Discharging, bagging, and mulching make the top ways to deal with your grass clippings after tending to your lawn. Based on your preferred method, the appearance of your yard varies.
Side discharge was once widespread due to power and cut quality. However, this option isn’t as popular to homeowners anymore, leaving the other two to dominate.
Now, you wonder the consequences of choosing to bag or mulch after overseeding.
The good effects of mulching are nutrient boosts, water conservation, budget-friendliness, less effort needed, and it’s legal. However, the disadvantages of mulching are lengthy mowing times, unattractive looks, and picky application. Bagging your grass is better if your lawn is poor or wet.
Let’s comprehensively compare the two below to help refine your pick.
Also Check: How Soon Can I Mulch After Spraying Roundup?
Is Bagging Your Grass Better?
If seeking a safe option, bagging is your go-to. For lawns with extra-lengthy grasses and leaves, bagging is typically the best option to clean up.
Moreover, if you have weeds on your lawn, bagging is a superb choice to rid your garden of them. It removes everything from weeds, twigs, seeds, leaves, and more, leaving your lawn looking nice.
The issue arises when you have to deal with a bag that is full of grass clippings. Where or how do you dispose of these substances?
If you are in the city or you lack access to private land to dump your clippings, you may wonder what to do. Luckily, there are various superb ways like composting and creating animal feeds.
Here are bagging benefits.
Bagging eliminates unsightly clumps on your lawn, ensuring a tidy appearance. Clumps are more noticeable with long grass, especially after drying. So, if you want a clean look, bag your clippings.
Thanks to their richness in nitrogen and other nutrients, grass clippings are invaluable to your compost. Compost piles require an equal mix of green and brown matter. So, you can use grass clippings as part of the green components.
Grass clippings are rich in digestive matter and proteins. Besides, they also have a higher water content than hay. Hence, freshly cut clippings minimize how much water your animals need, even if the margin is small.
However, don’t use chemically-subjected clippings to feed your animals.
Since the mower works faster when bagging than mulching, you spend less time getting the desired look. Besides, you can avoid raking leaves. Hence, you kill two birds by bagging. You’ll save time cleaning both the leaves and grass together than doing separate tasks.
If your lawn has weeds, bagging is best. Mulching may not control all the weeds, especially if they are at the flowering stage. Removing the grass clipping together with cut weeds lowers the chances of rejuvenation.
Disadvantages of Bagging
Bagging has its fair share of challenges, as explained below.
Need for Fertilizers
Since there’s no grass decomposing to replenish the nutrient supplies used while growing, you may need more fertilizer. Hence, you’ll spend to keep your lawn healthy. Plus, inorganic fertilizers are environmentally detrimental.
Time Consuming and Costly
While composting is advantageous, you need time and energy to set up and maintain your compost. If you want the clipping out of your compound, you’ll pay people to take the material to a landfill.
Moreover, removing the grass exposes more ground which may increase evaporation. You may need to increase irrigation incidences which take up your time, and hike your water bill.
Different places feature different rules, with over half of U.S states forbidding grass clipping in landfills. So, if you decide to throw your clipping in a landfill, ensure your local laws allow it.
What Are the Good Effects of Mulching?
When you talk about mulching to most people dealing with lawn care, their eyes shine with vigor. You may see it as the answer to everything, but it may not be easy.
Nonetheless, here are the top advantages of mulching for you to decide whether they are enough to overlook the shortcomings.
With mulching, you don’t have to get rid of your grass clipping. The grass goes through the blade and out at the back, and that’s all you need to do.
If you have a back pain problem, you don’t have to worry about bending to insert and remove the bag every time it fills.
Once your mower is set, you can keep walking, and you don’t have to stop.
As the clipping drop on your lawn, they decompose with time and rejuvenate nutrient supplies in your yard.
Using your cut clipping to nourish the lawn also means you won’t need as much fertilizer to keep your lawn looking healthy. So, you aren’t only improving nutrient supplies but minimizing using chemicals that may be detrimental to the environment.
Less Watering Needed
With mulching, less ground stays exposed, which means lesser evaporation. Less evaporation reduces how frequently you’ll water, saving energy and money. Besides, freshly-cut clippings contain water, some of which end up in the soil.
What Are the Disadvantages of Mulching After Seeding?
Leaving your cut grass clippings on the lawn may have more demerits than you may assume. Your mower may need an upgrade, your lawn may not be in a suitable state for mulching, among other issues.
Let’s examine mulching demerits more.
Turning to mulch doesn’t mean you are let off the hook when it comes to spending on additional equipment. Sure, you may be saving the money to get a bag. It may even be over $150 if purchasing something like the Toro 59312.
Still, you may need a special blade if considering mulching. However, newer mowers come with versatile blades suitable for mulching or bagging. So, that takes out the problem though you may not mulch effectively depending on the quality and design of your mower blades.
Mulching demands some conditions to work fantastic. For instance, if your grass is too long and mixed with weeds and all kinds of dirt, you’ll have trouble mulching effectively.
Your mower has to use more horsepower to grid highly overgrown grass repeatedly. It has to break everything down so you can move to the next section.
If your lawn is too wet, say on a dewy morning or rainy day, mulching may not be ideal. While mulching, the liquids pile around the mower’s bottom and spew allower the lawn.
If you have a poor lawn and seek rehabilitative efforts, mulching is unlikely to work in your favor. Moreover, it may be detrimental if you aren’t only using the grass clipping but with leaves as well. So, before opting for mulching, verify that your lawn isn’t lousy.
Mulching takes more time than when bagging. While bagging, you can move as fast as the mower goes. While you may take a few moments to empty your bag, if your lawn is large, the mower’s working is quick.
While mulching, the mower uses more effort to cut the grass and shred it further while down. So, it’s slightly slower.
Does Bagging Reduce Thatch?
Bagging doesn’t reduce thatch. The turf leaves, cut when mowing, don’t significantly contribute to thatch and break down easily by microbial action. While grasses like Kentucky bluegrass readily develop a thatch-mat layer, others like tall fescue are slow.
When Should I Mow After Overseeding
You should mow 2-3 weeks after overseeding. You need to ensure the new growth is at a considerable height as mowing stresses your lawn.
Some grasses like bluegrass grow a bit slower. So, you may wait three weeks before seeing significant growth. Afterward, you’ll want it to get to a suitable cutting height before cutting it.
Especially when you overseed, you’ll want to water regularly to promote the new growth. So it shouldn’t be challenging to tear up the grass blades with your mower.
What Is the Suitable Mowing Height After Overseeding?
The suitable mowing height after overseeding is three or more inches. Ensure you work tenderly and that your mower blades are sharp enough for the job. Don’t cut too deep to avoid straining the new grass. So, trim to around 2.5 inches or so.
Another trick to determine a suitable time to mow after overseeding is by lightly pulling the new grass. If the grass is rooted into the ground, you can trim it.
The Verdict: Bag or Mulch After Overseeding?
So, should you bag or mulch after overseeding? You’ll have to look at the shortcomings. When bagging, you can:
- Mow in almost all conditions
- Remove all debris getting into the bag
- Achieve a high-quality cut
- Mow faster than when mulching
On the downside, bagging requires clipping disposal, which may be challenging if considering landfills. But, you can use the grass for other benefits.
Mulching is excellent, provided you understand that you should mow under specific conditions. The grass shouldn’t be too wet or too overgrown. You’ll get a nutrient boost and enjoy non-stop, though slower mowing speeds.
While both options are superb, you’ll have issues if you don’t keep a close eye on the variables while mulching.