Choosing the right mower for your lawn care needs can be complicated. With the variety of options available, the main difference that stumps most homeowners is the choice between side discharge vs. mulch lawn mowers. This blog post aims to provide an in-depth understanding of these two mower types, helping you select the best option for your lawn care regimen.
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Understanding Side Discharge Mowers
Side discharge mowers are popular among homeowners with large yards and tall grass. As the name suggests, these mowers discharge the cut grass out of the side of the mower, leaving behind an unsightly mess of grass clippings on your lawn. However, they are a great option when dealing with long, wet grass, which can often clog the mower deck.
Side discharge lawn mowers, such as the side discharge tractor, are equipped with standard blades or high-lift blades. These regular blades cut the grass and direct the clippings out through the side discharge chute. While this method is a quick way to mow large areas, the downside is the left-behind lawn clippings, which can suffocate your lawn or become a home for weed seeds if not collected.
However, a benefit of side discharge mowers is that they typically require less power than mulching mowers. This can be a good idea for those who don’t have much time to spend on lawn care, as these mowers can quickly cover large areas.
The Power of Mulching Mowers
On the other hand, a mulching lawn mower operates differently. These mowers are equipped with a mulching blade, often called 3-in-1 blades or 2-in-1 mower blades, which cut the grass into small pieces before dropping them back onto the lawn. These tiny pieces decompose quickly, acting as a natural fertilizer and adding organic matter to your soil.
One of the best ways to mulch grass clippings is by using a mulching kit, which includes a mulch plug to seal off the mower deck and a special mulching mower blade designed to cut the grass into finer pieces. This mulch plug prevents the clippings from being discharged out of the side of the mower, keeping them inside of the deck, where they are cut into even smaller pieces before being deposited back onto the lawn.
A mulching lawnmower can be a great way to maintain a small lawn, as the mulch acts as a natural fertilizer, promoting a healthier lawn. However, they can also handle larger lawns and tall grass, provided the grass blades are not overly wet.
Side Discharge vs. Mulch: Which Is Better?
The best method for lawn care largely depends on the health of your lawn, the type of grass, and the amount of time you can dedicate to lawn care. A side discharge mower may be better if you have a large yard with tall grass. A mulching lawn mower may be the best choice for smaller lawns or those who want to promote a healthy lawn by returning nutrients to the soil.
For example, the Greenworks 40V 19” Cordless Battery Push Lawn Mower is a versatile option that offers both mulching and side-discharge options. This powerful mower boasts a heavy-duty steel deck and a brushless motor, allowing it to handle any terrain. Despite its power, it is easy to start and operates quietly, perfect for homeowners who value efficiency and tranquility. Additionally, its compact size makes it ideal for smaller lawns and can even be hung up for storage.
The Honda 664100 GCV200 Lawn Mower: Unlike most walk-behind mulching mowers that have a single blade, this mower is equipped with two. The twin blades give it the ability to cut grass blades into ultra-fine pieces that are great for promoting a healthy lawn. Not only can this mower mulch grass clippings, but it also has a special setting for shredding leaves into fine particles. The mower will bag clippings or side discharge them as well.
Please note that when choosing a lawn mower, it’s important to consider the size of your lawn, the type of grass, and your physical ability to push or ride the mower. All these three models have excellent mulching capabilities, but they may vary in other features such as power, noise, ease of use, and maintenance.