I've got a well established 31 tall fescue lawn growing in Atlanta's hot
clay soil (nicest one in the neighborhood, actually). I've always used the
grass catcher on my mower but I'm getting tired of emptying the bag all the
If I just let the clippings spray out onto the lawn, would I get thatch
build-up--- or would the clipping just disintegrate? And how bad is thatch
Yes. Very much so. The clippings from a standard blade will not chop them
fine enough to break down before they build up. If you mow often enough, so
that the clippings are small, and keep the grass at the correct height for
the species, you *may* not have an issue. But, it would require a rigid
schedule to ensure that you don't build up the thatch layer to thick.
No. See above.
A little acts as a light mulch, is necessary, breaks down as a
high-nitrogen fertilizer, and acts as a cushion for foot traffic. Too much
acts as a barrier, keeping water, fertilizer, and air from penetrating to
the roots. It also provides a save haven for insect infestation.
If you choose to allow a thatch buildup, you can help control it several
ways. You can top dress your lawn with a light layer of compost, or the
introduction of earthworms which will eat the thatch. If the thatch becomes
too thick, then a bit more drastic measures need to be taken. You can
verti-cut your lawn. It's sometimes called a "power rake". In essence, it's
a vertical-cutting lawnmower. It's going to leave your lawn looking a mess,
but immediately after you're through, just rake up the lose stolons, and
throw them away. After you've cleaned up, then you'll need to aerate (with
a core-aeraor, and then top dress with compost.
Maintaining your lawn the way it is, would probably be the least amount of
work. From your description, you're doing things right. A nice lawn
requires a lot of work. There are no shortcuts.
Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
Clippings aren't thatch. Thatch is part of your growing grass plants, so
no, you're not bagging won't really contribute to your thatch layer.
Clippings will make a very un-sightly mess behind your mower if they are
excessive tho..you can go back over it and chop it again with your tractor
and disperse the clippings again..I like to bag during the spring and fall,
I use it for weed block along the back forty fence line. Aerate once a year
if you can.
Sorry, but the above statement is only partially correct. While it's true
that "clippings aren't thatch", it is untrue that they won't contribute to
the thatch layer.
Just curious as to your background in turf grass management, if you don't
mind providing that information. Please don't take that as any type of
flame. I really am only curious.
Oh, I don't doubt it. I've lurked here a while, just haven't posted. My
question as to his background was not meant to be derogatory at all. The
OP's question has no cut and dry answer.
There are many more factors involved than just "can I quit bagging". The
thickness of the existing thatch layer being one. If the clippings cannot
come in contact with the organisms near the soil layer, they can't
breakdown, and therefore *will* contribute to the thatch layer, creating
more problems than simply removing the clippings.
A piece of motorway and piece of dual carriage way are enjoying a drink in
There you are again, with the "clippings are thatch". Again, that's not
what I said. I explained how they can *contribute* to thatch, in my reply
to plug, as well as in my reply to the OP. You, as you've done before,
conveniently snipped that part of my reply. If you want to play little
Usenet games by snipping all but the part of your reply that will fit your
argument, I've no time for that.
I'm currently a Horticulturist at a private country club, and working
towards a degree in Grounds Management. Doesn't make me an expert, nope.
Never claimed that it did. But, I'll stand by my claims as *I've* made
them, not as *you've* snipped and altered them.
-Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a
Of course they do.
Thatch is the layer of undecomposed and partially decomposed plant
material, tightly interwoven with living tissue between the soil surface
and the green vegetation. This is *including*, but not limited to,
clippings. If lawns are mowed regularly, so that no more than 1/3 of the
leaf height is removed each time, there's no need to bag.
That was my only point. If you feel that's incorrect, that's totally on
you, but you would be the one that was wrong. There are more factors to
consider than just the desire to bag or not.
Never fear, I'll waste no more of my time trying to convince you what
contributes to thatch. You obviously don't understand, or can't comprehend
Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
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