Will the cuttings from a manual reel mower be just as good as the mulched cuttings from a gas mower? Will they break down and feed the lawn the same as finer mulched cuttings. I would be afraid that unless you mowed really often the grass clippings could smother or make brown spots on the grass. Nice thing with mulching gas or electric mower is that you can cut less frequently and they have the power to still mulch the grass. I would love to get a reel mower but don't want to have to mow more frequently. Any thoughts?
when i use my reel mower, i have to more more often because the reel mower will not cut very long grass. maybe any grass or weeds over 7 inches or so will need several passes, and may not ever really be cut. of course, power mowers have trouble with very long and thick grass as well. the clippings appear to be the same.
I've been using a reel push mower for the last two months. The clippings blend in invisibly when I mow. Even clippings as long as 5cm. Reel mowers are harder to push if your grass is a lot higher than the cutting height. Therefore I recommend getting one that allows you to adjust the height, Fiskars make one that can go from 2.5cm to 10cm. This model also shoots the grass forward, so your feet stay clean. I prefer my reel mower. It's quieter so I can use it at 9pm or 6am in the heat of summer. It takes me the same length of time, or less to mow. My wife who has never mown in her life has even used it, she finds it fun. They're also safer because when you stop pushing the blades stop moving. Also, the grass blades look like they've been cut with scissors, they have a crisper edge compared with an impact cutting petrol mower.
I still have a petrol mower, with a catcher, just in case it rains for a long time and the grass gets too long. Hopefully I never need it.
As for smothering, our local council cuts 5cm - 10cm off some public parks and walkways. The clippings do turn brown, and hang around for a week or so. But the grass is some of the best looking in the city. Not a biggie :).
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