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Do you bag your grass clippings or leave them when you mow the lawn? While many people like to bag because it makes their lawn more attractive, an acre of bag clippings can use up to 260 bags each year! That is why many states require you to separate  grass waste from your other waste. Here are some reasons why you should consider leaving your clippings on your lawn the next time you mow.

Why should I mulch?

Grass contains  nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. By keeping your grass clippings you can use them as a ‘natural fertilizer’. Mulching will reduce the amount of water that your lawn needs. The healthier your lawn is the more efficiently the roots will absorb water. Another reason why mulching is beneficial is that since grass is 100% biodegradable you can incorporate the clippings into your compost pile.

What about Thatch?

A common argument against mulching is that it causes thatch. Thatch is a layer of living and dead organic matter that chokes out new growth. Many people believe that mulching can cause thatch. Thatch is actually caused by over fertilization and over watering. This causes the lawn to grow excessively fast.


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Do you sharpen your lawn mower blade each season? Dull blades are not good for your lawns health. A dull blade rips grass when a sharp blade will cut it. This leaves the grass susceptible to disease. Along with cutting the grass clean, a sharp blade will cut back your lawn mowing time. It is best to sharpen your blade twice each season to maintain a healthy lawn. Here is a guide to sharpening your lawn mower blades.

Removing the Blade

Make sure to remove the spark plug before you remove the blade. This will ensure that the blade does not chop your hand off when you are removing it! Next you’ll want to tip the mower on its side with the carburetor and air filter up so gas does not leak into the air filter.  Finally, remove the blade. For the best results you will want to put a 2×4 in between the blade and deck so the blade does not move around when you remove it with a wrench.

Sharpening the Blade

After you remove the blade you should mark it with spray paint. Lawn mower pros have found that one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is putting the blade back on the wrong way after sharpening it. If your blade is not too dull you should clamp it in a vise and use a metal file to sharpen it. File the blade until it is as sharp as a butter knife. Make sure to file on the top side of the cutting edge to get the longest lasting edge on the blade. If the blade is badly damaged it may be time to replace it. You could use a grinder to sharpen it but they are harder to use and can overheat or damage the blade if not used correctly.

Re-installing the Blade

Before re-installing the blade you’ll want to make sure that it is balanced. An unbalanced blade will vibrate which could cause damage to the blade shaft or bearings. You can check the balance by hanging the blade on a nail in the wall. If it falls more to one side than the other then it is unbalanced. If that happens keep filing until it falls evenly. Next re-install the blade. Don’t worry about over tightening the bolt since this is hard to do.