Best Mower Height for Mulching Leaves

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If your grass is not cutting properly, if your mower is not giving a clean and neat look to your lawn and if it takes a lot of time to mulch leaves, then there must be a need to fix your mower. The mower is required to be set at a perfect height for mulching.

When fall comes, tree leaves end up on the ground and make a huge pile. You will be facing trouble in mulching these leaves if the height of your mower is not accurate. So here arises a question that what is the best mower height for mulching leaves?

Lawn Mower Setting for Mulching Leaves

measuring mower height for mulching leaves

In general, the lawnmower setting for mulching leaves is kept at 4 inches if you have a right mulching mower and right mulching blade. This way it gives leaves a good cut without bogging down your engine of mower.

The mower should be passed over leaves several times to cut and mulch the leaves.

Sometimes, the right height varies from two to four inches depending upon the height of your grass.

Setting your mower at the right height saves your time and energy and brings all the leaf mulching benefits. But before all that, you must consider the thickness of leaves layer laying on your soil.

Challenges You Face During Mowing Leaves

Mulching leaves is a real challenge rather than mulching grass. Because sometimes, leaves are wet, the pile is very high, and the wind blows them all over the ground.

Right Deck height for mulching leaves is crucial because if the deck is too low, it will not mulch the average pile of leaves. Rather, it will spread leaves in front of the lawnmower.

Mower height should be set according to the top level of leaves so they can be mulched properly under the lawn mower deck.

Things to Consider Before Mulching Leaves

There are 4 main things you should consider before you start mulching leaves:

Thickness of Leaves

It is the most important factor to know the thickness of leaves as more leaves will cause clumping of engine and also kill your grass underneath them. So, it is better build a lay of leaves, spread them and make 3 inches layer of leaves evenly.

Dryness or Wetness of leaves

Wet leaves will never be a good choice to mulch when you are mowing. There is no need of adjust mower height or even mowing if the leaves are wet. Always use dry leaves to spread them on grass and then adjust your mower height accordingly. As dry leaves discharge well and tells you that your mower height is good.

Type & Power of Mower

Mower power depends on the firmty of engine. If your mower’s engine is brand new it can mulch out leaves really fast at factory height settings that it comes in when you buy.

Also keeping mower height on leaves varies.

Mower Height Depending Upon the Model of Mower

One thing should be considered in mind:

There are different height settings available for lawnmowers.

Each model has different specifications and height settings.

The numbers written on mowers are not specifically in inches. It means, if you set mower height at 4, it does not necessarily mean 4 inches. That’s why it is important to read the manual of the mower before choosing the best mower blade height for mulching leaves.

If there is no manual or guide available, make sure to measure the height of the blade from the ground by simply using a ruler.

After knowing the exact height, you can surely adjust it. Get great mulching results as I did, the picture is below:

mulching leaves with right mower height

Mulching Leaves Along With Grass

Once you spread leaves on grass to mulch on with a correct mower height there is another factor you should think of. Which is grass thickness, type and tallness. As all these will sumed up to contribute in mowing performance.

Mower Height Depending Upon the Type of Grass

There are different types of lawn grass around the globe. So each type of grass requires a different height of mowers. For example:

  • Zoysiagrass and Bermuda grass can easily be cut at 1-2 inches
  • Kentucky Bluegrass and Buffalo grass are good to cut at 2-3 inches
  • Mower height for tall Fescue can be kept at 2.5-3.5 inches

All these values are best to be worked if the height of these grasses is between 1-3 inches.

When to Adjust Deck Height for Mulching Leaves?

Ideally, the leaves would be mulched to the point where they fall in between the grass blades and decompose in the lawn soil.

If your yard is covered in a dense layer of leaves, you may need to mow over them several times to reduce the leaves to a size suitable for rapid decomposition. As you mow, be sure to lower your lawn mower deck to your typical mowing height.

When leaves pile above the highest setting on your lawn mower’s deck, it’s usually better to physically rake them into a mound and pick them up using leaf scoops or your hands.

Many people use a leaf blower instead of a rake to swiftly construct a pile of leaves.

If you haven’t moved your lawn for a long time, the grass will be tall there. Then adjusting the mower at the highest possible height would be good. After lowering down the length of the grass, you can lower the mower height for mulching leaves.

How to Adjust Riding Lawn Mower Deck Height for Mulching Leaves

Steps to adjust riding lawn mower deck height for mulching leaves are given below:

  • First you need to set the parking brake of your riding mower. To do this press the foot pedal and push up the parking brake so it is locked.
  • Disengage the lever and switch off your riding mower.
  • Make sure all the blades on riding mower are stop and spark plug is unplugged.
  • Now place the mower on plain surface so you can measure the blade height to the paved surface.
  • Take blade height measurement from each side.
  • If different in the height is more than 1/8 then it tells you need to adjust mower height.
  • You can adjust the height from by tightening the nuts holding the blades.


In short, keep the mower to the 4 inch. It is the best mower height settings that wont let any extra grass or leaves cut but also will save your mower from bogging down

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.

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