A clogged mower deck quickly brings your lawn care routine to a stop. The clog wastes time and requires you to reach in near the sharp blades to unclog the area. Grass naturally builds up in the mower deck, but a few simple maintenance tasks and mowing tricks can keep the clogs to a minimum.
Keep It Dry
Wet grass clumps together no matter what type of mower or mowing technique you use. Avoid mowing right after rain. Give the grass a chance to dry out as much as possible before mowing. The grass also tends to be wet in the morning before the dew dries. Wait until later in the day so the grass dries and clumps less. Run your hand over the grass to test the moisture level.
Don't Mow Too Low
The timing between mowing sessions also plays a role in clogging the mower deck. If you wait too long, you'll need to cut more of the grass blade. Longer grass tends more to clump up or get stuck on the underside of the mower deck. Mow regularly so the grass doesn't get too high. The specific frequency depends on the growth rate of the grass at that particular time and may change throughout the growing season. Cut the lawn often enough so you only take about one-third of the grass blade length off. This also keeps your lawn healthier.
Your approach to mowing can also affect the clumping of grass and clogging underneath the mower deck. If you take wide passes through the lawn, you feed more grass into the mower at once. Instead, take narrower swaths so the mower doesn't have to handle so much grass. Overlap more of the area you already cut. Avoid forcing the mower to move too quickly, which also forces more grass through the machine at a faster rate. It might take a little longer to mow the lawn, but you may need to stop fewer times along the way to clean out the clogs.
Grass will build up on the bottom side of the mower deck even if you use smart mowing practices. Clean out the grass clippings after each time you mow so they don't build up and form clumps. Brush or blow off the loose leaf clippings each time you use the machine. Hosing down the mower deck is another option. If the grass starts to build up, do a thorough cleaning. Remove the blade or disconnect the spark plug so you can work safely. Use a wire brush or scraper to dig off the built-up grass.