- SLOW DOWN! Mulch mowing is different than grass mowing. (Slower speed allows finer leaf chop.)
- Install mulching blades (e.g.; “Gator" blades or mower brand-specific blades) on mowers.
- Close the mulch plate on the mower deck.
- Keep your mower blades well-sharpened.
- Mow grass high through the fall so that leaf shreds can settle between grass blades.
- Adjust the blade height to 2.5-4 inches high. (You'll need to experiment to determine optimum setting for your mower and site turf conditions to maximize leaf chop and minimize throw from under the deck.)
- Mulch when leaves are dry or semi-damp, whenever possible.
- Take on no more than 2/3 or 3/4 of a deck's width of material at a time. (With a full deck's width, you may be making the machine work too hard, often resulting in the “toss” of some un-chopped leaves right out the front and sides of the mower deck - it's simply a case of too many leaves at a time for the mower.)
- Face mower discharge to the work-to-be-done side for easy re-grind when necessary.
- If required, multi-pass to shred leaves completely (around 1" square is target size).
- On subsequent passes, use a criss-cross pattern over the lawn to minimize rutting.
- With deep leaf piles, raise the front of the mower to "attack" into the pile, then lower deck back down. Repeat this "raise & lower" chopping technique as required. (Hint: a counter weight on the rear of the deck helps reduce the effort to raise/tilt the chassis.)
- Blow excess leaf shred on surface of turf across a wider lawn area to even out. Excess shred can also be blown into nearby landscape beds as a mulch.
- Mulch mow collected leaves next to a target area where you desire to use the resulting mulch.
- Learn the ROLLING CHOP technique to allow the mulcher man to work in concert with the man with the blower so that in a short time, everything is processed "in situ." (See details here.)
What are some LELE Tips for Landscapers?
Some simple tips for effective and efficient mulch mowing from landscapers experienced with LELE practices in the field: