How often should I mulch?

Mulching is something every gardener can practise for a healthy and thriving garden. But how regularly should we be using this easily accessible resource?

How often should I mulch?

Mulching is good practice for an all round healthy garden. It’s beneficial for flowers, trees and lawns, and depending on which type of mulch you’re using, it has a variety of uses.

A resource that’s at the tips of every green finger - yet the question remains, how often should it be done? The answer is, it depends on the type of mulch you’re using and what you’re using it for. It sounds complex, but it really isn’t - here’s what you need to know. 

What is mulch?

Mulch is any material that is spread around plants or on garden beds to enrich or insulate soil. Mulch can also be used to retain moisture in the soil. 

There are many types of mulch material and each one has its use:

  • Wood chip mulch retains water in soil and also acts as a natural slow release fertiliser 
  • Straw mulch is used from early summer to early autumn around strawberry plants to protect the fruits 
  • Compost or manure is a good soil improver and natural fertiliser for plants
  • Leaf mould or fallen leaves can be used to suppress weeds and also as a source of carbon - essential for good drainage and healthier plants 
  • Grass clippings or mower mulch are a rich source of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium which gives your plants and lawn a healthy boost

When to mulch

When you should mulch depends on the type of mulch you’re using in the garden. 

Compost and manure mulch should be added to the soil just once in early spring before any new growth starts. Avoid applying it in late summer or autumn as it may not be consumed by the plants and pollute water bodies instead. 

Straw mulch is needed for strawberry plants to protect the fruits from soil rot, slugs and snails. Apply the straw whilst the plants are coming into flower and remove when the last of the fruit has been harvested.

Wood chip mulch should be applied to the base of trees and plants at the start of the growing season and again at the same time the following year. As you prune back the trees in the autumn and winter, you can chip the pruned branches and recycle it as mulch around the same tree.

Leaf mulch can be spread on the soil in autumn when there’s an abundance of fallen leaves. Or you can make leaf mould, which takes about 2 years, and use it in the spring. See our blog on what to do with fallen leaves to get an idea on how to make leaf mould. 

When to use lawnmower mulch

The best time to use grass clipping mulch from a mulching mower is in spring and summer when the grass is still growing and taking up nutrients. With some mowers like the EGO Z6 ride on mulching mower, it’s easy to mulch. Simply add the mulching plug and away you go. 

Your lawnmower mulch can be left on the lawn to decompose and release its nutrients. You may want to spread the lawnmower mulch around with a rake if there are clumps of grass on your lawn. 

Mulching is not needed every time you mow. If you want to raise the fertility of your lawn then go ahead, however most lawns don’t need a frequent supply of mower mulch. Here are the optimal times to apply mower mulch:

  • At your first mow of the year
  • Once in the middle of summer
  • Once at the end of the growing season

Why mower mulch is good for the lawn

Lawnmower mulch is excellent for your lawn, containing essential nutrients for healthy grass, it’s an easy way to fertilise your lawn naturally. Grass clippings contain:

  • 4% nitrogen
  • 2% potassium
  • 1% phosphorus

Containing about 90% water, grass clippings decompose very quickly after being ejected from your ride on mulching mower, leaving a neat looking lawn in just a few days. 

What’s a mulching lawn mower?

Mulching-specific lawn mowers have a more pronounced domed deck and the blades are curved. While they are designed to mulch, you don’t have to - you can interchange easily between mulching or grass collection. 

Alternatively, mowers that aren’t manufactured specifically for mulching, can be fitted with a mulching kit. A mulching kit comprises of two items - a mulching plug and mulching blades. 

What is a mulching plug?

A lawn mower mulch plug is a plug which slots into a shaped fitting in the rear (or side) of suitable mowers, blocking the grass from shooting into the collection bag and instead scattering it beneath the mower. 

The bonus with EGO mowers that mulch

All EGO mowers with mulching capabilities have adjustable mowing heights, and variable mowing speeds. And to top it off, they don’t give off emissions and are cheaper to run than their petrol equivalents. Check out our range of mowers to see for yourself, we have a mower for any lawn. 

Plus, they come with excellent warranty. All EGO mowers that mulch come with 5 years warranty for domestic use and 2 years warranty for professional use. We’re sure you’ll be satisfied.