How To Mulch Leaves Without A Mower 

How To Mulch Leaves Without A Mower 

Autumn may be your favorite time of the year, especially when it brings the joy of having fallen leaves on the ground. However, the pleasure may not last long when you have them decaying and laying all over with no mower to mulch them.

So, can you still mulch them without the essential tool? Yes! You can. I’ll guide you on how to mulch leaves without a mower.

Well, you can mulch leaves by hand. However, using a leaf shredder is the fastest way to mulch leaves. Besides, if you want to mulch a lot of leaves, using a leaf shredder yields excellent results. However, you can also shred leaves by running over them using a mower before eventually raking them. 

This article provides essential facts about manual mulching. 

Also Check: How To Make Mulch

How to Mulch Leaves Without a Mower 

Several factors come into play when determining how to mulch leaves without a mower. For example, the quantity and dryness of your leaves.

Depending on these and other factors, below is how to mulch leaves without a mower: 

  • Use a Weed Whacker

Use a string trimmer which is excellent for breaking leaves into smaller mulches. However, equip yourself with a big plastic container to collect your mulch first.  You don’t want to fill it, though, since you must move around as you do the mulching.

Besides, you’ll move your trimmer head up and down, making sure you mulch as many leaves as possible. Keep the trimmer head in a central position to prevent it from breaking down your weed wacker. 

Weed whackers have the same impact as lawnmowers. The only difference is that mowers are much heavier and non-potable.

So, you can use a weed whacker to mulch your leaves.

  • Electric Leaf Mulchers

A stand-alone leaf mulcher or shredder is another convenient tool for mulching.

Simply connect your machine to electric power and switch it on. Having collected the leaves and brought them to one place, pour them into the funnel. If you have a suitable model of your machine, it mulches all leaves in seconds. 

Better still, buy electric leaf mulcher models featuring blowers as they pull the leaves, bringing them closer to you. Consequently, your work becomes easier. 

  • Use Wood Chippers 

Whenever you feel you have a heavy-duty job in your garden and don’t have a mulching mower, then go for the wood chipper. Wood chippers shreds branches, logs, and leaves. Of course, it’s much more expensive than the regular mowers. 

Nonetheless, it’s more efficient than a lawnmower.

However, a wood chipper is for commercial use. It’s, therefore, not the best for small gardens since you need a tractor to pull it when mulching.

  • Using a Shredder

A leaf shredder is a manual tool made for breaking down leaves. It has a big opening used for collecting large quantities of leaves– all at once. With the help of the line trimmer, it breaks all the leaves into fine leaves. 

To ease your work, put a sack or container under the shredder. This saves you the trouble of having to use a rake to bring leaves together. 

Leaf shredders are convenient because they have settings to bring out the expected mulch size.

How Do You Manually Mulch Leaves?

Manual mulching may be a tiresome method but still works, and there are various ways of doing it. Here’s how to manually mulch leaves: 

  • Driving on them 
  • Rearing chicken
  • Dig a compost pit

Below, we discuss each of these methods comprehensively. 

  • Driving On Them 

If it’s possible to drive in the area you want to mulch leaves without a mower, please do so. However, don’t try this during winter. Driving as a method of mulching is limited to hot weather conditions. It’s, however, the best option if you’re dust sensitive.

So, start by picking all the dry leaves — put them in rows. Drive on them in different angles severally. Once through, use a rake to bring them together for collection. 

  • Dig a Compost Pit

First, locate a strategic place to dig a hole. Then collect leaves, green or brown, and put them in. Possibly shred them first if you like — it’s not a rule, though. You may also add small logs, if any. 

Alternatively, you can make a wooden box instead of digging a hole in the ground to put your leaves in for decomposition. The process is the same.

The decomposing process takes 3 to 6 months. Does this feel like forever? No trouble, add nitrogen to speed up the process. After completion of decomposition, you’ll have high-quality manure. 

  • Rearing Chicken

Chicken love to scratch, bathe with mulch, as well as dig, especially in free-range. So, when you collect and put the leaves together, release the chicken into the area. While scratching, bathing, and digging, they’ll overturn the mulch. 

Consequently, they’ll reduce your mulch into small pieces. If they often do this, they’ll mulch the whole hip of leaves.

Can You Mulch Leaves By Hand?

Yes! Mulching leaves by hand is possible, but this works on dry leaves only. Just rake all the leaves around, hipping them up to your convenience place. 

Squeeze or rub them properly between your hands until you get the desired size. Be sure to put your gloves on to prevent your hands from being hurt by the stubborn leaves and sticks.

Involving your kids and family members in mulching leaves by hand makes the whole process fun! Try it. 

What Is the Fastest Way to Mulch Leaves?

The fastest way to mulch leaves without a mower is by using a leaf shredder. 

  • With a leaf shredder, you can mulch huge hips of leaves as they can handle such effectively
  • You save time by using a shredder as they mulch fast and effectively

To make the process even faster, place a bag right below the shredding machine. In case you have a trash can, use it in place of a bag. Use the trashcan/bag to collect the leaves. 

What Is the Easiest Way to Mulch Leaves Without a Mower?

The easiest way to mulch leaves, besides using a weed whacker, is by using a:

  • Leaf Shredder
  • Vacuum

Let’s discuss these ways of mulching leaves below.

  • Leaf Shredder 

Shredded leaves, allow enough aeration in plants and give water room to penetrate through your plants. Your garden, therefore, becomes productive. Besides, weeds won’t find their way through the plants. 

So, use a shredder to cut large leaves into small leaves. Designed for this work, a shredder works effectively and within a short time, you should shred and clear large hips of leaves.  

  • Vacuum

Using a vacuum machine is a fast way of shredding leaves. You only connect small bags behind the vacuum to pick up the leaves. 

As you move around sucking them, the bags get filled up depending on the number of leaves in the area.


Can you use dead leaves as mulch?

Yes, you can use dead leaves as mulch. As they decompose, they produce nitrogen essential for growing vegetables, flowers, and trees. 

However, in special cases, you can’t use dead leaves as mulch – they may harm your plants. Applying a good layer of the dead leaves creates rotting because of the plant’s unending wetness. 

Bottom Line

Not having a mower is not an excuse for not mulching leaves. From this article, you’ve learned how to mulch leaves without a mower. Whatever works for you, go for it. It can be: jumping on the leaves, driving on them, rearing chickens, or digging a compost pit. 

, that can’t withhold you from mulching your leaves. Weed wacker and trash can, electric leaf mulchers, weed whacker, and a wood chipper can help you do it quickly.

Moreover, you can still do it manually with the help of your cars or chicken. Also, you can use your hands or dig a compost pit to mulch.

Finally, you will want speedy, easy mulching, which means you will require tools like a vacuum machine to suck the dead leaves, mowers, and wheel whackers.

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