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