In 2013, Rotary’s blade manufacturing division will reach a milestone with the production of its 200 millionth blade at a facility in Glennville, GA. Below, Chris Roessler, advertising manager for Rotary Corporation, offers some thoughts on mulching blades.
Mulching blades are designed to cut finer grass clippings that can fall back into the grass to decompose. Mulching offers many benefits to the mower operator as well as the area being mowed. Making a simple switch can save users time and improve the areas appearance.
Mulching helps to reduce the evaporation of water from the ground and keeps the soil cool, according to Roessler. He says grass clippings can contain up to 80% water and also provide many nutrients that are returned to the soil when mulched.
Not all grass is suitable to be mulched. Stick to wide-blade grasses when using mulching mower blades and avoid very thin grasses.
"Smaller particles of cut grass help maximize the benefits of mulching. Therefore, grass types that have a really wide blade are best suited for mulching," explains Roessler. "Tall, stringy and undesirable grasses such as Bahia are not ideal for mulching since their stems are only cut once and then blown to a side discharge where they present an eyesore scattered across a well-manicured lawn."
Maintenance of mulching and regular blades is very similar. Both need to be sharp and balanced to provide the best result.
"When the air lifts, as is the case with many mulching blades, the down-draft panels need to direct airflow properly," says Roessler. "It is critical that one does not cause an out of balance situation, so it is important for a technician to be careful when sharpening either part."
Mulching blades eliminate the time it takes to rake or collect clippings and transport them. Mulching not only saves you the time on collection and transport, Roessler says it presents environmental benefits by not adding to the landfills.
"Most people who have ever used a common yard rake would quickly put it down if they realized just how well today’s mulching blades work," says Roessler. "We will challenge those who still rake leaves throughout the fall and early spring to try mulching and forget about the blisters, back aches, bags of raked leaves and smoky neighborhoods from our childhood."
For more tips on mulching, read Six Tips for Beautiful Mulching Results.