Ask a Question forum: Over grown grass

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Victoria
Nora5783
Aug 23, 2017 1:17 AM CST
Hi guys, ive moved into a new house and i see the previous owners have cut the backyards grass when it was high and they didnt pick up the excess grass so now im left with what looks like grass but piled on top in layers all over my yard, also has grown weeds, any suggestions? I tried to rake it but it was to difficult
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Aug 23, 2017 6:40 AM CST
Could you mow it with a mulching mower?
Porkpal
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 23, 2017 7:56 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Nora5783 .

How large of a yard do you have? If the grass that is lying on the lawn is really long, I doubt that any normal mulching mower will get through it very well. It's probably going to be necessary to rake it -- maybe just work at a small area at a time and eventually get it all off, or you could consider hiring someone to do it. Or maybe a lawn service would have a mower that would be able to get through it and clean it all up for you.

Congratulations on your new home! Smiling
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 23, 2017 8:47 AM CST
They make a machine. Its kind of like a mower. Called a de-thatcher.
It will cut 1 to 4 inches down.
You can rent one or have someone do it for you.
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Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Aug 23, 2017 5:38 PM CST
When we mow and the grass clippings accumulate into ridges (we don't collect clippings), we make a second pass. This time we raise the deck of our riding mower and turn the speed of the blades up high and blow the clippings, which scatters the ridges of clipped grass. A week or so later we mow again and the cutting are so finely chopped, they mulch in nicely.
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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Weedwhacker
Aug 23, 2017 6:30 PM CST
A dethatcher isn't going to take care of long grass that was left lying on top of the lawn. Unless I'm picturing something entirely different than what the problem actually is.

@Nora5783 -- how long are the pieces of grass that are "piled on top in layers" ??
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 23, 2017 6:33 PM CST
Eventually the "hay" will dry, I'd be inclined to do the same as Kathy.
Name: Cole
Pittsboro, North Carolina (Zone 7b)
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colelwol
Aug 23, 2017 6:40 PM CST
just mow over it with a mower with a bag and it will collect that
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 24, 2017 10:10 AM CST
Ohh !!! Just though of something else. ๐Ÿ˜
If they still make them.
You can buy a de-thatching blade that fits a roatary lawnmower. Those blades really tear up the thatch.
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 24, 2017 2:15 PM CST
I don't think thatch is the problem, Philip, I think it is dried mown grass lying on top of the lawn from its being cut too short when it was long.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 24, 2017 3:59 PM CST
Dead grass that is matted up so bad that it can't be racked up ?
A de-thatching blade on a rotary mower, will loosen it up, for easy racking !!!
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Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 24, 2017 4:10 PM CST
Perhaps I got the wrong impression, but it sounded to me as though the grass that was mowed was lying in heaps on top of the lawn and raking it was too difficult because there was so much. That's not the same as thatch. I didn't see anything saying it was matted. Perhaps we need some clarification if Nora comes back.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 24, 2017 6:31 PM CST
I have a similar issue with some of my pastures. Repeated mowing over time will eventually take care of it, but meanwhile it looks ugly.
Porkpal
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 26, 2017 5:08 PM CST
I get the problem by the end of summer. They say by leaving the mulched the cuttings saves our lawn by shading the roots from harsh sun. But it grows so fast I have to cut 2x week. There is no way it can break down that fast. By this time of year, I end up with baseball sized bald spots. By mid-August, I use my blower to clear the dead grass and get down to fresh soil. And put my grass catcher back on the mower.
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Name: kathy
Michigan
Zone 4b, near St. Clair MI
Cottage Gardener Lilies Organic Gardener
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katesflowers
Aug 27, 2017 1:28 PM CST
Sheep. And lots of them ! Hooray - problem solved !
"Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." Shakespeare
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 27, 2017 2:16 PM CST
Comment :
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Thats the best answer i've herd Kathy.
Well ๐Ÿ˜• maybe not a herd of sheep. Oh ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Wait !!! Isn't a bunch of sheep called a herd ?๐Ÿ˜•??? Oh D'Oh!
Oh wells. I could go for a leg of lamb, even if they don't run in herds.
Either way, they all flocks around.
๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 27, 2017 4:44 PM CST
The sheep would eat the grass roots and all. That's what started the "range wars" in the west. Sheep pull grass up by the roots, leaving nothing to regenerate. The cattlemen didn't like that.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Aug 27, 2017 5:00 PM CST
I raised sheep for a number of years (actually used some of them to mow the lawn, as suggested, they do an excellent job, fertilizing as they go!) and I never had them pull grass up by the roots. I'm thinking the problem on the range may have been that they eat the grass down too short for cattle (don't cattle need longish grass because of the way they eat with their tongues?).
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 27, 2017 7:01 PM CST
Could be. I'm old, but not that old. Smiling
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Aug 31, 2017 2:51 AM CST
Forget "de-thatching". It is mostly a figment of your imagination. Grass-clippings don't cause it.

Grass clippings just decompose into the soil and provide the perfect fertilizer grass needs - what was in the grass.

Now if you let the grass get so high that the clippings actually smother the lawn in spots, that is another story. That has to be run over several times with the mower and spread around better. Aim the output of the mower so it spreads the clippings around evenly and now clumps. Then all is fine.

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