Bermuda clippings....to bag or not to bag.....

Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Centipede, Bahia, Paspalum, etc
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escondidogardener2
Posts: 10
Joined: July 30th, 2019, 4:23 pm
Location: Escondido California
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Some Experience

Bermuda clippings....to bag or not to bag.....

Post by escondidogardener2 » August 6th, 2019, 1:36 pm

Good Morning -

I am new to the board and have some long term work to do in amending my soil - soil test thread here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25247. I got some great advice from Andy on a long term plan which I have started.

After dropping my cut level to 1.75 inches, I am already seeing a noticeable positive difference in the growth rate and color of my bermuda lawn. My question is about when to bag the clippings and when not too. I am cutting every 4-6 days and I don't want to overwhelm the lawn with thatch. I have a thin lawn (with a whole salads worth of different weeds) in the back yard but it's quite thick on my side yard.

My instinct is to bag when previous clippings are still visible or "laying" on top of the turf and to leave clippings when none are present at cutting time. I have a Honda mower with dual "mulching" blades if that makes a difference.....

Appreciate any feedback!


Escogardener

Spacklerstyle
Posts: 44
Joined: January 20th, 2019, 9:50 pm
Location: Central Texas
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 5000-10000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Bermuda clippings....to bag or not to bag.....

Post by Spacklerstyle » August 13th, 2019, 1:56 pm

Personally, I never bag my Bermuda clippings except when I scalp the lawn at the beginning of the year... and I have never had a problem with thatch build up. There is a common misconception that leaving clippings on the ground contributes to thatch (it would seem logical ;). While there could be any number of things that would lead to thatch build up, simply recycling your clippings into the lawn wouldn't do this on it's own - especially if using a mulching mower. If there is a problem there is almost definitely another reason(s)... in which case it COULD be advisable to remove the clippings for a period of time while you treat the problem and your lawn/soil sorts itself out. However, generally speaking the benefits of recycling your clippings into the ground are abundant (e.g., adds OM and nutrients back into the soil, etc).

Do you see an abundance of thatch built up in the lawn now? I am not a soil expert... so if you have a thatch problem, other pros on this site may be able to look at your soil sample, ask about fertilizing/watering practices, and identify the problem.

escondidogardener2
Posts: 10
Joined: July 30th, 2019, 4:23 pm
Location: Escondido California
Grass Type: Bermuda
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
Level: Some Experience

Re: Bermuda clippings....to bag or not to bag.....

Post by escondidogardener2 » August 14th, 2019, 4:23 pm

No thatch at all - in fact my problem is that the grass is quite sparse which is due to poor (salty, low nutrient and compacted soil). I am leaving the clippings until I scalp next spring.

thx for the response.

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