Lawn mowing produces an even appearance across your grass. Ideally when you finish mowing there should be no trace of clippings. There are two primary concerns when grass clippings are left on the surface of your lawn. First, large clumps block air flow and sunlight starving the healthy plants below. Second, moisture both in the clumps and trapped beneath may promote fungal growth across the greater lawn. Remove clumps and clippings immediately with a rake, blower or the bagging system of your lawnmower. Once you clean up these harmful clippings, explore solutions to preventing clumps in the future.

There are 3 major factors that result in grass clumps: lawnmower maintenance, mowing technique and weather conditions. Equipment maintenance and technique can be adjusted around weather conditions to achieve a fine mulch and prevent clumps.

Sharp, Balanced Blades

For most homeowners, annual blade renewal will maintain consistent performance. Sharpening and balancing a blade requires skill and patience. Most professional contractors sharpen and balance blades every 8-12 hours. For homeowners, sharpening and balancing a blade on major spring and summer holidays is advisable (Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day).

Clean Mower Deck

Decks are engineered to mulch grass clippings but when they become clogged, clumps will form. Especially during rainy seasons, grass clippings will collect under lawnmower decks. Cleaning the deck regularly prevents this issue. Many new lawnmowers feature feature a washout port on the deck for use with garden hoses. Consult your owners manual for best practice on your lawnmower model.

Engine maintenance

If an engine is losing power or running poorly, cutting performance will decrease. Follow the maintenance schedule specific to your owners manual. In general all filters including air filter, oil filter, fuel and fluids should be renewed at the beginning of each season.

Adjust your practices

Stay on schedule and set your lawn mower at a high setting. Clumps will always result if grass is too tall. Cutting on a regular schedule minimizes the volume of cut grass. This reduces the amount of clippings, stress on the grass plant and your lawnmower. Higher deck settings reduces the volume and promotes a healthier lawn. Taller grass plants provide shade and traps moisture for the crown and the soil surface.

Weather Conditions

Regular tune-ups and following a set schedule cannot avoid rain. When dealing with rain soaked lawns, easing your pace allows the blade extra time to reduce clippings but wet grass clumps. During rainy seasons, incorporating a side discharge chute will help distribute grass clippings more evenly across your lawn. You can also incorporate a bagging system to collect the clippings for disposal.