Can You Mow Over Leaves?
The answer is yes with one caveat: invest in a quality mulcher mower. Most modern lawn mowers are equipped with mulching blades that chop leaf clippings into small pieces. The mower redistributes the mulched leaves across your lawn’s surface. This eliminates the need to rake and bag leaves.
Although some detractors will say that leaving mulched leaves on your lawn is harmful, the University of Michigan recently conducted a study that determined there were no discernable differences between lawns who had their leaves bagged and removed versus those where the leaves were mulched and redistributed. In fact, when mulched leaves are left on a lawn, it reintroduces valuable organic matter back into your lawn’s soil.
What to Look For In a Mulching Mower
First and foremost, a mulching mower should be self-propelled and be equipped with rear wheel drive. By itself, a lawn mower is fairly heavy. When you add the weight of a bag of grass clippings, pushing it uphill and bagging can become nearly impossible. This is why self-propulsion is a must.
Secondly, the mower should have a high lift mulching blade. When it comes mulching leaves, the blade of a standard lawn mower simply is not going to cut it. “High lift” blades are aggressive. They have a unique twist and serrations along the edge of the blade. The design increases the movement of the air beneath the deck and into the clippings bag.
Similarly, your mulching mower should have a high-quality bag for dust filtering. A cheap lawn mower will have a cheap bag that will not be able to adequately filter the dust once it starts swirling after you begin to mow the leaves. You’ll be choking before you're halfway done with the job. Ideally, the mower you purchase should have a bag labeled as “dust blocking”.
Finally, make sure your mulching mower should have plenty of power. To successfully mulch leaves, power is required. In this case, larger is better.
Additional Tips For Mulching Leaves With a Mower
Even after you’ve picked out the right mower, there are still a few things you’ll need to be cognizant of:
Additional research has demonstrated that regular mowing and mulching leaves will assist your lawn in growing spring grass earlier and reduce the amount of weeds and winter annuals that grow. This is due to the fact that the mulched leaves essentially act a ground cover that prevent the weeds from getting the sunlight they need to grow. Mulching your leaves with a mower is environmentally friendly, and it’ll reduce the amount of time that you need to spend maintaining your lawn.