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August 11, 2012

Mulching Lawn Mowers

Mulch, mulch, mulch -- you cannot get too much mulch in the garden.

What's good about mulching?

  • Mulch suppresses the weeds. Who wants to pull nasty weeds all the time? It is much better to take preventative measures and disallow weeds from sprouting in the first place.
  • Mulch keeps moisture inside the ground by slowing evaporation
  • Mulch keeps plant roots cool by reflecting the sun and providing a barrier between the damaging sun rays and the depth of the ground
  • Decomposed, mulch adds to the fertility of the soil

Today I added this thick layer of mulch to one of my 4x4 foot beds where eggplant is growing. I used mulching lawn mower (my new toy, yay!), it's electric! lol. But, in any event, this bed was suffering badly because the ants made a pile in that bed and I was skirmish to de-weed the bed at the fear of ant bites. But finally I got over myself, put the gloves on and took the weeds out and gave ants a good two-day bath. They found a new home, I suppose. But the bed was sitting there naked. So I mowed the lawn with my mulching lawn mower, bagged the mulch of course, and put it around the plants. I can see how the plants love it already.

Now, some people have concerns about adding grass clippings as mulch because it might compact. I have not found this to be a problem. And even if grass compacts a little, all it takes a little raking to loose it again. It is far better to have grass clippings as mulch than not mulch at all.

I always struggle to find enough mulch in my garden, and believe me, I use every shred of weeds and garden waste to mulch. But only since I've gotten this new shiny toy of mine that I have plenty of mulch.

Two things to keep in mind: first, if you are an organic gardener, then you cannot fertilize and pesticide your lawn. I don't use any chemicals on my lawn, that's why my grass mulch is safe for my garden. Second, don't let the grass go to seed - if it does it will sprout in the garden beds. If the grass went to seed, it is better to not mulch it, but just leave it on the ground to fertilize the lawn and have it replenish itself.

And finally, if you are curious how I make grass mulch out of my lawn with my electric mulching lawn mower, watch this YouTube video I have:

In any event, we have about two months until we go heavy into the fall planting. If you have a lawn and a mulching lawn mower, start piling these grass clippings into your beds. Six or even twelve inches of clippings is not too much for the beds. They will decompose to almost nothing before you start planting your fall plants, but will provide a lot of nitrogen and other nutrients for the garden.


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