To put it simply, slashing is the older method and form of technology, and mulching involves more modern methods and machinery. Both seek to serve more or less the same purpose: to cut the grass or pasture; whilst leaving the organic matter on the ground (Chop N’ Drop). This serves as organic fertiliser (mulch) for the rejuvenation of the pasture.
The Benefits of Mulching Over Slashing
Mulching, also known as flail mowing, is in short, better technology. These are the reasons why:
A windrow is a long line of heaped material, in this case grass (refer image below). Slashing leaves windrows, which are an irritant to the pastoral caretaker. The unevenly clumped material smothers and kills the patches of grass below. Not only does this reduce your viable pastoral space, it looks terrible.
Flail Mowers, however, ‘mulch’ the grass into finer particles and spread the material evenly. This serves to provide an even finish to the pasture.
The flail is more manoeuvrable than slashers. This is due to several reasons, firstly, many flail mowers can be used ‘out-front’ instead of behind your tractor. This provides better visibility for the driver because they don’t have to look behind themselves.
As anyone who has ever driven a vehicle with a trailer before knows, getting into hard-to-reach areas can require more than confidence. The accuracy of a front-mounted flail mower can be the perfect solution if you have awkward paddock sections.
Another benefit of the front mounted flail mower is that the tractor does not flatten the grass, instead travelling over it in front of the slasher. With a rear mounted slasher, the grass flattened by the tractor is unable to be effectively cut and subsequently leaves uneven sections.
The Argument for Slashing
Flail mowers are big financial investments. Moreover, their functional advantages become more useful the larger the property. However, for small properties, and gardens, slashers are still useful, and affordable machines. Slashers are still widely used and come at the highest quality.
Mulching as a practice has many advantages over slashing. However, these advantages are dependent on the customer. The size of the property, the manner of the area, and budget are all significant factors in deciding which method to use.