Home Blog Mulching vs. Bagging vs. Side discharge

Mulching vs. Bagging vs. Side discharge

by Jackson White

For many people, the first place you would look to when you want to improve your lawn is the store, because you are going to purchase the most recent fertilizer. However, you might be overlooking an important factor – what you need to do when dealing with your grass clippings.

There are many questions regarding what you would do with the fresh grass clippings from your lawn, and the effects they eventually have on your lawn space in terms of its health and appearance. Therefore, you should pick the task that fits your lawn’s needs the best at that time – and that is why we are comparing the three in order to give you a better idea of what to choose.

As a general rule, the best option among the three in terms of mowing your lawn will be using a lawnmower that has mulching abilities. This is because it allows the soil to replenish its rich nutrients, eventually resulting in grass that grows strong and healthy.

A comparison of mulching, bagging, and side discharge

Mulching

Among the three methods, this is the most preferred one, and is a revolution in terms of lawn maintenance. The reason for its popularity is that the lawn mower immediately returns the clippings to the soil, and allows the soil to retain its nutrients.

This will ultimately play a major role when you want to manage your grass in a healthy way, and encourage the soil to retain its moisture – a very important task, especially in the hotter months of the year. It will also encourage the roots of the grass to get the amounts of water they require during your watering sessions, and the grass will grow properly, the leaves look a vibrant green color, and you will save money because you will not need fertilizers as much.

The mulching process can also work if there is erosion happening and you want to reduce it, which happens often if you live in an area that receives high amounts of rain frequently. The mulch here acts as a cover, which reduces the run-off of the water, and allows for better maintenance of the nutrients present in the soil.

The only disadvantage with mulching is the equipment you need – you must be careful when choosing a lawnmower and the blades for this purpose, as not all will be compatible with the mulch kit.

Bagging

This method works best if you are dealing with a real mess on your hands or are cutting long grass. It is also a good choice if your lawn is full of weeds and you want to clear them up, because it can remove anything on your lawn – whether you are removing sticks, seeds, weeds, leaves, or other material for you to sort out later.

The other advantage with bagging is the evenness of the cut, because the mower will use most of its power to spin and lift the blades, which promotes better cutting, and everything the blades pick up will go straight to your mower bag.

That brings us to its main disadvantage – disposal of the clippings. If you live in a crowded area or a city space that does not provide much access to private land, then disposing of these clippings can be a major problem.

Side discharge

If you are intending to buy a very powerful lawn mower – mostly the commercial-grade types – then side discharge will work best for you in this case. It is a by-gone method, because the lawnmowers of the past had it as a function, but as mower technology specialized, it was gradually incorporated less.

The main benefit that it has is that your lawn will always get a perfect cut at all times. This is due to the superior adjustments that the mower has for this function, compared to mowers that lack a storage bag. The cutting height is very easy to adjust in a side discharge mower, which allows for an even cut even if you are dealing with long grass.

You can also cut your grass faster, because the mower discharges the clippings immediately. Their vacuuming ability is also superior compared to other mowers. However, if you are sharing your fence with neighbors, the method is messy because it throws grass clippings everywhere – so use it if you have a large lawn.

 

Summary of these comparisons

Task
Why should you use it
Drawbacks of the method
Bagging
This aims to store all clippings in its storage bag, which you will dispose later.
It can be difficult to dispose the clippings, especially if you live in areas that lack waste management services.
Mulching
The mulching process seeks to return the grass clippings directly back to the soil, which allows for better retention of nutrients.
The equipment you need is specialized. Most mowers will not come with this functionality or the special mulching blades, which forces you to purchase them separately.
Side discharge
Aims to achieve a perfect quality cut on the lawn through its vacuuming ability.
The grass clippings might mess up other lawns, especially if the lawns have a close connection.

 

Conclusion

There are many advantages and disadvantages of each method you choose to manage your lawn, but overall the mulching method is the best in ensuring you have a healthy space and thick grass.

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