Bag or rake up excess clippings. However, whenever you can, mulch your clippings. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. There are some circumstances when collecting your grass clippings is warranted. 3. Here are some common questions we have heard about the topic and some clarification: Yes. When to bag grass clippings. Start by mowing your grass low - an inch or so lower than normal. Should I Bag or Mulch my Grass Clippings. For example, for grass that is 4.5 inches tall, do not mow shorter than 3 inches. Week 4 and beyond: A month after your new seed has had … The term “overseed” may sound technical and even intimidating if you aren’t familiar with the process, but it’s really a simple gardening concept: Overseeding is simply the process of planting new grass seed over your existing grass in order to create a revived, newly green and beautiful lawn that is lush and healthy. Every year, I would use my 19" push mower, mow short and bag the clippings before overseeding. Leaving clippings on the grass adds moisture to your lawn and can add nutrients. Do not bag. Place a bag on your mower to catch clippings as you cut the grass. Studies have shown that almost 20% of solid waste deposited in landfills is that from yard debris. That’s why it’s smartest to wait around a week, or more if possible, to allow the new seeds to settle. The clippings that are left behind decompose rapidly and do not contribute to thatch. The compost is ready when it smells earthy and crumbles like rich dirt between your fingers. I still pushed through with my plan to dethatch and overseed the front yard. Should I bag my grass clippings after overseeding? When you aerate your lawn it is the perfect time to overseed it as there will be holes all over that the seeds will have a … There are few times that we would actually recommend bagging your grass clippings. Percentage of Nitrogen in Grass Clippings. Generally, in residential areas, large amounts of grass clippings can become problematic. The mulched clippings will provide some nutrients as well as help hold in water and shade the ground. Most of the time, mulching your clippings is the best option. That may be a good idea if you’re having a specific turf disease problem that you’re hoping to not spread as you mow, when cleaning up leaves in the fall, or if you went way too long between mowings. When we design our lawn care programs, we do so based on people recycling their clippings back to their lawn. I have hired a pro to overseed my lawn for the past 3 years and the results have been great. Select the best fertilizer, and load it into a fertilizer spreader. You can add them to your compost pile as a nitrogen booster, letting them decompose with other compost materials, such as leaves, coffee grounds and kitchen waste, for two weeks to four months. Keep the materials damp and turn them regularly to speed the decomposition process. I lost tons of grass because I didn't know my lawn had grubs and I didn't put down a preventative. This avoids additional traffic from raking after mowing. This will score the soil’s surface. University of Idaho: Don't Bag It! How Often Should Grass Be Watered After it Is Fertilized? This compost is best for your lawn. Grass clippings contain about 4 percent nitrogen, and leaving clippings where they lie after mowing can feed your grass with 25 percent of its annual nitrogen needs. Because you should leave your grass about 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall - the proper height for optimal nutrient processing -- you should not let your grass grow more than 4 1/2 inches tall before mowing it. Then, it’s wise to rake over the area. Surprisingly, grass clippings are more useful than you may think. Be sure to follow the rates listed for overseeding, as it will be lower. This is particularly true in cooler climates in the northern US. Yes. Prior to mowing, you should discontinue watering for 1 day before mowing to let the lawn dry out. Leaving lawn clippings after the lawn has been mowed has some benefits that you may not have considered, but there are certainly some drawbacks to leaving them too. (I was told set the mower to the highest setting for the 1st mow). Ryegrass, like all grass seeds, needs to be in direct contact with moist soil after mowing to grow properly. … I just mowed it for the third time yesterday. Always use a sharp blade to reduce jagged cuts and pulling, which stress the grass and can cause disease. Thatch is a naturally-occurring layer of both decomposed stems and roots that grows between the grass blades and the soil. After planting the seeds, you must make sure they’re covered with moist soil— at least a fourth of an inch— to foster growth. The best thing you can do for your grass after overseeding is give it rest, and your mower causes a lot of unrest. Mow your lawn when it's dry to prevent the clippings from matting, which could cause them to block sunlight and water from the soil. Yes. But if you have patches of diseased grass on your lawn, you should bag the clippings and dispose of them. That may be a good idea if you’re having a specific turf disease problem that you’re hoping to not spread as you mow, when cleaning up leaves in the fall, or if you went way too long between mowings. Maintaining a regular mowing schedule - sometimes mowing more than once a week -- along with watering and fertilizing can make any gardener feel lazy about grass clippings. Nitrogen encourages green growth, which makes it the most important nutrient for grass. Followup Fertilizing (Optional) If you use a slow-acting granular fertilizer in the overseeding process, a followup fertilizer snack is helpful, but not essential. The advice above specified that leaving clippings on the lawn is all right, under the right conditions, provided that the grass in question is healthy. You should gather up those clippings. How to Overseed a Lawn. Research has shown that over a 3-year period, clippings from lawns contained between 46%-59% of nitrogen that was applied to the lawn (fertilizer). We’ve put safeguards in place to protect our clients and coworkers. But giving into the temptation to leave grass clippings on your lawn could be the best thing you do for your grass. You should bag your clippings if the grass is tall, leaves are covering the lawn, or you need to prevent disease and weeds from spreading. Method #1 Leave the Lawn Clippings. My overseeding will be done this Friday. When you mow frequently enough, mulching mowers chop up those clippings and don’t even allow them to be seen. Personally, when mowing an overseeded area (after waiting until appoximately a week after all the seeds have germinated), I use a bag to avoid the grass clippings covering up the newly-germinated new grass, at least until the new grass is generally all at about the same height as the previously-existing grass. You’ll have to carry, bad, and dump your debris while you mow. Mowing: Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height of 1½ to 2 inches. The seedlings are no longer than 1/2" max but many have just germinated and are less than 1/4". Apply fertilizer. Do not bag. Add topsoil - mixed with seed - to low or bare areas. ... Should I bag lawn clippings when I mow? The existing grass is now at the point where it's starting to flop over and looks bad. The only time it's better to bag grass clippings is when your grass is extremely overgrown, meaning the blades are several inches tall. Don't rake grass clippings, either:Why you should avoid raking grass clippings after mowing the lawn, and more mower taboos "It's free fertilizer," said Sandor. You may opt to use chemicals to help the ryegrass die out on time so the Bermuda grass … You don’t keep your lawn moist after aerating and overseeding. Economically, it makes sense to mulch year-round for incredibly large areas of grass such as parks or fields. Thanks again for the advice and i guess the consensus is to just reseed the bare areas and leave the rest of the seed stored away. You can read our COVID-19 statement here. If you see signs of lawn disease, pick up the clippings to avoid spreading the problem. However, a mulching blade chops up clippings into finer pieces so they decompose faster and don’t clump as quickly. Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) is an aggressive weed that can overtake your lawn if not properly treated. No. Don’t forget to reset the blades to a higher setting after the overseeding is complete and resume a normal mowing height as you typically don’t want to cut the grass this short. Should I Bag the First Cut of New St. Augustine Sod? Aerate with core aerator going over lawn in 3 to 4 times. Especially during times of drought when you grass is already stressed, it’s best to wait until the day after a good rainfall before aerating. If your clippings are long and you don't want to bag them, you can mow over the clippings after mowing your lawn to cut them up; this ensures your lawn stays oxygenated. Mulching is preferable to collecting grass clippings – The compost you will create with mulched grass clippings will help to retain much needed moisture for new grass plants and also provide them with more nutrients. Otherwise, you risk letting the disease spread to other areas of the lawn. Collecting your grass clippings and having them hauled off increases costs overall and takes up valuable space in landfills. The bag will list both rates for planting new lawns from seed and overseeding rates. No. New grass plants are fragile and easily damaged. This should be done just before the time of lawn green-up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. Be careful as they will get buried into the ground in these conditions. The only time it's better to bag grass clippings is when your grass is extremely overgrown, meaning the blades are several inches tall. As a professional lawn care company, this is one of our most common questions. Spread seed at recommended seeding rates (found on bag label). If you need help with the rest of what it takes to make your lawn look its best, please Contact Us when considering your choices for lawn care companies. It has been a month since seeding. There are few times that we would actually recommend bagging your grass clippings. Lawn experts for over 10 years. However, whenever you can, mulch your clippings. Using a side-discharge mower you may need to do your own mulching by running over your grass piles multiple times. If you’re using a bagging mower, you’re in for more work. This means if you’re throwing away your clippings, you’re throwing away half of the fertilizer applied as well! How to Spread Out Awful Grass Clipping Clumps. I always mulch my grass but my lawn is in pristine condition, there are a number of factors you need to consider when deciding whether to bag your grass clippings or mulch them. Rake up excessively long clippings and bag them so that they don't mat on the surface of your lawn. No. To prepare your lawn for overseeding, cut the grass short, using the lowest setting on your mower. Leaving grass clippings in place is an easy way to recycle their nutrients back into your lawn. However, make sure your unraked clippings are an appropriate size; otherwise, bagging your clippings can be a smarter option for your lawn's health. Ah yes, to bag or not to bag your grass clippings…that is the question. This may mean you need to mow more than once a week in peak growing times so you’re only removing 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow. Do not allow the grass to get too long between mowing, try not to remove more than 1/3 of the blade during each mowing. Likewise, a study in a city with 80,000 people revealed that over 700 tons of grass clippings were collected and disposed of in their landfill each WEEK! Leaving your grass clippings on the ground flushes nitrogen back into the soil. If you have gone to the trouble of aerating your lawn you really should take full advantage of the situation and I feel adding fresh grass seed to your lawn is a good idea after aeration. 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