TikTok's Popular Lawn Mower Hack Is Bad News. Here's Why You Should Avoid It

Leave it to the Internet to offer half-baked ideas with little scientific proof for the masses to try. Yet again, TikTok has offered a "hack" for mowing your lawn that is not only shoddy, but it's downright dangerous. With over 130,000 likes, this TikTok video claims to have discovered the perfect way to fertilize bald patches with your lawn mower, a process this influencer deems "the hair transplant." His careless method involved detaching the bag from the back of the lawn mower and using a stick or pole to prop open the rear flap, allowing the grass to shoot out the back. While this process of leaving the lawn clippings behind will indeed provide additional nutrients to the soil by increasing the nitrogen content, it's simply a terrible idea due to the risk of injury.

Leaving the back flap of your lawn mower open while it's in use is a perilous practice that should not be attempted. The back flap serves as a crucial safety feature designed to contain and redirect discharged grass clippings. By propping it open, the protective barrier is compromised, leading to the ejection of debris in unpredictable directions. This method poses a severe hazard to both the operator and bystanders, as flying objects, like rocks, can cause injuries. Furthermore, the opened flap exposes individuals to the rotating blades, increasing the likelihood of accidents and severe injuries. It's essential to adhere to the safety guidelines and operate lawn mowers as intended.

An alternative mower that will safely fertilize your lawn

Ultimately, the goal of the TikTok video is to provide a method to help homeowners fertilize their lawns with their grass clippings. While the suggested technique is incredibly negligent, there is, fortunately, a type of lawn mower that is designed to safely distribute grass clippings across your lawn, helping to fertilize patchy areas, encouraging a more even growth and better curb appeal. Meet the mulching lawn mower.

A mulching mower is a specialized lawn mower designed to finely chop grass clippings and redistribute them back onto the lawn. It features a unique cutting deck with specially designed blades that facilitate the mulching process. To use a mulching mower effectively, set the cutting height to remove only one-third of the grass height and mow when the grass is dry. This allows the mower to cut the grass into small pieces that decompose quickly. The finely chopped clippings act as a natural fertilizer, returning essential nutrients to the soil.

For a lawn with patches, a mulching mower offers several benefits. The mulched clippings enhance soil moisture retention and improve overall soil health. Additionally, the recycled clippings cover bare patches, providing a protective layer that encourages grass seed germination and growth. The mulching process aids in creating a lush, green lawn by promoting a continuous nutrient cycle, fostering a healthier and more resilient turf. Overall, using a mulching mower is an eco-friendly and efficient method to maintain a vibrant, well-nourished lawn.

How to prevent bald spots on your lawn

While a mulching lawn mower can help encourage grass growth in lawn patches, there are preventative measures you can practice to avoid these bald spots from developing. Cutting the grass at the right height is crucial for maintaining a healthy lawn. Set the mower blade at the recommended height for the specific grass type in your lawn, ensuring that you do not remove more than one-third of the grass blade in a single mowing session. Cutting too short can stress the grass, making it more susceptible to diseases, pests, and environmental stressors. Regular mowing, typically once a week during the growing season, prevents the grass from becoming overly tall and shading out lower portions, which can lead to patchiness. Additionally, leaving grass clippings on the lawn, especially when using a mulching mower, can contribute valuable nutrients back to the soil, promoting overall lawn health and reducing the likelihood of bare patches.

In addition to proper mowing, effective watering practices play a crucial role in preventing bald patches. Water deeply but infrequently to encourage the development of deep roots. Frequent shallow watering can lead to shallow root systems, making the lawn more susceptible to stress and patchiness. Early morning is the best time to water the lawn, minimizing evaporation and allowing the grass to dry before evening, reducing the risk of diseases. Consistency and attention to proper watering techniques will help maintain a well-hydrated lawn, minimizing the chances of bald patches developing.