Mulching lawn mowers, or mulch and catch lawn mowers have been readily available for sale for some time now. The concept behind these lawn mowers is a very good idea, in that they allow the lawn owner to mulch his lawn clippings directly back into the turf as he is mowing.
Mulch and Catch lawn mowers use a combination of having a 4 blade cutting system and a special Mulching Plug which fits into the back of the lawn mower where the catcher would normally fit.
The combination of 4 blades and mulching plug work together to spin the lawn clippings around the inside base several times before they are ejected out of the bottom of the mower.
This process finely chops up the lawn clippings into tiny pieces, which allows these fine particles to quickly deteriorate and release their nutrients back into the soil.
Mulching mowing will not always be appropriate, and the greatest exception is with long grass. Mowing longer grass with these mower types while using the Mulching Plug can cause the mower to easily clog up with grass clippings. The resulting piles of lawn clippings which are left on the lawn will also take a significant amount of time to deteriorate.
Mowing while using the mulching option is also not suitable when there are weeds in the lawn which already have mature seed heads.
A mulching mower is best used when the lawn is mowed on a regular basis which follows the growth rates of the lawn.
As the name suggests, the lawn owner has the option of attaching the supplied catcher to catch the clippings at any time they so wish. In fact, a better option is to alternate between catching and mulching the clippings.
There are a couple of other benefits to mulch and catch lawn mowers.
1) The 4 blades cutting system provides for a much better lawn mowing finish than 2 bladed mowers.
2) Some brands of lawn mowers (but not all), will include the mulching option as standard on the better models of lawn mowers, which are made to a slightly better standard, as well as having better engine options which are both stronger and more reliable than the engines found on cheaper machines.
A full article on recycling lawn clippings back into the lawn can be found here.
In essence, lawn clippings are full of vital nutrients and moisture which provide for a fantastic food source for the existing lawn. Mowing without a catcher, or mowing with a mulching lawn mower is a great idea to naturally feed our lawns for much of the year.