Mulch Mowing

A big question mark remains over the merits of this type of grass cutting. Les Malin from Etesia UK – a brand synonymous with the DuoCut system – cut, collect or mulch, takes a closer look at the pros and cons.

Mulch mowing saw a resurgence of interest when we enjoyed a few dry summers in a row in the late ‘1990s. Despite more companies now offering mowers that can mulch, acceptance of mulching remains low. There are a whole host of reasons why, ranging from mowing frequencies to dealing with long wet grass. So should we just accept it is of limited value in the UK?

Anyone who has looked at the way rotary mowing has evolved over the past five years will be struck by the increased availability of what can broadly be termed mulch mowers.

On the pedestrian mower front, the term should really be broadened to suggest more manufacturers are offering mowers that can mulch. Dedicated mulchers are now sold alongside 3-in-1 units that can also bag clippings.

Sward Absorption
It is this trend to multi-role machines that perhaps answers the whole issue surrounding mulching. There is nothing wrong with the idea of chopping grass clippings so small that they are readily absorbed into the sward. Gang cylinder mowers have proven this approach works well.

Where rotary mulch mowers have perhaps been at a disadvantage is in the way in which they are expected to operate. Instead of being used like a gang in little-and-often mowing, they are used like a conventional rotary, and expected to reduce grass of 6 or more inches to perhaps an inch in a single pass.

A rotary mulcher works by both re-chopping the grass to produce small clippings and to then blow these down into the sward.

The aim is to leave the resultant finish free of surface clippings. This can only be achieved when the sward to clipping ratio is correct.

Mush and Mud
Add excess moisture, and accumulated mush of wet grass and mud that can result has led many to believe that mulching just does not work.

It is perhaps worth taking a side step when looking at mulching and to consider the whole technique as an ally, as opposed to an alternative, to conventional rotary mowing.
Rotary mowers, particularly for ride-on commercial machines, have evolved from units designed essentially to ‘knock’ grass down, to machines capable of producing a good finish. Remove the resultant clippings, and there are those who argue commercial cylinder mowers have no real advantage in terms of actual finish.

It is this quality of cut issue that has taken the emphasis away from mulching. In terms of appearance, grass regularly mown with a good rear discharge rotary will give little away, in terms of appearance, to that cut with a cylinder gang.

The aim is to allow users to mulch and so reduce the amount of clippings left on the surface when conditions allow. This enhances the appearance of the turf post mowing but without compromising wet weather cutting ability.

This brings us back to 3-in-1 pedestrian mowers. With a ‘bung’ or similar device closing off the mowers outlet, the clippings are mulched. Take out the bung and the clippings can either be discharged to the ground or a bag. Versatility is again the key.

Many feel this is the approach needed to allow some form of mulching to gain a firmer foothold.

There are those, however, who are already strong advocates of mulching, and they suggest we all need to rethink how mowing is carried out, particularly where grass is collected.
In a typical wet spring and early summer, grass growth will typically outstrip any mowing regime’s ability to keep it trimmed effectively to summer heights.

Evaporation Help
But, as the season progresses, warmer conditions allow faster evaporation and with it the chance that grass can be mown when it is dry or at least moist.

Shorter grass also loses water faster so wet mowing can be avoided more easily.
A side effect, however, is the well-understood result that relatively high levels of summer rain are required to keep and sward lush and green.

Come late June (apart from this year!) and many areas will see non-irrigated turf starting to dry or even brown. It is here where a switch in early June from conventional cut and collect mowing to mulching can have a place.

The returned clippings will help retain moisture and also return nutrients to the sward. As long as the regime allows the sward to be maintained to a moisture loss resistant inch or so, this and regular mulch mowing can help keep the grass greener for longer.

There is also the issue of not needing to remove clippings. Clipping disposal is a hot topic at present, so it may be that mulch mowing starts to become recognised as an alternative in regimes that currently call for cut and collect mowing. The secret is to keep an open mind and give mulch mowing a chance.

Pellenc arrives in style on the Isle of Wight

Doug McGeoch, owner of McGeoch’s Gardening Services, is the proud and first new owner of a range of Pellenc battery powered tools on the Isle of Wight.
Over the past two years Etesia UK, the exclusive UK distributor of Pellenc equipment, has reported a dramatic increase in Pellenc sales with over 50 dealers now stocking the powerful, battery powered equipment. The popularity of the Pellenc range continues to spread and Doug’s new tools now signals the first of potentially many more sales on the Isle of Wight.

Doug, who undertakes most aspects of horticulture through his successful business, revealed that he had been considering taking the plunge and switching from petrol to battery powered equipment for quite a while.

“I first heard of Pellenc through their dealer C&O Tractors back in 2012. I was given a brochure and was told that it was the best of its kind. I was marginally interested at the time and then over the past years everything seemed to be become more ‘greener’. Then, last year my petrol powered strimmer packed in. On top of that I was getting fed up with starting it all of the time and that’s when I thought it was time to switch to the battery powered equipment.

“So I went to see C&O Tractors again who let me trial some of the products and I was so impressed that I purchased six pieces of equipment.”

Doug’s impressive range of Pellenc products includes the telescopic Selion polesaw, the Selion M12 chainsaw, the Helion hedge cutter, the Excelion 2000 brushcutter and the Airion blower – which are all powered by his 1100 Ultra Lithium battery.

This revolutionary battery can be used to operate any tool from Pellenc’s tool range and not only can it allow the user to work for a full day on a single charge but it also provides ultimate comfort through the carrying harness which effectively and evenly distributes the weight of the battery.

With his significantly lighter equipment, Doug has certainly noticed a difference.

“I was getting repetitive strains in my right elbow and all the heavy work over the years had taken its toll – I needed to do something about this to prolong my ability to work. The Pellenc equipment is great for this because it is considerably lighter and you don’t have to worry about starting engines all of the time. Pull-starting engines can be very temperamental and it is this pulling motion which has affected my arm over the years.

“Another benefit is that I can operate the equipment in a quiet area without making any noise which is something that my customers have noticed – I can now start work nice and early without waking anybody up! It’s also so much easier when a customer may come and speak to me. I can leave the harness on and simply take my finger off the trigger. There’s no stopping and starting engines and when I have finished the conversation, I pull the trigger and off I go again.

“No fumes is a bonus too – there’s nothing worse than having a cloud of blue smoke coming out of a two stroke engine and choking you. This is particularly useful when using the hedge cutter because the machine is quite close to your face. With the Pellenc hedge cutter you no longer have to worry about this.”

“A big selling point for me is that one battery has a lifespan which is the equivalent of using 4,500 litres of petrol. So even though it was quite a bit of money upfront to buy the battery, it’s still a lot cheaper than the amount of petrol I’d be using. It’s definitely far more cost effective in the long run.”

Having never needed to advertise, Doug finds himself with a packed schedule every week – which certainly is testament to his high standard of work. A large portion of Doug’s work sees him mowing lawns and as a result he uses his Excelion 2000 brushcutter, on average, five times a day to go round the gardens and tidy the edges. In the summer months, Doug points out that he gets a lot of use out of the Helion hedge cutter and in autumn he relies on the Selion M12 chainsaw for pruning and the Arion blower for clearing the leaves.

So, as it becomes more and more clear that we’ve perhaps reached a new age of outdoor power equipment, does Doug feel that he has had to make any compromises in achieving smoother, lighter, noise-free operations which are better for the environment?

“People say to me that batteries are not as powerful as the petrol ones. Well I’d say no that is not the case, this range of equipment is extremely powerful – if not more powerful.

“I think that green technology is the future and the idea is to stop using the hand held petrol equipment completely. Towards the end of the year I plan to purchase a battery-powered lawnmower and I know that Etesia or Pellenc will be the first place to look.”

Pellenc launches new generation hand-held blower

Five years after the release of the first generation battery-powered hand-held blower Airion 1, Pellenc has launched the Airion 2. The new generation hand-held blower is more powerful, more accurate and more comfortable, based on customer experience feedback.

As with the older version, the Airion 2 can be used near noise-sensitive areas such as hospitals, hotels schools, camp sites, town centres, etc. It is also perfectly suitable as a cleaning tool for roads alongside sweepers at any time of the day and works just as effectively as a replacement for the traditional sweeper in towns as it does in parks and gardens. Weighing just 2.55kgs, the power of the Airion 2 has been enhanced by 30% compared to the first version and is the only battery-powered blower available on the market with a thrust of 17.5 newtons, while its low noise (79 decibels) can reduce the nuisance for the operator and their working environment. It is also waterproof to IP54 standards.

As with all other Pellenc products, the Airion 2 uses the ultra-high capacity technology of the Pellenc lithium battery and guarantees non-polluting, odourless operation with quick start-up and up to one day battery life.

The Pellenc ULB battery range is designed for professional tool use. Pellenc is the only professional tool manufacturer to offer a whole range of tools that operate with ultra-high capacity multi-purpose batteries.

All Pellenc batteries and tools come complete with a three year commercial warranty as standard – the first manufacturer to offer this on battery-powered tools.

Pellenc products are exclusively distributed in the UK and Ireland by Etesia UK.

Customers can now purchase Pellenc tools through Etesia’s finance partner.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit to view your nearest Pellenc stockist.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – You can also view the latest Etesia videos by visiting

Pellenc Launches Cleanion Battery-Powered Brush

on Battery-Powered Brush

Pellenc has launched the Cleanion – a pedestrian battery-powered brush suitable for removing debris from natural and artificial grass and other hard surfaces. Pellenc is sold exclusively in the UK by Etesia UK.

The Pellenc Cleanion is a revolutionary, self-driven brush which is powered by the ULiB battery seen on the rest of the company’s range of tools. With a large working width and a long operating time of battery charge sufficient for demanding professional use, the Cleanion has a range of uses including:

  • Remove debris from grass and hard surfaces.
  • Effective snow broom for clearing streets and paths (with the attachment of a snow blade)
  • Suitable for paths, drives, constructions sites and car parks.
  • Effective on tarmac, block paving, concrete, grass and artificial surfaces.
  • Brush untreated moss from areas such as tennis courts, car parks and terraces.
  • Brushing artificial surfaces to keep the infill mobile, lift the pile and prevent algae accumulation and surface compaction Remove debris from golf course fairways.
  • Brush tennis courts, pitches and playgrounds prior to line marking.

The Pellenc Cleanion powered brush has adjustable speed and direction, as well as variable speed control for forward and reverse. Brushing pressure is also reflected in the LCD screen. Optional attachments including a snow plough and can be changed conveniently using the quick release coupling and features a foldable handle for easy storage and transport between sites.

All Pellenc batteries and tools come complete with a three year commercial warranty as standard – the first manufacturer to offer this on battery-powered tools.

Customers can now purchase Pellenc tools through Etesia’s finance partner.

For further information, please click here to view your nearest Pellenc stockist.

Pellenc Launches Two new Battery Powered Pruning Shears

Pellenc Launches Two new Battery Powered Pruning Shears. Pellenc has launched two new battery-powered pruners – the Prunion and Vinion, which replace the older generation Treelion and Lixion pruning shears. Pellenc is sold exclusively in the UK by Etesia UK.

Pellenc Launches Two new Battery Powered Pruning ShearsThe two new models, priced at just £799.00 +vat for the Prunion and £649.00 +vat for the Vinion represents a saving of almost 50% compared to the older generation pruning shears.

With a weight of less than 900 grams, the Prunion pruner offers users unbeatable cutting power and work quality. Its grip fits any hand and its large cutting diameter makes it comfortable to prune with. The numerous innovations of this pruning shear make it indispensable for anyone who does pruning work. The 250 battery offers increased productivity by allowing two Pellenc tools to be connected simultaneously.

Adapted to winemakers seeking lightness, ergonomics, maneuverability and precision, the Vinion pruning shears are a high-tech revolution weighing just 670 grams. Vinion pruning shears have been designed to meet all expectations, working with both the pocket 150 battery, which is light and compact, as well as with a 250 battery that makes it possible to connect two Pellenc tools simultaneously for alternating work.Pellenc Launches Two new Battery Powered Pruning Shears

All Pellenc batteries and tools come complete with a three year commercial warranty as standard – the first manufacturer to offer this on battery-powered tools.

Customers can now purchase Pellenc tools through Etesia’s approved finance partner. For more details about finance please click here.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit to view your nearest Pellenc stockist.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – You can also view the latest Etesia videos by visiting

Etesia celebrates 25 years in the UK

June 2016 marks 25 years of Etesia operating in the UK, and since its humble entry, the company has grown into one of the most innovative manufacturers in the groundscare industry.

What started as an unknown company with just one product now has a presence in 40 countries with a product range of over 40. It is safe to say that the initial product, which put Etesia on the map, must have been pretty special.

The Hydro 100 – the first ride-on mower with a direct rear ejection and integrated collection system took the French market by storm. Shortly after, it was brought to the shores of the UK. That was 25 years ago and now 2016 see’s Etesia with a multitude of market leading products covering every inch of the UK.

“Very quickly, UK professionals understood the unique capacity and performance of that machine. Word spread about just how good the Hydro 100 was and then more and more dealers throughout the UK wanted to become involved. A few years later, and based on the success of that machine, we were able to expand the range of products such as the Bahia, Attila and the Hydro 124. Quite soon there were a number of Etesia products gaining a great reputation in the UK,” commented Etesia President, Patrick Vives.

The UK is now Etesia’s third largest market behind its homeland France and Germany, and all of the UK operations are run from a beautiful rural setting in North Oxfordshire. With a team of seven headed by Operations Director Les Malin, the facilities are perfect for both onsite demonstrations and storage of spare parts.

“In all other countries, except Germany and Benelux, we work directly with importers but in the UK we have our own team. It has always been a great market for us and to show our commitment to this country we felt that this was the best solution to increase product awareness and it appears to have been the right decision.

“The UK market is essential to Etesia, not only because it is our third, but also because succeeding in this country is essential in continuing to build a reputation in the gardening sector,” said Patrick.

Etesia’s commitment to the UK market is perhaps most apparent in the relationships the company holds with its extensive network of dealers. Once a year, Etesia’s UK dealers are invited on a two day trip to the company’s headquarters in Wissembourg, where they learn more about the company, receive a tour of the impressive, state-of-the-art factory and witness a glimpse of future products.
So without doubt, Etesia’s 25 years of operating in the UK have been a resounding success – but what’s next?

“Etesia’s intention is to continue its growth in the UK market with additional products like the robotic mowers and the Pellenc range of battery-powered tools. All the new technologies are under the Etesia Green Technology™ banner which is where I think the future lies,” said Patrick.

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – You can also view the latest Etesia videos by visiting

Etesia Start 2014 with New Pellenc Dealer

Etesia UK is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Pellenc dealership – Morris’s Stores based in Rhuddlan North Wales, covering the entire North Wales area.

Morris’s Stores was first founded in 1934 and is a family run business. The company first introduced mowers in the 1960’s which has continued to grow steadily since. Jonathan Morris, the company’s Managing Director, who took over from his father, describes their customer base as domestic and professional, having increased commercial sales with local caravan sites and councils. The company are now responsible for both Etesia and Pellenc products within their allocated area.

“We looked at Etesia a few years back as it fits in nicely with the other products we offer. It’s a brand that has been growing over the years and a lot of people have spoken highly of them,” said Jonathon.

In the last five years, Pellenc has gained market recognition by offering a unique range of ‘zero emission’ battery-powered handheld tools, thanks to the development of Lithium-ion ultra-high performance batteries. This exclusive Pellenc technology allows for a drastic reduction in the production of greenhouse gases and noise pollution. It is also comfortable for users, meets new sustainable development demands and offers excellent economic profitability.

Jonathan first saw Pellenc at an Etesia dealer day when the brand was exclusively unveiled to the existing Etesia dealer network. “It was pointed out to us that these products were the future and things would shortly be going down that road. A lot of people have already shown an interest and the Pellenc range of products has pushed us forward into new markets.”

“When we recently decided to take on the Pellenc brand, there was no question about it because of the great service we’ve received over the years from Andrew Roberts, our Area Sales Manager and Etesia as a company.”

Pellenc is sold exclusively in the UK by Etesia UK.

Places for People Choose Etesia as Mowing Partner

Places for People, one of the largest property management, development and regeneration companies in the UK, has recently upgraded their fleet of grass cutting machinery with the purchase of Etesia pedestrian and ride-on mowers.

Purchased from local dealer Balmers Garden Machinery, the new equipment includes a Hydro 80 MKHP ride-on mower and a collection of Pro 46 PHB pedestrian rotary mowers, bringing the total number of Etesia machines to over thirty.

David Ramsden, Contract Supervisor for the company, is responsible for the purchase of grounds maintenance equipment for the Preston depot and has been using Etesia machines for the past ten years after admitting that it was difficult to find a machine capable of cutting and collecting in wet conditions.

“We found it very difficult to find a machine that can cut and collect in wet weather. After an initial demonstration we found that Etesia ticks all of our boxes. As soon as we started using them, we thought wow. They were very impressive in the wet.”

Designed to meet the rigours of a wide variety of commercial grass cutting applications, Etesia’s Pro 46 pedestrian rotaries are specified by contractors, local authorities and landscapers. The special shape of the mowing deck produces a powerful suction and blowing effect to ensure a quality cut with maximum collection. As an option, a mulching kit and mulching blade convert the pro 46 mowers into formidable mulchers. The Pro 46 rotaries are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for mobile grass cutting teams. The handlebars fold, without the use of tools, for easy transportation or storage.

The compact Hydro 80 ride-on mower is ideal for multi-tasking and easily adapts to every terrain, every grass cutting situation and every task. The pocket-size cut and collect mower, at just 0.82m wide and 1.98 m long, features an incredibly tight turning circle and is able to nip into every nook and cranny as well as being able to be easily transported in the back of a van or on the back of a trailer.

“The Hydro 80 is probably the best machine we’ve purchased. It cut mowing down compared to push mowers and speeded up what our teams can do, allowing them to do other jobs”. We like the fact that we have one machine that can do different jobs.

“We find that we can run the machines for up to four years which is fantastic, as previously, we were changing every two years. You may pay a little extra for an Etesia machine when you purchase it, but the overall lifetime cost is far lower.”

Etesia UK Dealers and Press Get First Look at Seven New Products Ahead of 2014

Over 50 Etesia UK dealers recently visited the UK Head Quarters in Oxfordshire for a first look at the new products which will be introduced next year. In 2014 Etesia will also be celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a range of product promotions for customers.

Members of the trade press also attended the ’25 years of innovation’ conference which was held over two days, to get a first glimpse of Etesia’s seven new products ahead of their public launch in October.

The days kicked off with a presentation by Patrick Vives, President of Etesia SAS, and Managing Director of Etesia UK. Les Malin of Etesia UK then introduced the new products for 2014 including the Bahia Silverline special edition model and Pellenc Excelion 2000 – a ‘cow-horn’ brushcutter. After lunch, an afternoon session saw dealers and the press getting up close and personal with all of the new kit.

Also amongst the range of new product launches from Etesia were two high quality professional rotary mowers, two domestic pedestrian lawn mowers and a new revolutionary electric wheel barrow.

Two customer promotions were announced at the event. The first promotion is for Bahia, Hydro 80, SKD ride-on brushcutter and the ETM44 robotic mower models which will see customers receive a 15% discount on the RRP.

The second promotion for large ride-on machines (100cm+) will see customers receive over £3,500 off some models.

“Etesia will be joining a number of other suppliers, from across Europe, to organise road show events in 2014,” said Les Malin, Etesia UK General Manager. “We see this as the best way of getting to existing and potential new customers. We will also still exhibit at shows, but will carefully monitor this situation. We will be returning to Grand Designs later this month and then return to BTME in Harrogate in January for the first time in nearly ten years, whilst we’re be exhibiting at the Executive Hire Show for the first time in February.”

Etesia Launch Scarifier Attachment to Fit Three Models

For keeping lawns and turf looking good all-year-round, a scarifier attachment is now available to fit three model sizes in the Etesia ride-on mower range.

Available to fit the 80cm Bahia range, 100cm Hydro 100 range and 124cm Hydro124 range, the scarifying rake is designed to efficiently remove moss and thatch from lawns, pasture land, paddocks and rough areas. The new attachment stimulates better grass growth and a stronger root.

Mounted to the front of your existing Etesia ride-on machine, the scarifier can also be used on horse arenas and all-weather gallops to ‘dress’ the top surface and re-blend the components of a composite surface.

Scarifying is a seasonal activity, so it makes sense not to have expensive, dedicated powered equipment lying idle during certain periods of the year. The Etesia scarifier attachment cost effectively utilises the existing power source of its host ride-on mower to efficiently remove unwanted organic matter and encourage healthy turf.