Now, this is going to sound pretty drastic, but we don’t think there’s anything more unsightly than a lawn besmirched by large clumps of grass clippings. Actually, that’s not strictly true because seeing Donald Trump’s face, frown, ill-fitting suits, Twitter feed and/or general demeanour is probably the worst way anyone can start the day (#poormelania), but lawn clumps are definitely next on the list. They just have this way of ruining otherwise perfect scenarios.
– A morning coffee while staring at the sunrise from your kitchen window. Ruined by clumps.
– First barbecue bash of the year. Tainted by clumps.
– Teaching your grandkid how to cycle in your back garden. Marred by clumps.
The point is: clumps are the worst. And it’s not just about aesthetics either; it’s about maintaining your lawn’s health too. “How?” We hear you gasp, spraying your smoothie all over the place.
“Because leaving clumps on your lawn for too long can suffocate the grass beneath it, turning your lawn that stomach-churning and cheek-reddening shade of yellow.”
This leads us to our first question: how the heck can you disperse your clumps?
Leaf blower. That’s the best way. Unless you consider gardening to be a workout, in which case a fan rake will work wonders. If, however, you’re staring at a case of “excessive clumping”, then dispersing them might not be your best option. Instead, you’ll want to rake them up, pop ‘em in a wheelbarrow and leave them for your dustbin-men to deal with.
That said, the best thing you can do is tackle clumping at the front-end by reducing the chance of any clumps arising, and here’s how:
1. Rain, Rain Go Away
As a rule of (green) thumb, you should never-ever mow your lawn when the grass is wet. Whether it’s because of the rain, the dew, mist, or just the fact you left the hose on -, never cut your lawn when it’s wet, and never chop more than a third-off your grass blades either.
This is because wet grass is roughly 1,345,808 times more likely to clump than dry grass, while mowing your grass short will mean longer blades which, you guessed it, means a higher chance of clumping. To give you some flawless advice: avoid getting your mower out until mid-morning (at the very earliest) and leave it a few days after any rainstorm. You can’t go wrong with that.
2. Longer Isn’t Better
Another top anti-clumping tip is: stay on top of your lawn-duties and don’t wait too long between each mowing saga. The longer you wait the longer the grass grows, and the longer the grass grows, the more clumps you will have to rake and bag. Not that you should bag your clumps because grass makes the most amazing mulch, so make sure you add these chopped and lopped blades to your compost pile.
Anyway, our advice is: never let your grass grow more than four – four and a half – inches long and mow often enough that you’re never shaving more than a third off. If this means mowing your grass every five days, so be it. If this means mowing twice a week, then mow twice a week. It will save you the rake, shovel, barrow, compost headache.
3. Double-Up On Your Deck
There is a rumour that cutting your lawn too short will cause more clumping and, as we all know from experience, rumours are usually true. But it’s not just clumping that’s caused by a low-level manicure; it’s an unhealthy lawn.
Cutting your grass too close to the soil will run the risk of decapitation, and that will mean your grass needs more moisture and nutrition just to fight for its survival. Not to mention shorter grass allows weeds to germinate faster because they don’t have to do battle with tall, thick and sturdy grass blades as they shoot up.
From our experience, the best thing you can do is understand a sexy lawn is all about the evenness of the cut, not its height. That’s why we recommend you set your mower deck somewhere between 2½ and 3 inches high before you start walking up and down, up and down.
4. Mulch Ado About Nothing
The other super-awesome thing you can do is get yourself a mulching mower, or borrow Keen Kevin’s, or even replace your current blades with mulching blades. All of these will reduce clumping because they’ll chop your blades into teeny-tiny pieces that will disappear into your lawn like Houdini vanishing from the stage.