How to Mulch Leaves With a Mower?

Share on:

Before moving on to “how to mulch leaves with a mower” there a certain queries and confusion about mulching leaves which many time people asks and do not get a promising solution. Because when each season autumn comes, leaves fall on the ground, and you have piles of leaves to remove from the ground.

Here people get into confusion about what is better:

Mowing leaves instead of raking


Raking leaves instead of mulching

Actually, the best idea is to mow in other words turn leaves into mulch instead of raking. Because doing so you aren’t only providing nutrients to the soil but also saving laborious work and time for yourself which you would be spending raking up leaves and removing them from the ground.

In short, when it comes to mulching leaves vs removing them always choose mulching as it works best for your lawn.

How to Mulch With a Lawn Mower – Mulching Leaves With Lawn Mower

How to Mulch Leaves With a Mower?

Getting on “How to mulch leaves with a lawn mower” there is some simple equipment you need to mow your lawn and start using dry leaves as much. Also, keep in mind that the below method is universal for all mowers so when it comes to questions like

how to mulch leaves with a riding mower?

how to mulch leaves with zero turn mower?

You can use the method given below to mulch leaves:

Material Required

Following steps, you can take for mulching leaves with a lawn mower:


1. Choose a Suitable Mower for Your Lawn

good mulching mower

Choosing the best lawn mower for leaves does affect the final mulching results.

And using a mulching mower is probably the best way to mulch leaves.

There are certain types of mowers that are designed to mulch leaves. It can be riding, zero turns, walk-behind, or push mower in your yard which belongs to the various brands like TORO, JOHN DEERE, HUSQVARNA, GRAVELY, CUB CADET, etc.

Actually, if a mower is a rotary action lawnmower, then it would definitely mulch leaves well. Because a rotary action mower will suck up leaves fast and cut them into small pieces.

A good quality rotary action lawnmower has certain features which affect the mulching of leaves. Those features are given below:

Features of a Good rotary action mower
It should be compatible with mulching blades
It should have the good suction power
It shouldn’t clog while mowing on leaves
It shouldn’t leave clumps of grass on after-mowing paths
Mower has to cut leaves 1/3 of their original size
The mower should have a compatible shaft for mulching blades

Once you have all the features mentioned above in your mower, the mulching process would become damn easy. So, always choose a good mower that is efficient enough to mulch leaves into the lawn.

2. Choose a Perfect Mulching Blade and Install

Good mulching blade

The next step is to install the mulching blades in your mower. If your mower is already a mulching type with a mulching blade installed in it, you can skip this step.

Well, if your mower has regular blades installed in them it’s better to replace them with some compatible mulching blades.

There are different options available to choose from the mulching blades in accordance with your mower.

Some good brands to choose from are Maxpower, Oregon (Gator), 8TEN, and Rotary store.

Among those brands, Gator by Oregon is the best one as you will always love Gator blades mulching leaves in your lawn once you know their performance.

The features that you should look at while choosing a mulching blade for leaves are

  • Curvy angle
  • Serrated teeth
  • Sharp cutting edge
  • Curved flaps
  • Compatible mounting hole
  • Easy fitment

Right after choosing the blade, you can install it on your mower. Installation is quite easy as you just have to remove the old blades from the deck of the mower using a wrench and box and mount the new one in the correct way.

3. Set Optimal Mower Height for Mulching Leaves

Set the optimal mower height for mulching leaves which is usually kept at 3 inches.

4. Prepare Your Lawn

Mark hard surfaces and plan not to mow on them. Spread leaves with a rake. Use a sweeper for extra leaves. Keep in mind that you don’t should maintain leaf mulch thickness at 3-4 inches. Though, you can go as fas as 6 inches recommended by Turfgass specialists at Michigan State University.

spreading leaves on the lawn

5. Start Mowing

While mowing ensures that your mower is mulching well with one or two passes. If it is not working well you check its blade which really affects mowing performance.

The best way to mulch leaves with the mower is to set mower height properly, keep optimum leaves thickness on the ground, and mow in rows covering all the area.

A good mulch of leaves is produced when the leaves after mowing have half-inch in diameter size.

After mowing you can leave the leaf mulch in between the blades of grass so they can rest and decompose. After decomposition, they will surely act as fertilizer and be benefical to your lawn.

Along with mulching, you can also use some potassium based fertlizers that you can use to make your lawn and topsoil highly beneficial.


Final thoughts on “how to make mulch out of leaves” is by the mower and it is only the best method you can try on your lawn to mulch leaves and beneficialize your lawn in a good way. Into to produce good mulch out of leaves, you got to set optimum mower height, install mulching blades and follow best mowing practices.

How to Mulch Leaves Without a Mower

If you do not have a mower and want to mulch your leaves then there are several other ways you can try to get the most out of your leaves. There are basically four ways to mulch leaves without a mower. Which are listed below:

  1. Mixing Whole Leaves Into Compost
  2. Mulching Leaves With a Leaf Shredder
  3. Mulching Leaves With a String Trimmer
  4. Mulching Using Plastic Bags
  5. Breaking Leaves By Driving on Them

All the methods are explained below:

1. Mixing Whole Leaves Into Compost

Mixing whole leaves and pouring them in the compost is also a great idea. All you have to do is to just put leaves in compost, cover and leave it for few weaks. Within few months (a 3-6 months) you will get a composted matter that is really good for your lawn. You can simply spread it on the topsoil of your lawn as you spread mulch.

2. Mulching Leaves With a Leaf Shredder

Many a time people ask: “How to make leaf mulch fast?”

The simple answer is using stand alone mulcher. It is a very fast operating device that produces mulch very fast.

Leaf shredder is also called stand alone mulcher. This mulcher is preferable when you have a larger yard and a lot of leaves to be converted into mulch. Leaf shredder is simple device in which you load the leaves on the top and within few minutes it spit out leaves into tiny pieces which you can later spread on your lawn.

Always use safety glasses and masks while using a leaf shredder.

Among the best leaf shredders, here is a good leaf shredder most commonly used by landscapers:

55 Gals/Min Mulching Capacity
Earthwise LM71313 Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Earthwise LM71313 Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Best Features:

  • Eco-friendly mulcher that does not need fuel or gas
  • Simple, durable, easy to assemble and use
  • Easy to maneuver and store
  • Shred leaves very fast

3. Mulching Leaves With a String Trimmer

When it comes to “How to mulch leaves by hand?” using a string trimmer/weed eater is a great choice. All you have to do is to take a big bucket, put leaves in, and with the help of a hand-handled trimmer, make mulch out of leaves. The major benefit of this method is that your mulched leaves are already in the bucket and you just have to spread them on the soil.

Here is simple steps shown in the video which you can follow:

Needs 2 Min To Make Mulch
WORX WG170.2 20V Power Share GT Revolution 12 Cordless String Trimmer

WORX WG170.2 20V Power Share GT Revolution 12 Cordless String Trimmer

Best Features:

  • Act as mini mower to mulch leaves
  • Fast trimmer that can make mulch fast
  • Cordless and electric
  • Safest tool to use nowadays for trimming

4. Mulching Using Plastic Bags

When it comes to “how to make leaf mulch in plastic bags” the simple answer is making leaf mould in plastic bags.

Leaf mold is basically a type of compost that is made by letting leaves in a plastic bag over a time period of 1-1.5 years. Leaf mold is called so because it is made of leaves only. Also, it differs from other organic matter composts. It is acidic and dry with low nitrogen content in it. Leaf mold is beneficial to your lawn in terms of its potential to change the soil structure. It enables soil to retain more moisture and beneficial microorganisms which will eventually make your lawn look good.

Coming back to our discussion, how to make leaf mulch in plastic bags?

So, the procedure is simple you just need to make a leaf mold and spread it over your lawn as mulch. Keep in mind, leaf mold is called leaf mulch when you spread it over your lawn soil.

So here is the procedure to make leaf mold:

  1. Place a construction grade or polythene bag in a large bucket or you can also use a garbage can for it.
  2. Now collect the leaves and place them in the bucket. If the leaves are large it is a good practice to break them first with some rod and pressure by hand.
  3. After you have placed leaves in the bucket. Compress the leaves to remove any air pockets in the bag.
  4. Now dig a hole where you will be placing the bag. The hole should be somewhere where rain does not fall much or nobody is walking there.
  5. Now take the plastic bag out of the bucket and make a hole under it with a screwdriver for drainage and microorganisms entry.
  6. Now place the plastic bag in the hole.
  7. Cover the hole with dirt and bury the bag.
  8. Leave it for 1 year or so until you get a brown leaf matter ready to spear over the lawn soil as mulch.

5. Breaking Leaves by Driving on Them

Your car is an excellent resource you can use to mulch the leaves. This method is useful only when the leaves are dried. You just need to pile the leaves up with a leaf blower or rake. And make a track of it on the driveway so you can drive on them. The weight of the car will crush the leaves which you can collect and spread on your lawn.

Keep in mind that you will need 5-6 passes of the car over the same leaf belt in order to get a good mulch. Also, look in the leaf trash so that there are no sharp sticks or plant material that can damage your wheels.

Benefits of Mulching Leaves

Making mulch out of leaves brings different pros and cons of leaf mulch but mostly there are benefits. When you mulch leaves into your lawn it gives you tremendous benefits which are listed below:

  • Mulching leaves make your lawn lush green by providing essential nutrients in the soil.
  • Also, mulching leaves promote beneficial insects and microorganism growth in the soil.
  • Saves time and effort to rake up leaves and pill them.
  • Saves money as you don’t need any plastic bags or garbage carrying facilities in your city.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mowing leaves bad for mower?

No, mulching leaves are not bad for a mower if you install the mulching blades in your mower. Mulching blades chop the leaves into small pieces, this way leave doesn’t stick under the deck of the mower which means no more mower bogging.

Can I mulch leaves with my lawn mower?                   

Yes, to mulch leaves with a lawnmower, you would need a mulching mower or install a mulching blade in your mower. It is by far the easiest way to mulch leaves for your lawn.

Can you mulch wet leaves?

Mulching wet leaves is not a good idea as it can mower bogging (sticking of leaves underneath the deck of the mower).

Should you mulch leaves into lawn?

Yes, you should mulch leaves into your lawn as it dried leaves as mulch adds nutrients to your lawn side by side save your time and efforts to rake leaves in your lawn.

Can I mulch leaves into grass?

Yes, mulching leaves into grass is a good idea as it adds nutrients into the soil in form of decomposed leaves. The best practice to mulch leaves into grass is that you should mow in leaves in a way that the leaves fall in between the grass blades. I mean it should not cover the grass which can kill it.

Can you mulch leaves with a lawn mower?

Yes, mulching leaves with a lawnmower is now possible with the use of mulching blades. You can install mulching blades on your mower and mulch leaves in no time.

Do mulching blades work on leaves?
Yes, there are mulching blades available that you can use to mulch leaves. The best mulching blades that work on leaves are Gator mulching blades.

How to make mulch from dead leaves?

To make mulch from dead leaves, you can chop the leaves into small pieces and let them decompose which will produce a good mulch.

Is it better to rake leaves or mulch them?

According to experts’s opinion, raking leaves is optional. It is way much better to mulch leaves rather than raking as raking takes time and laborious effort to maintain the aesthetic look of your lawn. Where mulching leaves saves it all and fertilizes your lawn, so it looks lavish green.

Is it better to bag or mulch leaves?

Mulching leaves is always a good idea as mulching leaves create natural fertilizer that you feed to your lawn. If you are bagging the leaves you are actually removing the natural fertilizer resource from your lawn.

Can mulching leaves kill grass?

NO, mulching leaves give beneficial nutrients to the grass instead of killing the grass. However, if you put a thick layer of leaves on grass then it might kill the grass.

Can you mulch too many leaves?

NO, mulching too many leaves can kill the grass of your lawn. If you have too many leaves, you can spread them on your lawn in a way that the layer of leaves is 2-3-inch-thick maximum. This way leaves will give fertilizing benefits to your lawn after mulching.

Photo of author


After doing my master’s in agriculture, I went on with this field for more than 15 years because I love working in green. I have experienced using modern machinery and techniques that can help farmers and landscapers to achieve something great. My goal will be to deliver you the best reviews and information to make the right decision.

Leave a Comment