Update on Mulching Leaves into the Lawn with the steel deck mower and 20" high-lift blade

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  • Updated 7 months ago
I've had more time to experiment with mulching autumn leaves into the grass with the EGO steel deck mower and 20 inch high-lift blade.
If you haven't read about this practice, here's a link that describes it:
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/dont_swe...

Here are some observations:
1) I've been REALLY happy with the performance of this mower with the high-lift blade in mulching leaves into the grass. I've yet to remove any leaves from the grass this fall. I just chop them all up and leave them in the grass. (Please see below for some photos)
2) I called the Michigan State University Extension Lawn and Garden Hotline to ask how you know when you're mulching too many leaves and could potentially harm the lawn rather than help it. The woman who answered the phone told me that it's too many leaves if you can't see individual blades of grass through the mulched leaves. I haven't had this happen, so I assume I'm not mulching too many leaves. (Again, please see photos below). I also asked her when she would expect all the mulched leaves to have decomposed, and she said she would expect them all to have decomposed by spring. I'll see if that happens here.
3) I find it really helpful to walk very slowly while mulching the leaves into the grass. This seems to give the mower more time to chop up the leaves.
4) I also find it really helpful to overlap rows more than I would if there were no leaves on the lawn. This is because sometimes leaves get pushed up on top of the mower deck before being run over, and then they fall into rows I've already mowed. But when I overlap rows a little more than usual, I can usually get these leaves chopped up on the following pass.
5) The mower chops up dry leaves MUCH better than wet ones, so if you can, I would highly recommend mulching leaves only when dry.
6) I'm much happier with how this mower mulches leaves in areas where the grass is thick than in areas where the grass is sparse. Where the grass is sparse, the mower seems to blow leaves out from under the deck before they get chopped up. But where the grass is dense, the thick grass seems to trap the leaves under the deck, and so they get chopped up and don't get blown out all over the lawn before being chopped up. I don't know why that is. Perhaps someone can explain to me why the high-lift blade would blow leaves out from under the deck where the grass is thin.

Ok, here are the photos:

Here's one area of the lawn before mulching leaves:


Here's the same area after mulching leaves:


Here's another shot taken mid-mow, where you can see clearly the line between where the mower has mulched and where it hasn't passed yet:


Here's a close-up of what the mulched leaves look like in the grass:


And here's a look at what the mulched leaves look like in the grass from a distance:


Overall, I would highly recommend this practice. I really like all the time it saves not having to remove leaves from the grass, and I also like the idea that the decomposed leaves will eventually fertilize the grass.
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John

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Posted 7 months ago

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Amber F., Official EGO Rep

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Official Response
John, thank you for your incredible photos and review! We are happy to see just how much you dig the EGO mower’s mulching performance, and we LOVE the feedback. Please keep it coming!