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Mowing the lawn... question for homeowners

calbear2000

Golden Member
Oct 17, 2001
1,027
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So I'm mowing the lawn for the first time today with my manual push mower (we usually have a gardener, and thus I have a really cheap lawn mower!)

Should I leave the grass clippings on the lawn to become mulch? If not, is there an accessory bag or something that can catch all the lawn clippings while I mow?

Thanks!
 

ohtwell

Lifer
Jan 6, 2002
14,516
9
81
I used to leave the grass on the lawn when I mowed my lawn. I don't know if that's what you are supposed to do though.


: ) Amanda
 

Mermaidman

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2003
7,898
24
81
It's usually OK to leave the clippings on the lawn, BUT if the grass was really tall and there are huge clumps of clippings, then I'd remove them. When you say manual push mower, do you mean something likethis?! I've always wondered if a manual mower required lotsa muscle.
 

LAUST

Diamond Member
Sep 13, 2000
8,957
1
81
how long is it now, don't leave clumps and does that old mower have a mulching blade anyway
 

DorkBoy

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2000
3,591
0
0
Leave the clippings unless they are unsightly.
When clippings are continually removed from a lawn, natural nutrient cycling is partially reduced.
Depends on type of grass but your yard could get approximately 25% fertilization from the clippings themselves.
 

thejackal1

Senior member
Mar 28, 2002
884
0
0
It looks better if you have some to catch the clippings, but you can also leave them on the grass too.
 

mandala

Senior member
Dec 24, 2003
210
0
0
It's usually not a big deal to leave the clippings there, but it will depend on how often you mow and how fast your lawn grows. You don't want large clumps of the cut grass on the lawn because it will prevent sunlight from getting to the nice cut lawn and make it go brown and in some cases your lawn will start mulching itself which is really yucky looking (yes, I have a patch of lawn that tends to "mulch itself" and if I leave grass clippings there it gets really nasty). I have a push mower that I used for a while (with a grass catcher on it), but I'm really happy with my electric lawn mower my hubby gave me for Christmas (yes, we're weird - I, the woman, take care of the lawn, outdoor plants, etc.).
 

rufruf44

Platinum Member
May 8, 2001
2,002
0
0
Usually I'll bag for the first mow of the season. Makes nice room for all the new grass to grow. Afterward, pretty much mostly mulching with bagging once every 2 months.
 

MainFramed

Diamond Member
May 29, 2002
5,981
0
0
Originally posted by: amdskip
I leave them.
it's what i do now, i used to have a nice craftsman lawn mower with the hard plastic "bag" it shot the grass into, that was nice.
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
52,644
846
126
See whenever I drop some of the clippings out of the bag accidentally and leave it there, it turns brown. Why would you want that left all over your lawn ? I don't understand how that is "healthy" for the lawn...
 

rufruf44

Platinum Member
May 8, 2001
2,002
0
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Originally posted by: rh71
See whenever I drop some of the clippings out of the bag accidentally and leave it there, it turns brown. Why would you want that left all over your lawn ? I don't understand how that is "healthy" for the lawn...
Mulching lawnmover redeposit the clipping into the ground. Off course if the grass is too tall, there'll be too much clipping and the end result is those brown stuff you see.
 

DT4K

Diamond Member
Jan 21, 2002
6,944
2
81
Pretty much what everyone else said.
If the grass is long, bag it. You don't want your healthy green grass to be covered up with clippings.
But if you are just taking off a little, it's better to leave the clippings since they provide nitrogen to the soil.

EDIT: I don't know if that holds true with a manual mower like yours. Mine is a gas mulching mower, so the clippings end up pretty finely chopped. That way, they tend to fall between the grass blades instead of sitting on top. If yours leaves clumps of grass on top of the other grass, then you should probably be bagging it or raking it.
 

Ryan

Lifer
Oct 31, 2000
27,518
1
81
I mulch mine, I never have a problem with seeing the grass clippings because they're so finely chopped.
 

TitanDiddly

Guest
Dec 8, 2003
12,696
1
0
If they're long, and come out in big chunks, then you have a problem.

They'll make yellow spots where the sun can't get through.
 

dirtboy

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
6,746
1
81
Originally posted by: mandala
but I'm really happy with my electric lawn mower my hubby gave me for Christmas (yes, we're weird - I, the woman, take care of the lawn, outdoor plants, etc.).
I have a Brill cordless (electric) lawn mower. What do you have?
 

badmouse

Platinum Member
Dec 3, 2003
2,862
2
0
It also depends on if anybody is going to see it, and if you care how it looks.

A really good mulching mower chops the clippings into tiny bits that sink down beneath the grass, creating a nice comfy layer between the dirt and the plant. And then they happily decompose. If your mower is doing anything similar, hooray. Just leave it.

If it's leaving big clumps, that's really bad for the lawn. It will kill the grass that the clumps stay on, it will get mildew and all sorts of other yucky lawn diseases, and it will get brown and ugly.

My ecc-crazy fanatic neighbor used to do his lawn with a manual mower and leave the clippings. He would be out there two or three times a week in season so that the grass clippings weren't too long.

Funny, he got a riding mower last year.
 

Yossarian

Lifer
Dec 26, 2000
18,010
1
81
Originally posted by: Mermaidman
It's usually OK to leave the clippings on the lawn, BUT if the grass was really tall and there are huge clumps of clippings, then I'd remove them. When you say manual push mower, do you mean something likethis?! I've always wondered if a manual mower required lotsa muscle.
I love those things :) Not that I've mowed a lawn in years. The blades gotta be super sharp tho or it is just a PITA.
 

kt

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2000
5,364
238
106
I usually rake it up and put it where it's needed the most... around my persimmon tree as fertilizer.

As for the manual lawnmower, I still have one of those. Doesn't really take a lot of muscle to use that thing. Just the initial push you will need to put a little muscle into it, but once you get it going it's practically self powered until you hit something.
 

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