Mulching Vs. Bagging

Kristian Zoppa Summer Mowing Tips

Which One Should You Do? A common question we get at Cleanr Mow is ‘do you mulch your grass clippings or do you bag them?’. Our answer is always the same — we mulch! Let me explain… Mulching your grass clippings is the act of using a lawnmower with a specific mulching blade to cut the grass as finely as possible. Check out the picture below for a better understanding of how a mulching blade works. The left over grass clippings, or ‘mulch‘, is then left on the yard to act as a fertilizer for the lawn. Mulch is defined as “a material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.” The mulched grass clippings will decompose and turn into an organic fertilizer, full of healthy nutrients for your lawn. When you bag the grass clippings from your lawn, you are essentially depriving your lawn of a free, organic fertilizer that it could be utilizing to help aid in its growth. The difference in appearance between a mulched lawn and a bagged lawn can be subjective, but it is nearly always unnoticeable. If you are mowing your lawn on a weekly schedule, the grass will not grow long enough that it will create many clumps when mulched. This will give it the appearance of a bagged lawn, even though you are mulching it and providing it with the organic goodness! Grass clippings that are mulched right into the lawn settle down onto the ground and decompose. A properly tuned mulching mower will shoot the clippings deeper into the lawn to help them decompose even quicker. As the clippings break down, they add nutrients to the soil. The nitrogen levels in particular increase when you mulch your grass versus bagging. This is a crucial element needed to maintain a healthy, green, lush lawn! You need fewer chemical fertilizers when the mulched grass clippings are left in place. If you bag the grass clippings, you may need to add chemical fertilizers to boost the nitrogen levels in the lawn. For this reason, mulching is seen as a much more organic choice for home owners than bagging your lawn. You can avoid having to use harsh chemicals to keep your lawn looking good, which can be a large deterrent especially when you have animals or young children frequently on the lawn! Overall, as long as you are consistent and are on a weekly lawn care plan, mulching is 100% the way to go!

Do I Need A Spring Clean Up?

Kristian Zoppa Spring Clean Up

Scroll to the last paragraph for the quick answer! The main goal of a spring clean up is to prepare your lawn for the spring and summer growing season. Every technique and service used during a spring clean up plays a crucial role in the over all health and maintenance of your lawn. To see an in depth explanation of what we do during a spring clean up, check back next week when we release our SPRING CLEAN UP CHECKLIST. For a summary of why a spring clean up is a necessity to keep your lawn healthy, continue reading! During a spring clean up all debris and trash is removed from your lawn. It is very common to have garbage and debris blow into your lawn over the winter, but not have it cleared because it was buried under the snow. Once the debris and trash are removed from your lawn, all leaves and dead plant material are removed out of your flower beds and off your lawn. This allows for the lawn and beds to gain more exposure to the sun allowing for better growth. In the winter months, it is very common to have lots of gravel and sand pushed off of the road and onto your boulevard. We like to blow this sand and gravel off of your boulevard to create a much cleaner look and allow for better lawn growth. After this step, we run a lawn mower with a dedicated mulching blade over the lawn to help remove a small layer of thatch, as well as ‘poof’ up the grass a bit. This is where you see the immediate transformation from brown, dead-looking grass, to growing grass. After the de-thatching run, we do a collection run with a bagging lawn mower. This pass allows us to pick up all of the mulched thatch from your lawn. Removing this allows the lawn to breathe and absorb more sun, water, and nutrients. Finally, we run a lawn aerator over your lawn. To read more about aeration, check out The Dethatching Myth Defunked. In conclusion, the answer to the question “do I need a spring clean up?” is overwhelmingly YES! You do need a spring clean up if you would like to maintain a healthy lawn. The benefits of a spring clean up are many, and you will not be disappointed by us at Cleanr Mow! If you are interested in a full spring clean up, lawn aeration, or spring fertilizer, you can book an estimate now! JOIN OUR MAILING LIST FOR EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS!

The De-Thatching Myth De-Funked!

Kristian Zoppa Spring Clean Up

Do you really need to Power Rake your lawn? Spring weather has arrived, bringing a flurry of lawn care companies offering spring cleanup specials! Most of them involve a combination of power raking as well as an assortment of other services. But is power raking really a necessary service for your lawn? Or is there something better out there that will aid in the health and growth of a lush, green lawn? A power rake is a specialized de-thatching machine. Running it over your lawn means effectively ripping out a layer of built up thatch. Thatch is the un-decomposed stems and roots that build up near the surface of the soil on your lawn. A layer of thatch beyond half an inch in depth can prevent your lawn from reaching optimal growing conditions and in some cases can even cause your lawn to suffocate and turn brown. Power raking will certainly rip out this unwanted layer of thatch. However, it will also rip out the healthy growing grass that is happily surviving on your lawn. In most cases, the thatch on your lawn will not get to over half an inch unless it is a very frequently, compacted area. If you frequently walk or drive over the same area of your lawn, this loose debris can thicken and create a deep layer of thatch. In most events however, on a healthy and regularly maintained lawn, your thatch will not reach a level that warrants any issues and power raking can actually have more negative effects on your lawn than positive ones. THATS RIGHT! If you maintain a healthy lawn, power raking can actually damage it rather than improve it! The common misconception with power raking is that since it rips up all the old thatch and dead growth, your lawn will be better off for it. But what is really happening is that the healthy growth is getting torn out as well, causing undue stress on your lawn. The slicing and dicing of healthy growth will cause negative effects towards the long term health of your lawn. We only recommend power raking about 10% of the time, because in most cases, it will actually be worse for the health of your lawn then not doing it at all! Not to worry, there’s a better solution to tackling thatch build up and to help launch spring growth. Deep core aeration is the process of removing cores of soil from your lawn, about 3/4” in diameter and 3” deep, to help allow nutrients to deeper penetrate the root system of your lawn. Aeration is an absolutely vital piece to the lawn care puzzle as it allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate built up grass and layers of thatch. The process of core lawn aeration is relatively simple, but the benefits are amazing. A lawn aerator is run over your lawn, pulling out plugs of soil and creating holes in the lawn. These plugs are then left on the lawn to decompose on your lawn, essentially creating a layer of healthy, natural fertilizer on top of your lawn. The microbes that are within the plugs will wash into the holes from watering or rain storms and will aid even more in the growth and development of your lawn. Essentially, aeration is a two for one deal with a ton of benefits! You not only help to handle your thatch problem without tearing up and killing your lawn, you also get the added benefit of driving nutrients deeper into the root system of your lawn to help aid growth. These benefits act as our main motivator to help steer our customers towards lawn aeration over power raking. If you want to maintain a healthy, lush lawn, than aeration is a must! Contact us today to book your lawn aeration or read When Is The Best Time To Get My Lawn Aerated? JOIN OUR MAILING LIST FOR EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS!