Fall is officially in full swing. The weather is getting colder each week and leaves are changing colors. With the change of the season comes leaf pick-up. Each year, homeowners have the daunting task of cleaning up their yards while protecting their lawn. You may ask yourself which option is best, mulching or bagging leaves?
Mulching is considered one of the fastest and easiest ways to dispose of leaves. By running a riding lawn mower over fallen leaves and shredding, it allows the leaves to break down faster and absorb back into the soil. This provides natural nutrients to the lawn and helps improve overall soil quality while preventing weeds. Rather than purchasing fall fertilizer, in most cases, mulching leaves provides the same benefits. Although mulching can save you time from bagging up leaves, it does require more passes through the lawn during the fall season. As more leaves fall to the ground, it requires the riding lawn mower to make additional passes to break them up.
Bagging leaves has many benefits. One of the main benefits is appearance. If you are looking to have a clean yard before winter, this option is your best bet. It allows you to quickly run your riding lawn mower and mulch control system over large piles of leaves to pick them up and dispose of in a container, compost pile or on the curb for city pick-up. Bagging leaves can contribute to a healthier option for your lawn if you are rehabbing a poor area of grass. By picking up leaves and not leaving clippings behind, you are able to prevent rot and smothering. A downside to bagging is an increase in physical labor by emptying the bagging system. It also can remove the natural fertilizer that leaves provide to your lawn.
When it comes to leaf pick-up, there isn’t a more effective option. At the end of the day it is up to personal preference. Some people combine both methods by mulching early in the season to provide nutrients to the lawn and bagging later in the season to quickly pick-up large piles. John Deere’s MulchControl™ Kit with One-Touch Technology provides an easy way to mulch with the push of a button. This allows you to quickly toggle between side-discharge mowing, bagging mode or mulching.