Mowing Your Lawn — Mulch or Bag the Clippings?
As the weather warms, your attention is probably turning toward mowing your lawn. Depending on the type of lawn mower you own, you have different options for disposing of the clippings. For those that are serious about their lawn and its health, it usually comes down to mulching the clippings or bagging them. Mowing height is another important consideration. Check our earlier blog post for advice on proper spring mowing height.
The most popular way of dealing with grass clippings is probably mulching, but you need the proper equipment on your mower to be successful. To properly mulch your grass clippings, you need a lawn mower that is designed with this in mind, and many models come equipped for the job. These mowers include a plate to block the side discharge port, and often have baffles installed on the underside of the deck along with specially designed mulching blades. The benefit of mulching is the grass clippings are returned to the lawn which helps retain moisture and nutrients. As long as you mow your lawn on a regular basis (once a week May-August), the clippings will benefit your lawn and will not cause a thatch issue. If you do not like to mow your lawn on a regular basis, mulching is not for you.
Bagging your lawn clippings is another option to consider. If you do not mow regularly, bagging the clippings will help eliminate thatch build-up. It is also hard to beat the look of a freshly mown lawn when the clippings have been collected. Grass clippings can be a great addition to a compost pile as well. Remember the more often you sharpen your mower blades, the better your lawn will look and mowing will be easier. If you choose to bag the clippings, utilize a compost pile instead of sending the clippings to the landfill. A downside to bagging is you are removing a great source of nutrients for your lawn.
Keeping a lawn weed-free and dark green is a partnership fertilizer and weed control plays a part in this—the other part is how and when you mow your lawn. Proper mowing can make all the difference in the look of your lawn and set it apart from the rest. We would love to help you with your lawn! Call us at 662-534-4535 or visit lawnandpest.net/estimate.
Mow Your Way to a Beautiful Lawn
Proper mowing makes an impact on the appearance of your lawn-more of an impact than you might think. Follow these guidelines and your lawn will be a cut above the rest.
- Sharpen your mower blades 3-4 times per year. A dull blade leaves a less attractive ragged edge that can also leave your grass susceptible to insect & disease problems.
- Mow you lawn often enough that you only remove 1/3 of the leaf surface at each mowing. This will eliminate the discoloration you see after mowing.
- Mulch your grass clippings, as long as you follow the 1/3 rule.
- Change the direction of your cut every mowing.
- You may have an area of your lawn that suffered damage and is thin. Remember the more often you cut, the thicker your grass will be. If you leave your lawn uncut, it will grow up but will not spread as much.
- Start at a low cutting height in the spring to encourage thicker turf. As the season progresses, you can gradually raise your cutting height.
Early spring is a great time to mow your lawn lower to remove the dormant, brown grass blades, particularly if you have bermuda grass or zoysia grass. Some people will perform this lower cut, sometimes referred to as scalping, as early as January. If you have not mowed your lawn at a lower height alreday, now is the time to do that.
When you are ready to scalp your lawn, these are the guidelines you should follow:
- Sharpen your mower blades first. You want a clean, even cut.
- Cut the lawn slightly lower than the last cut you made in the fall.
- If you have bermuda grass, you can be radical with your scalping cut. If you have zoysia grass, be more conservative with how low you cut.
- Be sure to bag the clippings so you don’t have all of that thatch piled on your lawn.
If we can help you with your lawn, please contact us! [cta_button link=”http://lawnandpest.net/contact/” color=”cyan|red|blue|grey”]Contact us[/cta_button]
Lawn & Pest Solutions provides pest control, weed control, and lawn fertilization services to customers in New Albany, Oxford, Tupelo, Amory, Hernando, Olive Branch, Fulton, Houston, and Mooreville, Pontotoc, Southaven, Saltillo, and beyond. Lawn & Pest technicians can be seen all over northeast Mississippi in their clean, white trucks. If you have not already spotted us in Desoto County, be on the lookout! We would love to meet you.