Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mulching lawnmower

Earlier this year my husband bought a mulching lawn mower with a bag. Initially I was unhappy with the bag because I thought we would never use it. Afterall a mulching mower is all about leaving the finely chopped grass on the lawn.

However, despite mowing every 3 days, there was still an ugly deposit of grass clippings left on the lawn. It helped somewhat to run back over those clippings again and for the most part they got picked up. However I thought I would give the bag a try. It went against my priciples, but after I saw the results I am sure you can guess where the bag's permanent home is. Since I am a fanatic for organic matter, the grass clippings are always quickly employed as mulch for the flower beds.

So then of what use is a mulching mower? Now comes the good part! I had some bagged leaves left from the previous year. I spread them out on the lawn in a thin layer and ran over them with the mower. Wow, it not only picked up all the leaf debris, but gave me a bag of finely shredded leaves! Bag after bag of leaves were chopped and placed in flower beds as mulch. I found it helped if the leaves were dry when mowed. If they were wet they chopped up nicely but they didn't get picked up as well, resulting in some debris being left on the lawn. This is good for the lawn, but you might not like the look of it. A simple solution is to spread out the leaves a couple of hours before mowing. On a sunny day they dry very quickly.

This fall I have travelled with a sheet of plastic lining the back of my Subaru Forester. The back seats are down and I have been trolling the tree-lined streets of my small town, looking for bags of leaves left on the boulevard. People have come out to ask what I use them for. Sheesh I can't believe they have to ask and I can't understand why they are getting rid of such valuable material! Oh well, their loss is my gain.

With my 50-60 bags of leaves I feel like I have money in the bank. Next May, it will be converted to cash. Oops, mulch.


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