What Does a Mulching Kit Do on a Mower? (Solved & Explained!)

A mulching kit is a way to install mulching functionality to a mower that currently only has bagging and side discharge mowing options and which is not compatible with simply installing mulching blades. The kit consists of a mulching plug and blades and the plug serves to keep the grass inside the deck while the mulching blades reduce it into smaller and smaller pieces to fertilize your lawn.

Read on to find out the perks of a mulching kit, as well the caveats that you should know about if you want to get the most power out of your mulching setup. Let’s take a look at the questions everyone is asking!

Is a mulching kit worth it?

A mulching kit is definitely worth it, as it adds a third function to your mower, which normally has two – bagging and side discharge. It also saves you time, as instead of having to rake up or disposed of bagged clippings, you can simply leave the finely cut clippings on your lawn as you mow, and they will decay and fertilize your lawn for free!

When should you use a mulching kit?

While some mowers will simply let you install mulching blades and get right to work, other mowers need to be converted first. This is where the mulching kit comes in. Most mowers will be compatible with a mulching kit, which comes with a special plate that is designed to hold the grass clippings while your new mulching blades quickly chop them up into smaller, useful pieces.

So, if your mower doesn’t have mulching functionality, that’s when you should use a mulching kit to change that limitation.

What’s the difference between mulching and mowing?

Standard mowing simply cuts your lawn, producing clippings which are sometimes quite large if the grass has had a bit of time between mowings. Mulching produces very small clippings, by means of specialized blades and the mulching plug/plate which keeps the grass inside the deck until the mulching blades can reduce them to pieces small enough to act as natural fertilizer.

How do you mow with mulching blades?

Ideally, you will want to start at the top left corner of your lawn, mowing down to the bottom left corner, and then repeating this with the next row that you mow. Basically, you want to create concentric rectangles or circles that are less wide as you go, until you finally reach the center of your lawn.

Does mulching grass spread weeds?

No. When you maintain your yard, every time that you mow or mulch, you are only chopping the top third of your grass. This is a small amount and won’t contribute to the spread of weed seeds anymore than regular mowing or the way that the weeds would spread naturally on their own.

Do you need to sharpen mulching blades?

Yes. Mulching blades should be sharpened at the same frequency as standard mowing blades. For every 20 to 25 hours of use, you want to sharpen your blades or bring them in to your local hardware store, where they can sharpen them for you for a small fee.

 Maintaining your blades with regular sharpening should help you to reach maximum worklife, approximately 100 to 200 hours of work in most cases.

Is it better to mulch or side discharge?

If you just want to finish mowing as quickly as possible, then side discharge is the best option if you intend to just trim it and not rake and bag the clippings. That said, if you have the time, mulching is definitely the better option. Your grass gets neatly trimmed and fertilized all in one go and no raking is required for a great-looking lawn when you’re done.

What is the disadvantage of mulching?

If you wait too long between mowings, then you can produce enough mulch that it can be a little more problematical. Too much mulch during a hot summer can prevent sunlight from filtering down and also overheat the ground.

A thick mulch pile can also attract insects, so be especially careful to leave a foot of space from your house when mulching to avoid attracting termites or other unwanted pests.

How often should I mulch my lawn?

During the spring, you can pretty much mulch weekly and it will work wonders. Your mulching mower doesn’t really produce a whole lot of mulch when you are mowing regularly, as it’s only cutting the top 1/3 of the grass. This decays quickly, so mowing weekly will not cause any problems but will definitely make your lawn look amazing!

Is mulching grass better than bagging?

Mulching is much better for your lawn than simply bagging, although there is one exception. The first cut of spring is best done with bagging, rather than mulching, as this gives time for the grass to revitalize itself with full sunlight and moisture from dew. After the first cutting then it’s fine to mulch and you can mulch mow the lawn every week to encourage maximum growth.

Should I leave grass clippings on lawn?

Mulched clippings may definitely be left on the lawn with no ill effects, but with larger, unmulched clippings it will depend on the density of the pile. Too many standard grass clippings will take quite a bit longer to decompose and there is also a risk that they will attract insects, block off too much sunlight, and heat up the soil below.

This is not a problem with mulched clippings, which are perfectly fine to leave on the lawn.

Does mulching grass make it grow faster?

Yes! Mulching grass definitely encourages growth, as the decaying bits of mulched grass clippings will produce potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen – important ingredients present in just about every commercial fertilizer. The light coating of this ensures that it will only encourage, and not hinder the growth of grass on your lawn.

Can I use mulching blades with side discharge?

You can, but it recommended that you use specialized design blades such as Gator blades, which circulate the air better than standard mulching blades do. Gator blades lift grasses, while standard mulching blades push down on them, and so with standard blades you have less efficient air circulation that can affect side discharge and bagging efficiency.