Leaving your grass clippings on the ground flushes nitrogen back into the soil. The mulched clippings will provide some nutrients as well as help hold in water and shade the ground. University of Idaho: Don't Bag It! This means if you’re throwing away your clippings, you’re throwing away half of the fertilizer applied as well! For example, for grass that is 4.5 inches tall, do not mow shorter than 3 inches. You’ll have to carry, bad, and dump your debris while you mow. We’ve put safeguards in place to protect our clients and coworkers. Week 4 and beyond: A month after your new seed has had … 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. 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. Percentage of Nitrogen in Grass Clippings. Some experts consider seven to 10 days a conservative option, suggesting that four days should be enough. Otherwise, you risk letting the disease spread to other areas of the lawn. Economically, it makes sense to mulch year-round for incredibly large areas of grass such as parks or fields. © 2020 Tomlinson Bomberger   |   Privacy Policy. There are few times that we would actually recommend bagging your grass clippings. The clippings that are left behind decompose rapidly and do not contribute to thatch. Aerate with core aerator going over lawn in 3 to 4 times. How Often Should Grass Be Watered After it Is Fertilized? What you are hoping for is there will be no more looose seed and any that gets into the mulching mower will not become destroyed. To prepare your lawn for overseeding, cut the grass short, using the lowest setting on your mower. I still pushed through with my plan to dethatch and overseed the front yard. No. What you are hoping for is there will be no more looose seed and any that gets into the mulching mower will not become destroyed. Be careful as they will get buried into the ground in these conditions. How to Spread Out Awful Grass Clipping Clumps. Even in a healthy lawn, overseeding can be extremely beneficial. Every year, I would use my 19" push mower, mow short and bag the clippings before overseeding. Whether you're mulching or bagging, Hutson has the right tools for the job. Nitrogen encourages green growth, which makes it the most important nutrient for grass. Studies have shown that almost 20% of solid waste deposited in landfills is that from yard debris. Crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) is an aggressive weed that can overtake your lawn if not properly treated. If herbicides or other materials like insecticides were applied, you won’t want to use these as compost on your garden. If you don’t mow frequently enough, excessive clumps and thick matting of lawn clippings can discolor and even kill areas in your lawn. The compost is ready when it smells earthy and crumbles like rich dirt between your fingers. If you have a problem with excessive (over 1/2″) thatch in your lawn, the best way to manage thatch is to take a soil test and correct soil pH and perform a lawn aeration with a core aerator each year. Keep the materials damp and turn them regularly to speed the decomposition process. Then, scatter around … Recycling your turf grass clippings significantly reduces the amount of fertilizer you’ll need since it keeps the nitrogen in the lawn. Rake up excessively long clippings and bag them so that they don't mat on the surface of your lawn. You should gather up those clippings. 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. However, whenever you can, mulch your clippings. It's best to still remove only one-third of the grass height per mowing session, gradually reducing the grass to the appropriate height. 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. 5. They encourage earthworms and microorganisms that break them down over the course of just a few weeks. 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! Both side-discharge and mulching mowers leave grass blades behind. 5. Surprisingly, grass clippings are more useful than you may think. 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. As a professional lawn care company, this is one of our most common questions. Ryegrass, like all grass seeds, needs to be in direct contact with moist soil after mowing to grow properly. Place a bag on your mower to catch clippings as you cut the grass. Start by mowing your grass low - an inch or so lower than normal. The mower setting should be around 1 to 1½ inches high. Most of the time, mulching your clippings is the best option. How to Overseed for Crabgrass Control. There are some circumstances when collecting your grass clippings is warranted. The mulched clippings will provide some nutrients as well as help hold in water and shade the ground. This will score the soil’s surface. New grass plants are fragile and easily damaged. Mowing: Mow the lawn slightly lower than the regular summer mowing height of 1½ to 2 inches. Fertilize with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. 6. This avoids additional traffic from raking after mowing. Should I bag my grass clippings after overseeding? I lost tons of grass because I didn't know my lawn had grubs and I didn't put down a preventative. I have hired a pro to overseed my lawn for the past 3 years and the results have been great. How to Overseed a Lawn. Collecting your grass clippings and having them hauled off increases costs overall and takes up valuable space in landfills. Different varieties of grass have varying seeding rates, and because grass seed is typically sold in blends, the bag will have the most accurate ratio for that particular blend. Always use a sharp blade to reduce jagged cuts and pulling, which stress the grass and can cause disease. 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). Check with your lawn care company as to what was applied on your last lawn care service. Should I Bag the First Cut of New St. Augustine Sod? Recycle Your Grass Clippings. Using a side-discharge mower you may need to do your own mulching by running over your grass piles multiple times. I just mowed it for the third time yesterday. Mulch your clippings. Do not bag. (I was told set the mower to the highest setting for the 1st mow). 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. 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. Leaving clippings on the grass adds moisture to your lawn and can add nutrients. 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. Spread seed at recommended seeding rates (found on bag label). Method #1 Leave the Lawn Clippings. Only remove one-third the height of grass at a time when mowing to avoid stressing your lawn. 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. As long as you mow your lawn regularly so that clippings are no more than 1 inch long, you can safely let them lie where they fall on the grass. No. Place a bag on your mower to catch clippings as you cut the grass. When you mow frequently enough, mulching mowers chop up those clippings and don’t even allow them to be seen. Do not bag the clippings. You don’t keep your lawn moist after aerating and overseeding. 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. Bag or mulch? 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. Should I Bag or Mulch my Grass Clippings. Generally, in residential areas, large amounts of grass clippings can become problematic. Leaving grass clippings in place is an easy way to recycle their nutrients back into your lawn. 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. I read the steps to overseeding article which states that the first mowing after overseeding should be when the new grass is 2.5-3 inches tall. 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. 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. 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. The new grass needs sufficient time to mature and to begin establishing a root system and will scalp easily. Here are some common questions we have heard about the topic and some clarification: Yes. Should I bag my grass clippings after overseeding? This compost is best for your lawn. Add topsoil - mixed with seed - to low or bare areas. 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. The only time it's better to bag grass clippings is when your grass is extremely overgrown, meaning the blades are several inches tall. Apply fertilizer. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. But if you have patches of diseased grass on your lawn, you should bag the clippings and dispose of them. The only time it's better to bag grass clippings is when your grass is extremely overgrown, meaning the blades are several inches tall. Choose a Grass Seed. However, whenever you can, mulch your clippings. 3. Clippings also act as a natural mulch that's not too thick, which helps conserve soil moisture to prevent your lawn from suffering drought stress. Then, it’s wise to rake over the area. When we design our lawn care programs, we do so based on people recycling their clippings back to their lawn. 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. Be careful not to set the mower too low, as it may scalp the lawn. If you’re using a bagging mower, you’re in for more work. Home // Blog // Should I Bag or Mulch my Grass Clippings? Yes. 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. 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. 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. 4. 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. Mowing more closely and collecting the clippings, helps the new grass seedlings get more light to encourage good strong growth. 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 … If cutting your lawn short before overseeding, bag the clippings. Ah yes, to bag or not to bag your grass clippings…that is the question. There are few times that we would actually recommend bagging your grass clippings. Thatch is a naturally-occurring layer of both decomposed stems and roots that grows between the grass blades and the soil. The existing grass is now at the point where it's starting to flop over and looks bad. 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. This reduces the amount of nitrogen fertilizer you need to apply every year, saving you money in the long run. Sure it takes more time when you have to mow every 4-5 days, but you’re going to have a much better looking and healthier lawn in the long run. The bag will list both rates for planting new lawns from seed and overseeding rates. … Bag or rake up excess clippings. That’s why it’s smartest to wait around a week, or more if possible, to allow the new seeds to settle. No. When to bag grass clippings. If possible, use a mower with a bagger to collect the clippings and remove any dead material left from winter dor… Premium Lawn Service answers your questions about lawn care, weed control, overseeding, aerating, watering, and more. The seedlings are no longer than 1/2" max but many have just germinated and are less than 1/4". This should be done just before the time of lawn green-up, which usually occurs during late April or early May. Please note that I also have a Toro SS4235 ZTR. Now you can do your part with making your lawn look even better! 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. 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. Prior to mowing, you should discontinue watering for 1 day before mowing to let the lawn dry out. Select the best fertilizer, and load it into a fertilizer spreader. My overseeding will be done this Friday. Followup Fertilizing (Optional) If you use a slow-acting granular fertilizer in the overseeding process, a followup fertilizer snack is helpful, but not essential. 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. Which type of grass seed you choose depends on your existing grass type. However, make sure your unraked clippings are an appropriate size; otherwise, bagging your clippings can be a smarter option for your lawn's health. You may opt to use chemicals to help the ryegrass die out on time so the Bermuda grass … Yes. It has been a month since seeding. You can read our COVID-19 statement here. I'll also cut it down to 2.5" which I didn't know about but I assume that means I should bag my clippings vs mulching? But giving into the temptation to leave grass clippings on your lawn could be the best thing you do for your grass. ... Should I bag lawn clippings when I mow? Do not bag. Grass clippings are mostly water, so as long as you mow regularly at the right height, they will break down and disappear rapidly. Mulch your clippings. 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