4 Attachments & Accessories Your Riding Mower Needs

A riding lawn mower is theoretically complete even without accessories, but attachments can do much to expand a machine's capabilities.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

A riding lawn mower is theoretically complete even without accessories. Provided it comes with its mowing deck, a riding lawn mower is perfectly capable of mowing grass and keeping your lawn neat and tidy. without additional attachments.

But accessories and attachments do much to expand the capabilities of a riding mower. To open your eyes to the possibilities, let’s explore four useful accessories you can add to your riding mower.

1. Bagger

If you let your grass grow too tall, the result when you finally do mow is bound to be something less than aesthetically pleasing. Thick rows of grass clippings wind up strewn across your yard, shading the grass underneath and making it difficult for the mower to cut cleanly next time.

Even mowing grass that’s not particularly tall can leave behind an unsightly volume of clippings.

That’s where a bagger comes to the rescue. A typical bagger uses a flexible tube to catch grass clippings as they’re discharged from the mower deck and deposit them in a storage container mounted at the back of the riding mower. By catching the clippings, a bagger leads to a tidier lawn.

You can use the accumulated grass clippings as fertilizer and/or mulch in a garden.

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2. Mulching Blades

If you mow your lawn regularly (every few days) and avoid letting the grass grow too tall, you should consider replacing your mower’s standard blades with mulching blades. They chop up grass clippings into tiny pieces that disperse easily across your yard, returning nutrients to the soil.

It’s better for your lawn in the long term than bagging clippings and hauling them away, which removes nutrients from your lawn.

Read more: Does your lawn mower need new blades?

3. Leaf Sweeper

If your yard is adorned with stately deciduous trees (like maples or oaks), you know the volume of leaves that fall in autumn can be hard to handle. If you want to keep your yard clean and leaf-free, consider purchasing a tow-behind leaf sweeper for your riding mower. Simply driving around your yard is all that’s necessary for the leaf sweeper to sweep up dry leaves and uncover your lawn.

Grass clippings and fallen needles from coniferous trees can also be scooped up.

A leaf sweeper might not capture every leaf that falls. But it can reduce the effort required to clean up leaves in autumn. Even better, you can put the gathered leaves to use fertilizing garden beds. It’s a win-win situation.

Read more: When leaves fall in autumn, use these 3 ways to gather leaves for mulch and compost. 

4. Towable Cart

On a farm, no riding mower is complete without a towable cart. Oftentimes yard care involves cleaning up fallen tree branches and similar debris that you don’t want to hit while mowing. Drive the cart wherever there’s a mess and clean the problematic debris into the cart. Then tow the cart to a suitably out-of-the-way brush pile where the load can be dumped to decompose out of sight.

Of course, you’ll use a towable cart for much more than lawn work. You can haul supplies like hay bales, feed bags and water. You can move rocks, bricks, potted plants and more.

You won’t soon exhaust the possibilities.

None of the accessories we’ve outlined are absolute requirements for mowing grass. But acquiring one or more attachments can significantly expand the capabilities of your riding mower and help you take better care of your lawn.

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