A yard dominated by unruly and unsightly vegetation diminishes the look of the entire property. Thus, mowing the lawn on a regular basis is necessary if you hope to keep your home looking its best. In some cases, however, mowing the grass can a negative impact on the appearance of the lawn. This is particularly true if the grass clumps together as you mow. These small mounds of clumped grass not only look bad, but they can kill the living grass beneath them. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent grass clumps from forming.
Things You'll Need
Disconnect the mower deck, if you're dealing with a riding lawn tractor. If you own a push mower, drain the fluids from the engine and tilt the mower onto its side. To remove the deck from a riding lawn tractor, loosen and remove mounting bolts, hangers and drive belt from the deck.
Scrape the bottom of the deck with a plastic scraper or putty knife. Remove all dried grass and mud stuck to the bottom of the deck. Also, thoroughly clean out the discharge chute on the deck. Layers of dried grass and debris can block up the deck, which causes clumps to form as you mow.
Examine the mower blades. If the blades are damaged or dull, they should be replaced or sharpened. Dull or damaged blades will not cut the grass cleanly, which results in clumping. A wrench is required to remove dull or damaged blades.
Coat the bottom of the clean mower deck and the discharge chute with a thin layer of penetrating oil. Decks that are rough or corroded are more likely to collect debris, which eventually leads to clumping. The penetrating oil will help keep the surfaces clean and prevent grass clumps.
Mow the yard only when the grass is dry. Wet grass is much more likely to form clumps than dry grass. Avoid mowing after rain storms or early in the morning when dew remains on the ground.
Mow your lawn more frequently. Allowing the grass to grow too tall and too thick will inevitably lead to clumping, as the mower cannot efficiently discharge the large amounts of grass. Also, when you mow, adjust the mowing height on your mower so that the grass is cut shorter.
Operate the mower at a lower speed. While it's understandable you want to mow the lawn as quickly as possible, the mower cannot keep pace. Due to the excess grass being cut, clumps will form in the discharge chute. Place the mower in a lower gear or simply push the mower more slowly, especially over areas of high grass.
Open up the lawn mower's throttle. By running at the mower at full-throttle, you increase the engine's RPM, thus causing the mower blades to rotate more quickly. This will help cut and discharge the grass more quickly, preventing clumps.