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When it comes to using mowers as a mulcher, the only solution I've commonly seen is a mulching plug. It's just a spring-loaded cover that sits flush with your deck, pretty standard I do believe. Recently, I used a push mower that had another kind of setup. It has a box that went in where the bag usually is. Somehow, this produced a very clean cut with no visible clippings left over.

Now that I know there are other methods... what is the best way to turn my riding lawn mower into a mulcher? I mainly just want all of my grass clippings to not be visible. As of now, my lawn looks like it needs bailed.

Surely there is more to it than just adding a mulch plug. I don't honestly see how that alone can achieve the results I'm after.

migrated from diy.stackexchange.com Jun 9 '17 at 14:05

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    Mowers not designed for it may not work efficiently with a created/makeshift mulch plug installed. The reason you liked that push-mower is because they spent years designing the underdeck air flow and blade aerodynamics so that the grass wouldn't clump and would get continually chewed up. There is more to design if the mulches than just blocking the output. – Tyson Jun 9 '17 at 14:00
  • In all my experience with mowers, lawns...not once have I found a mulching mower that actually works. The 'benefit' of allowing the chewed up clippings is supposed to be a way to cut back on fertilizer. The downsides are many! Thatch for instance. Clippings that are unable to touch the soil take forever to decompose. Takes nitrogen for decomposers to do their job. So, actually no benefit. Now those clippings, bagged are super for weed smothering and compost. I will always bag clippings. Lawn is a very 'unnatural' beast and trying to play 'organic' is a dichotomy! – stormy Jun 9 '17 at 18:55
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Usually you can't, at least not effectively. Mulching mowers have aerodynamically appropriate decks and specially-designed blades that recycle the clippings to pick them up and re-cut them repeatedly, then drop them uniformly. Traditional mowers are designed to direct all clippings out the chute. It's often not a simple thing to make the former from the latter.

You can block the chute and you can look for replacement blades that are designed to recycle the grass. Beyond that you're in fabrication mode, and trial-and-error is probably your best approach.

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