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Leaving the Clippings on the Lawn

This summer after you mow your lawn, don't worry about raking up the clippings. They actually add nutrients to the soil!

By Robin from Washington, IA

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By Alan B Steele (Guest Post)
May 5, 20060 found this helpful

But be careful! Too many and too dense a layer of clippings can creat the ideal cool and humid atmosphere for mosses and fungi.

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By Chris (Guest Post)
June 2, 20060 found this helpful

Beware of this tip -- it's just grasscycling, which is harmful.

The clippings must be mulched (meaning they must be very small, almost like they were in a blender), and you should do this maybe once or twice a season at most. All other mowings should be either raked afterward or bagged. I prefer never to leave clippings on the lawn at all.

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If you do this too often (a.k.a. "grasscylcling") and with unmulched clippings, you'll end up suffocating the grass, which will lead to a very yellow and patchy lawn.

If you end up with a yellow and patchy lawn, mow your grass so that it's very short. You must then dethatch the lawn with a rake or a mechanized dethatcher, and remove the yellow grass (hay). Next, scratch the lawn with a rake to cause a small break in the soil -- don't be too rough because you want to preserve the exisisting grass. Then spread grass seed (a.k.a. "overseeding") liberally all over the lawn. Spray the lawn with water and fertlilizer immediately after. You must water the lawn daily until the new sprouts are at least 7 inches. You can then mow the lawn. The best times to do this is in the early spring (preferably April, early May) or in the fall (October, early November). Follow your grass seed bag for more detailed instructions!

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This way, you can undo the harm done by grasscycling.

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June 2, 20060 found this helpful

I have a mulching attachment on my mower so that it continues to chop up the grass before it lets it go onto the lawn. I've never had a problem with the grass dying. Of course I also live in the Pacific Northwest where grass will grow just about anywhere.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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Home and Garden Gardening LawnMay 4, 2006
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