I have always been one of those people who loves to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for others, which is why I started looking at landscaping design in the first place. It was incredible to me to see how much of a difference I was able to make by adding a few new plants, and after that first project, I wanted to help other people. I started volunteering to help friends and neighbors do their landscaping, and after a few months, I had developed quite a following. This blog is all about creating a warm, inviting yard through smart landscaping and an eye for detail.
When your lawn is mowed, what should you do with the clippings? This is an age-old conundrum where everyone seems to have an opinion. Should you rake them up and take them away? Or should you leave them on the lawn to serve as organic soil material? The answer varies. Here are a few reasons to either rake or not rake.
1. Rake When Grass Is Wet.
Wet grass clippings clump together into solid bundles of matter. This isn't particularly good for the rest of the lawn. These clumps prevent air from reaching down into the soil and circulating throughout the live grass. They can also facilitate excess moisture, lack of sunlight, and soil conditions where diseases thrive. So when the grass is particularly wet — perhaps during spring and fall — get out the rake.
2. Don't Rake When Mowed Frequently.
In general, if you're keeping up with a proactive lawn maintenance schedule, you may not need to rake. This is because the grass doesn't get so long that its clippings overwhelm the existing grass. It may be one step you can take a pass on.
3. Rake When Diseases Exist.
Do you struggle with any kind of lawn disease or infestation? What about trees overhead or nearby as well as shrubs and flowers surrounding the lawn? Unfortunately, diseases like mold or fungus and pests can hitch a ride on clippings. Prevent them from spreading to undamaged areas by removing the clippings promptly.
4. Don't Rake When Amending Soil.
Soil amendments are elements added to the soil in order to adjust its acidity or add nutrients that are currently missing. Grass clippings can be a great part of your soil amendment plan. They consist of entirely organic matter, which carries many of the needed minerals and nutrients and can therefore serve as a fertilizer. However, make sure you use clippings strategically.
5. Rake When Thatch Is a Problem.
Thatch is the buildup of dead organic life that builds up over time on the lawn soil's surface. While the good news is that the clippings themselves don't create thatch, they can facilitate its development. Raking unnecessary plant material may slow down thatch growth if it's a problem in your existing yard.
Where to Start
Want help deciding whether to rake or not to rake? Start by consulting with an experienced lawn maintenance service in your area. With their expertise, you'll find the right answer to ensure a healthy, happy, green lawn all year round.
Contact a local lawn care services company for more info.