Did you know that a vigorously growing, watered lawn from which the grass clippings are removed needs more added nutrients than a lawn that is not watered during the summer and where clippings are left on the lawn?
Leaving lawn clippings on your lawn provides half of the nitrogen your lawn needs each year. By hauling away your grass clippings you are depriving your lawn of a natural fertilizer that can make your grass more disease and drought tolerant. Besides, raking or bagging, and then disposing of your grass clippings is a lot of extra work and expense. A half-acre of lawn produces more than 3 tons of lawn clippings, nearly 260 bags, each year. That’s a lot of bags!
Cutting the lawn with a lawnmower set at a proper mowing height is important. In addition, cutting the lawn stimulates growth and increases thickness. Mow when your grass is dry, and never cut it shorter than 4-4½ inches or remove more than one third of the leaf surface at any one mowing. Taller grasses create deeper roots, improving water infiltration and reducing runoff. A taller grass will also stay greener longer during droughts.
If you cut your lawn too short, you can stress it out; leading to weaker plants and a thinning of the lawn. As it becomes less dense, it is less able to compete with weeds. This is especially important during the summer because severe scalping can lead to irregular patches of the lawn dying.