Mulch Mowing

There is a way to free your weekends this autumn and eliminate the chore of raking leaves forever. Mulch-Mowing, the quickest and easiest method of removing fallen leaves, is a simple process. Your mower becomes a “food processor” for your lawn by chopping both leaves and grass clippings many times before depositing the bits right back into the turf-grass.

Mulch Mowers
Specifically designed mulch-mowers (with enclosed decks and special blades) may work best, but virtually any rotary mower will do the trick when an $10 mulching blade or a mulching kit is installed. The secret to mulch-mowing is:
  • Mow every week just as you would during the growing season.
  • Set your mower to a 3-inch or greater cutting height.
  • If multiple passes are required, make them at perpendicular angles. Often the chopped leaves will disappear into the turf-grass with a single pass, eventually incorporating into the topsoil, reducing water and fertilizer needs over time.
Help Mother Nature
Mulch-Mowing helps Mother Nature keep your lawn lush, green and healthy while saving you time and labor. It also addresses two quality-of-life issues outlined in the City of Roanoke’s comprehensive plan:
  • Fewer leaves in the street mean better environmental stewardship:
    • Loose leaves may clog the city’s storm drain system, potentially flooding both streets and properties.
    • Loose leaves affect storm water runoff, which dumps phosphorus leachate into Roanoke’s streams and rivers, potentially decreasing oxygen availability for fish and other aquatic life.
  • Fewer leaves in the street mean cleaner, safer, and more aesthetically pleasing streets:
    • Loose leaves may become dangerous, unseen obstacles if workers have to plow an early season snow.
    • Loose leaves may become slippery when wet, creating potential hazards for pedestrians.
    • Loose leaves may become fire hazards if a vehicle’s exhaust or a careless cigarette comes into contact with dry leaves.