4 Reasons Why You Should Be Mulching Your Lawn
Did you know that every time you mow the lawn and throw away the grass clippings, you’re wasting valuable fertilizer?
Grass blades are composed of about 85% water, plus other organic matter and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium making up the rest. If you leave these clippings on the yard after mowing, you will have fed and watered it with no extra work required!
There are many ways to leverage the benefits of grass clippings and other forms of mulch to help your lawn grow. In this blog, we’ll take you through what mulching is, and how to do it properly, and the reasons why you should be doing it.
What is Mulch?
In ecological horticulture, “mulch” refers to organic matter – such as leaves or grass cuttings – that gets applied to soil to protect and supply it with nutrients.
In the landscaping business, mulching is the process of doing so by adding a loose layer of shredded plant material on top of the soil. It’s a valuable tactic to use in almost every area of your garden. For home gardeners it’s also a great way to save time, money and effort.
Mulching helps soil retain moisture by shading the earth and covering it like a blanket. It allows water to be stored more effectively in the ground, so the soil remains loose and will not dry out too quickly.
It also helps plants to grow by forming a protective layer against heavy rain and cold temperatures. Over time, the plant matter used for mulching is broken down by soil-dwelling organisms into natural fertilizers and valuable nutrients for plants.
Why Should You Be Mulching Your Lawn?
It Saves Money
Fertilizer can be expensive, especially if you have a large lawn.
By mulching your grass clippings, you can continuously recycle and reuse the nutrients from just a single mow. As a result, you won’t need to keep spending money on fertilizer.
It Controls Lawn Thatch
Many gardeners assume that leaving grass clippings on the lawn adds to the build-up of thatch.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Fresh, organic matter causes a spike in microbial activity which is essential in the breakdown and control of lawn thatch.
When you mow and mulch on a regular basis, you’re keeping this microbial activity high. In turn, you’ll be keeping lawn thatch at a manageable level.
The only time mulching could add to the latch layer is if you try to mulch overgrown grass. This is because the long grass often becomes tough and ‘stalky’ which makes it difficult to break down.
By the way, over-application of chemical fertilizers can cause thatch to build-up. By mulching, we guarantee you’ll never over fertilize again.
It Improves Your Lawns Health
As leaf bits settle into the soil and decompose, they provide a food source for earthworms and other microorganisms that inhabit the soil.
The availability of these nutrients increases the level of microbial activity in the soil, and improves the soil’s overall health. Your lawn will have more access to the nutrients it needs to thrive, while a balanced environment wards off weeds and other lawn issues.
This in turn saves costs tied to weed control products and lawn fertilizers.
In addition to the direct benefits mulched leaves have on your lawn’s health, this practice also comes with environmental benefits!
Consider landfill space, for instance. The EPA reported that in 2015, yard trimmings (including leaves) accounted for nearly 35 million tons of waste — with almost 11% of that waste going into landfills.
Mulching leaves into lawns helps to cut back on this waste, freeing up existing landfills and mitigating the need to build more of them.
When NOT To Mulch
When you mulch a lawn that has a lot of weeds, you aren’t doing your landscape any favors. Instead of thickening the grass, mulching will help spread weed seeds and leave your lawn with even more unwanted plants.
This is a situation where bagging beats mulching. In this case, continue collecting grass clippings and haul them away until the weeds are gone.
Mulching a lawn that’s received applications of pesticides or fertilizers won’t necessarily be harmful to a lawn, but it may not have the effect you expect.
Pesticides and fertilizers kill the microorganisms that eat away at mulch, and if those bugs aren’t present, there’s nothing left to process the mulch clippings and release their nutrients.
Summit Landscape Helps You Maintain Your Lawn All Year Round
Turn your landscape into a beautiful, accessible area where people can gather to relax, entertain, and enjoy the fresh air. At Summit Landscape, we have the materials and the skills to help you maintain a beautiful lawn all year round.
It’s time to make the most out of your landscape so you can relax, entertain, and enjoy the leisure of indoor living right under mother nature’s sky.
However, if your dreams are a little larger, we can help you design and install even the most intricate of landscaping elements.
We offer a wide range of materials, and our experienced team has the skills to execute even the most elaborate of designs. We’ll help you achieve the best results possible, all while achieving your goals on budget and on time.
Connect with us today to see how we can help!
Looking to revamp your outdoor spaces this summer? Check out how to create the perfect outdoor living space!