Mulching uses natural garden waste as a source of nutrients for your soil. Mulch mowing means you get a healthy lawn while saving time and resources.
In ecological horticulture, mulch refers to organic matter such as leaves or grass cuttings added to soil to protect it and supply it with nutrients. Mulching adds a loose layer of shredded plant material on top of the soil, a valuable method to use in almost every area of your garden and a great way to save time, money and effort.
Mulching helps soil retain moisture by shading the earth and acting as a blanket. It helps store water in the ground so the soil remains loose and will not dry out too quickly. Mulching also helps plants grow by forming a protective layer against heavy rain and cold temperatures. Over time, plant matter used for mulching is broken down by earthworms and soil-dwelling organisms into valuable natural fertilisers and nutrients for plants.
Many natural substances can be suitable for mulching material, from chipped bark to sawdust. You may find that your usual garden waste offers everything you need to start mulching yourself. Take a look at our suggested materials and uses.
|Shredded wood matter
|Gravel, chippings and stones
For your vegetable beds, use a mulching mixture that you can apply regularly. Use it sparingly as mulching can attract snails and rodents, so little and often is key. You can mulch with a range of materials and methods that will support the soil and the growth of your plants. Make sure that the grass and plant cuttings have dried out slightly before you sprinkle them over the bed.
Your lawn can also benefit from an organic mulching technique. In fact, not only does mulch mowing return natural nutrients to the grass, it also saves you time and effort because you no longer have to collect or dispose of the grass cuttings. A mulching mower finely chops clippings and scatters them over the grass. This combines the three key steps of any lawn care regime – mowing, disposing of the cuttings and fertilising – in a single step. So it’s good for the environment and your wallet!
A long-term experiment at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna has demonstrated that mulch mowing brings significant advantages and stimulates lawn growth. Over four years, a 1,000 m2 lawn was mowed with a standard lawn mower. The cuttings were then disposed of and the lawn was fertilised with a mineral fertiliser. At the same time, a separate area of the same size was cultivated using a mulching mower, with the cuttings left on the ground. The results speak for themselves:
To achieve the very best results when mulching, make sure the grass cuttings stay on the surface of the lawn, there are not too many cuttings, and they are finely chopped and evenly distributed. The nitrogen they contain will be quickly mineralised and made available to the grass. Follow our tips to get the most out of mulching your lawn: