When you start the hunt for a new mulcher, you’ll quickly realize it’s not a one-size-fits-all tool. Everyone from a small backyard garden tender to a large-scale farmer can use a mulcher.
You need to identify your needs then and figure out which mulcher will be right for you. Read on to discover your options, what you need to consider, and what mulching can do for you.
What is Mulching?
Mulching is the process of creating matter from organic and non-organic products to add nutrients to your soil. Mulching improves your soil’s ability to absorb water and also creates the perfect conditions for soil microbial activity while suppressing weed growth in the process.
What is Mulch?
Mulch can be many things – either organic or non-organic. Wood chips, grass clippings, peat moss, straw, leaves, the list goes on. Mulch can also be rubber, compost, newspapers, and even plastic. Some mulchers are better at taking care of some material types than others.
Why Do People Mulch?
High-quality mulchers are always in hot demand, so there must be a reason why. People decide to mulch for many reasons. Topping pastures is one of the more common reasons in the farming world. Unlike toppers, which cut the grass and don’t create the perfect environment for breaking down, a mulcher goes one step further.
It cuts down weed and grass finely, which then accelerates the breaking down process. Before long, it’s breaking down and delivering much-needed nutrients back into the soil. However, farmers also choose to use mulchers because it evenly distributes animal waste. A cow produces 65 pounds of manure every day, which can be a lot of waste to sit in one area. A mulcher will spread it around and deliver it back to the earth.
Another common reason for mulching is reestablishing land for cultivation. For example, bushes such as gorse can grow at a rapid pace and take over the land. A mulcher can quickly clear them, turning them into a fine mulch that will break down quickly. You’ll be able to oversow fast and with minimal downtime.
What to Look for In a Mulcher
Because there are many different mulchers for sale, it’s not as easy as you may have previously thought to find ‘the one.’ If you need a helping hand to find out what you need to consider, then read on.
The width of the mulcher matters more than you think. It should be narrow enough to drive without a hassle but wide enough to clear a wide path. Pay attention to the HP rating too.
The bigger your tractor, the more powerful your mulcher can be. While you’re thinking about HP ratings, consider the belts on your mulcher. There should be enough V belts to manage your tractor’s horsepower. Ask the sales consultant if you’re not sure.
Another important consideration is the flails. If you prefer a fine, smooth cut, then a Y flail is the best option for you. However, pay attention to your terrain. If it’s rocky or challenging, a hammer flail is in a better position to combat it, and it’s even better if it’s a hard-faced flail.
What about your transmission? Your decision to purchase a mulcher with a dual or single transmission can come down to your tractor’s horsepower and V belts. Talk to your local mulcher sales consultant to see which option will be right for you.
What Are Mulchers Available?
If you’ve got to this point, you’ll now know that mulching is complex and ideal for many different situations. Therefore, there has to be a full range of mulchers to suit different people.
General-purpose mulchers are going to suit the most significant number of people. A manufacturer such as Berti, for example, will offer a standard three-cut mulcher. The flails will make the first cut, with the material being sucked up into the machine. A coarse comb on the front will then shred the material before a fine comb makes the final cut. Such a mulcher is the perfect on-farm implement.
If you’re dealing with tricky terrain or consider yourself quite handy with a digger, then a digger-mounted option may be suitable instead. In many cases, these feature a fluid box and belt drive with either hammer flails (to handle rocky soil) or a fixed-teeth rotor.
If you don’t feel confident taking your tractor or digger onto some areas of your farm, then your skid steer might come to the rescue. A mulcher for a skid steer is suitable for scrub clearing and grass mowing and can normally tackle those challenging on-farm tasks better than some other machinery can.
These are just a few examples, with forestry mulchers, roadside mulchers, and more considered vital for different industries.
Trying to force nutrients back into your soil is no easy task – especially if you need to do it often or you’re on a budget. That’s where mulchers can help. It can work with what you have, turning unwanted weeds, scrub, and gorse into a fine mulch that gives your soil a much-needed lift. If you think that such a piece of equipment could be right for you, then it might be time to get in touch with a machinery salesperson near you.
My name is Alison Hefer, I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa, but I have spent the last few years in beautiful New Zealand. I write articles for various lifestyle websites including Farmgard, and Clickthrough SEO New Zealand. I am a busy blogger/mom by day and an avid writer by night. My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own.