it.

A mulching mower creates a massive stream of air that not only directs the grass up into the mower blades, but also allows the clippings to hit the blades several times before they are dispersed into the yard.

This is in direct contrast to other mowers where the clippings are moved out with the air towards the side of a lawn mower or into a bag.

The mulching mower blades are specially designed with curved edges to generate these amazing extra cutting actions and in general they have more surface area that is devoted to cutting.

These blades are often referred to as either all purpose or 3-in-1 blades since they are usable for mulching, bagging, or side discharge.

When To Use A Mulching Mower

We know it sounds crazy, but you use a mulching mower just like you do any other lawn mower on the market.

There are a few tips though that will allow your mulching mower to work better for your yard, taking advantage of the mulching for a more successful yard.

Mow When It Is Dry 

When your grass is damp or wet it doesn’t do as well cutting the grass as finely and it has a tendency to clump up.

This means that if the grass is clumping then it can’t be cut two or three times and doesn’t make a great fertilizer.

Mow Often  

The golden rule of mowing is to never remove more than one-third of the grass per mowing session.

This means that when the growing season happens during spring and summer you may need to mow as often as weekly or bi-weekly.

The more often you mow the better.

Change The Height Of The Mower  

Choose to believe it or not, each grass performs best at a certain height.

There is much research available that helps you determine the correct height for your grass, try adjusting the mower deck to that height for the health of your yard.

Considerations When Choosing A Mulching Mower

A mulching lawn mower has many benefits, and there are many considerations when it comes to choosing the right one for your yard, consider the following:


There are times during the year when you will want the clippings to go back into your yard for fertilizer, and there may be times during the year when you don’t need these clippings to go back into the yard and you want to bag them.

Make sure your mulching mower can switch temporarily between side discharge and bagging.


The advancements that are being made in the lawnmowing industry are always changing, make sure that you are choosing a mower that uses the best and most advanced technology for better results in your yard.


A mulching mower saves you money, it provides fertilization for your yard that eliminates the need to use expensive chemicals and adds other much needed nutrients.

Mulching mowers also save you time when it comes to emptying the lawn clippings into bags or collection trays.

Photo by JackF