Why Does My Push Mower Clump Grass as I Cut?

Clumps of grass clippings on the lawn are not only unsightly — they could hurt or even kill the yard grass. Whenever your push mower leaves clumps of grass clippings on the lawn as you mow, the likely causes are wet grass or permitting the grass to get too tall before you mow. You can’t control the weather, but it is possible to maintain a healthy, clump-free lawn by making some changes in how you mow the yard. Suggested turfgrasses for light, Mediterranean climates include Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon, U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10), and Zoysia (Zoysia japonica, USDA zones 5 through 10).

Wet Grass

Mowing when the grass is wet doesn’t hurt the grass, however, the clumps left on the yard are unsightly and can cause problems when they are not eliminated. Mowing when the grass is too tall is far more likely to hurt the yard than mowing when it’s wet, so you may realize you have to mow wet grass from time to time. On these events, remove the clumps instantly.

Tall Grass

To stop clumps from long clippings, never remove more than one-third of the length of the blades of grass at one time. For example, to maintain a lawn at a height of 2 inches, let the grass grow until the blades are 3 inches tall before you mow. In case you have to allow it to grow taller than standard because of rain, then remove one-third of the length of the grass twice a week or so until you get to the desired height.

Effects of Grass Clumps

Leaving grass clippings on the lawn after mowing can provide as much as 25 percent of the annual fertilizer needs, so it is best to leave them on the yard unless they’re clumped. Clumps of clippings block sunlight and cause yellow leaves. Eliminate clumps of clippings by raking or mowing over them in a day or 2 when they’re dry. If you make a habit of leaving clumped clippings on the lawn, the grass may finally die.

Push Mower Blades

Mulching blades chop the pliers to finer pieces than standard push mower blades. Finer clippings are not as likely to clump, and they break down quicker than more than clippings. Dull blades tear the grass rather than cutting it and also give the grass a brownish cast, so keep the blades sharp. Torn bud also encourages disease and increases fuel intake when you mow.

See related

Roses That Bloom Even in November

When the sunny days of summer pass, many flowering plants lose their leaves and also cease to bloom. Gardens can become dull and colorless — particularly rose gardens. Fortunately, certain varieties of roses can be found which make blossoms throughout the fall — or even always year around — even though seasonal changes.

Hybrid Tea

Hybrid tea roses (Rosa hybrid tea), which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 5 to 10, will bloom in spurts or always year round in temperate climates. Bushes are narrow and reach up to 6 feet tall, depending on the cultivar and growing conditions, and also create large buds on straight, long stems. Varieties include “Mister Lincoln” (Rosa hybrid tea “Mister Lincoln”), which produces fragrant red flowers, “Sheer Bliss” (Rosa hybrid “Sheer Bliss”), together with aromatic white flowers and “Tiffany” (Rosa hybrid tea “Tiffany”), which blossoms in fragrant pink flowers.


Hardy floribunda roses (Rosa floribunda), located in USDA zones 4 through 8, are related to the hybrid tea rose but create profuse clusters of flowers instead of single-stemmed roses. Deciduous except in mild climates in which they could stay evergreen, floribundas develop as bushes that reach 2 to 5 feet in height, depending on the cultivar. They’re easy to grow and come in a broad selection of colours, a number of them fragrant. Over 14,000 varieties are available to select from, for example, best-seller “Iceberg” (Rosa floribunda “Iceberg”), which produces white flowers, “Easy Going” (Rosa floribunda “Easy Going”), which blossoms in yellow, and “Sexy Rexy” (Rosa Floribunda “Sexy Rexy”), which has pink flowers.


Grandiflora roses (Rosa grandiflora), which are observed in USDA zones 4 to 9, are a cross between the hybrid tea and floribunda. Possessing the best attributes of every one, they develop as tall bushes, reaching up to ten feet in height, and also create clusters of flowers in the end of long stems. They bloom more frequently than hybrid tea roses, creating flowers year around. Colors include the pink “Queen Elizabeth” (Rosa grandiflora “Queen Elizabeth”), the very first of all kinds of grandiflora, the yellow “Gold Medal” (Rosa grandiflora “Gold Medal”) along with the red “Enjoy” (Rosa grandiflora “Love”).

Climbing Roses

The large-flowered variety of climbing rose (Rosa climbing) blossoms during the summer and fall seasons. Possessing thick, sturdy canes, they can be trained to grow on trellises, fences or arbors. Left alone, they develop as arching shrubs or ground cover. Several varieties are available to develop in USDA zones 4 to 11, including the vibrant “Joseph’s Coat” (Rosa climbing “Joseph’s Coat”), which produces changing shades of crimson, pink, orange and yellow, “Blue Moon” (Rosa scaling “Blue Moon”), which flowers in fragrant lavender-blue shade along with the “Passion” (Rosa scaling “Peace”), which produces fragrant yellow flowers with pink borders.

See related

What Does It Mean When a Grafted Citrus Tree Has Thorns on It?

Growing your own citrus fruit is potential if you reside in a climate. In colder areas, you have to grow citrus in a greenhouse during cold months or move container plants inside your house when frost threatens. Planting grafted trees pushes the envelope on cold hardiness, but presents thorny obstacles that may grow beneath the graft union.

Citrus Trees

Even the most cold-hardy citrus trees endure frost damage, which may happen when temperatures reach 29 degrees Fahrenheit for just 30 minutes. A few lemon (Citrus limon), lime (C. aurantifolia) and orange trees (C. sinensis) naturally have thorns that grow regardless of that rootstock is used for grafting. For instance, of both main lemon cultivars, “Eureka” is almost thornless, while “Lisbon” contains thorns. Most citrus rootstock used for grafting contains thorns, making harvesting fruits a bit more precarious when a thorny scion or grass is grafted onto it.


To spread citrus trees, horticulturists use grafting or budding techniques instead of sowing seeds. Although a seed in the store-bought citrus fruit will likely sprout and grow, you will need to wait around 15 years for the resulting tree to bear fruit, depending on species. All commercially accessible citrus trees are grafted or budded to speed up the practice of harvesting fruit and also to increase disease resistance through using a hardier rootstock. Grafting takes the roots of a single plant, known as the inventory, and fuses onto it the take of another plant, known as the scion. Budding employs one vegetative bud in lieu of an entire shoot to splice onto the stock. Though some citrus trees are grafted, most are budded.


Grafted citrus trees have the best of both worlds — a scion or grass that’s chosen for its superior fruit quality, and a rootstock which has higher disease and pest resistance. Trees can also be bred to have after blossom times in order that they can avoid injury from late frosts. While sweet orange trees really are can withstand temperatures to 20 degrees Fahrenheit without sustaining damage, trifoliate oranges are hardy to minus 10 degrees. Trifoliate orange is one of few citrus trees which demonstrate resistance to foot rot, which is a disease that infects other varieties.

Trifoliate Orange

Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) is a member of the citrus family Rutaceae. Trifoliate describes its leaflets of 3 leaves. This tree contains such formidable thorns which Dr. Hugh Conlon, retired extension horticulturist, calls it “the barbed wire of the plant world .” Also called bitter or hardy orange, trifoliate is frequently planted as an impenetrable hedge. Though it also bears fruit, they’re seedy and sour tasting. Its finest commercial value lies in the hardiness of its roots, making it a preferred rootstock for grafting sweet orange trees. Its thorns, however, will continue to grow below a graft union or grass, even on citrus trees which don’t normally bear thorns.

See related

How to Train a Tomato Plant

Before you can harvest hot midsummer tomatoes, then you need to nurse the crops through the various perils spring and early summer clasp. From insect and animal pests to bacterial diseases, disease and adverse weather, numerous problems can stop your tomato plants from producing an adequate crop. Plants left to sprawl unpruned around the floor or in cages are more likely to be affected by disease and insects. Train your tomato plants to grow up a stake for healthier, larger fruit.

Push or hammer 6- to 8-foot steel or wood stakes at least 18 inches to the prepared soil every 14 to 20 inches down your full-sun garden row. Untrained indeterminate tomato plants — plants which do not have any set height — require 24 to 36 inches between plants.

Plant a tomato seedling three inches in front of each wager. Let the plants grow till they are 12 to 18 inches tall.

Loosely tie the main stem of each plant to the stake with a short length of twine.

Pinch off suckers — shoots that form from the joint between the primary stem and the leaf — from the bottom around the first truss of flowers or developing fruit. Pinch tiny shoots between your index finger and thumbnail. Snap off larger ones by pulling back to the shoot. Suckers can produce fruit, but growth at the base of the plant gets a lot of shade to generate large fruit and the crowded growth is open to infection from poor air circulation and humidity that splashes onto lower leaves when you water the plants.

Pick the strongest sucker that developed just below the first truss of flowers on each plant to train to an additional principal stem. Pinch out or snap off all additional suckers.

Insert another stake to support the second stem of each plant.

Tie vines to their stakes every time they put on an additional foot of growth.

Inspect the plants at least one time every week and pinch off creating suckers to stop additional stems from forming. Tomato vines with lots of stems put their energy into creating foliage to encourage the plant’s growth rather than into forming fruit.

Pinch off the growing tip of each major stem when the vines hit the top of the stake or as nighttime temperatures begin to cool to avoid additional fruit from forming that won’t have the time to mature.

See related

How to Grow Serviceberries

Like roses, serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.) By another name — plus they have many — could smell just as sweet. Also called shadbushes, shadbow and mountain blueberries, serviceberries bloom in early spring across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 though 8. Their snow-white, fragrant spring blooms yield edible, blue summer berries. Use the fruit from preserves and baked products, and enjoy watching the blue-green leaves brighten to fall’s yellow, orange and red before dropping to reveal the serviceberries’ red-tinged, silver-gray winter bark.

Plant serviceberry trees in always moist, well-drained land with an acidic-to-neutral pH between 5.5 and 7.0. Plants receiving six or more hours of daily sun flower and fruit heavily, but serviceberries also function well in partial shade, with four to six hours of sunlight.

Space serviceberries at a distance equivalent to one-half their adult spreads. An Allegheny serviceberry’s canopy, by way of instance, reaches around 10 feet across. Planting these trees 5 feet apart means they’ll create nearly continuous shade when adult. To distance varieties of different widths, utilize one-half the sum of their adult canopies’ measurements. Plant little cultivars, such as 4-foot alderleaf serviceberry “Regent” (A. alnifolia “Regent “), 1 1/2 feet apart to make a hedge.

Water serviceberries when the top 3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch during their first two years after planting. Established plants are relatively drought-tolerant; water them when rainfall averages less than 1 inch per month.

Spread a 2- to 2-1/2 inch layer of organic mulch, such as chipped bark or pine needles, around the trees to discourage weeds and keep the soil moist, but never saturated. Keep the mulch away from the trunks, where an accumulation may trap water. Replenish the mulch to maintain its original thickness as it decays.

Feed serviceberries with organic 5-3-3 fertilizer in spring and autumn at the speed of 1 cup of fertilizer for every foot of branch spread. Sprinkle the food evenly around the soil beneath their driplines, where mud falls in the ends of the branches. Water well after applying to soak the fertilizer into the soil.

See related

How to Slim and Prune Tomato Plants

Indeterminate tomato crops need regular pruning only because they develop until the first frost. Determinate forms have a shortened growing season along with a well-defined amount of flowers, leaves and stalks, so they do not need pruning. For indeterminate tomatoes, then you must decide if you would like one growing leader or more. Leaders, commonly called main stems, are the large stems that sprout branches, suckers and leaves. Single-stem plants do not need much space, but they create fewer vegetables than multi-stemmed plants. Pruning will limit the amount of bad-quality tomatoes and encourage the increase of high-quality fruit.

Pinch off any suckers growing from the crotch of every division following transplanting the seedling. Grip suckers between the thumb and forefinger to pinch off small growths or use pruning shears for large ones. Also pinch off any metallic flower buds.

Keep on pinching off suckers growing in the crotches weekly and blossom buds that appear two to three weeks after transplanting.

Allow the first pair of blooms to form when the plant is 12 to 18 inches tall. Pinch off any leaves and suckers beneath the blossom cluster. Allow a take to grow from the leaf axil, the angle between the stem and leaf, over the blossom cluster to develop two leaders. Permit a take develop from the leaf axil over the second leader to develop three leaders.

Pinch out suckers routinely to encourage stronger growth and plant health. Remove suckers in the crotch when they’re small, between 2 and 4 inches.

Locate the growing stage, which is that the very top of this leader. Trim off the growing point once it develops seven or six trusses (the blossom clusters that develop fruit). Pinch off any trusses that develop afterward.

Prune off any yellowing, dying or diseased leaves. Pinch off any new flower buds in mid-August to avoid fruit from setting late in the fall.

See related

Where to Grow a Duncan Grapefruit Tree

The “Duncan” grapefruit is America’s oldest known variety of the citrus fruit, and also one of the most well-known versions of grapefruit grown by home gardeners. While this variety’s fruit contains a great deal of seeds, the fruit are usually higher quality compared to most other seedless varieties. For the very best fruit production as well as also the healthiest, glossiest leaf, put a good foundation by picking the ideal place for your grapefruit. Several standards, ranging from sun exposure to distance conditions, will be able to help you decide where to grow your Duncan grapefruit tree.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

When Duncan trees have been subjected to warm days and warm nights, then the fruit glucose levels rise and acid is reduced, which results in tastier fruit. For the best results, grow Duncan grapefruit trees at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.

Sun Exposure

Like most citrus trees, Duncan grapefruits love full sun. For optimum health, the planting site should receive a minimum of six hours of direct sun exposure daily, but eight hours of sun exposure is greatest. Gardeners should note where shadow fall throughout the day, within an area that gets full sun at the same point in the day may be shaded during other parts of the day and not be acceptable for a grapefruit tree. Oftentimes, a south-facing location offers the ideal sun and warmth exposure.

Soil Type

The type of soil at a backyard can differ dramatically from 1 end to another. While a Duncan grapefruit tree may tolerate most kinds of dirt, the tree will grow fastest and also be in its healthiest when planted in soil that is slightly acidic. Well-draining dirt is greatest, as grapefruit trees planted in poorly draining regions will likely endure for a little while but will grow slowly and not create as much fruit.

Space Requirements

Duncan grapefruit trees need adequate space around them to allow the tree to grow quickly and experience whole sun and proper air circulation. Bad spacing may stunt growth, provoke various citrus tree diseases or pest problems, and reduce fruit yield. For the very best results, a Duncan grapefruit tree ought to have about 20 feet of clearance around it that is free of other trees, utility poles or buildings.

See related

How to Prune a Nishiki Willow

“Hakuro-nishiki” willows provide far more beauty than pussy willows. Think pale leaf-flames of cream, pink and soft green in the springtime, stems barely pink turning brilliant red in the winter, and also a tousled contour moving toward fountain as it matures. The “Hakuro-nishiki” willow (Salix integra “Hakuro Nishiki”), also known as the dappled willow, lights along a sunny corner of your lawn. Dappled willows thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 though 9. Left unchecked, they grow into shrubs 6 feet tall and wide, but you can prune them back in winter.

Prune out all dead branches. These are normally a dark color and simple to recognize. To confirm a branch is dead, slice a thin strip of outer bark with a sharp knife. If the layer beneath is green, then the branch is alive. Cut back dead branches to the point of origin, either the main stem or the ground.

Eliminate genital or broken limbs. Cut out crossing or rubbing branches. Trim all cut branches back to a lateral branch using a diameter of twenty that of the cut branch.

Trim selected tall branches back to ground level each year if you would like a small, compact tree. This keeps the height of the tree and promotes new growth. To maintain the willow even shorter, crown-trim in July, taking off the top third of the branches. Make the cuts in lateral branches and prevent stubs.

Tip-trim that the willow regularly to permit the lush new growth to provide its variegated spring screen. Prune branch tips approximately 6 inches, which makes the cuts over a leaf bud or lateral branch.

See related

Flowering Strawberry Plants

Strawberries, among the absolute most commonly grown fruit in house gardens, all start their lives as fragile white blooms on plants. Proper growing states will encourage more blossoms and thus more fruit, but improper maintenance can significantly impact the following spring’s harvest. Whether your flowering strawberry crops are June-bearing or everbearing, providing the ideal combination of soil, water and sun will maintain top quality of the flowers and fruit.

Plant Forms

June-bearing strawberry crops initiate blossoms when days are short, and they produce a crop of fruit through a 2- to three-week period in the spring. Everbearing strawberries have three phases of flowers and fruit through spring, summer and fall, while day-neutral strawberries blossom and produce fruit throughout the growing season. There is a huge variety of cultivars in every kind of berry plant, but many gardeners choose to plant each of three to extend the growing season.


Flowers, or inflorescences, develop from terminal buds on the crown of the strawberry plant and also typically have five sepals and five white petals. Branch crowns, or smaller crowns that branch off from the primary crown, can have one or even two extra flower clusters on each. Poor light, low temperatures and too little water negatively affect the size and health of blossoms and later, the berries. With June-bearing strawberry crops, removing flowers as soon as they look the initial year will encourage runner and root development and a bigger crop the following year. With day-neutral and everbearing plants, remove blossoms through June and abandon the rest thereafter to place fruit for summer and fall harvesting.


The three procedures for planting flowering strawberries include the matted-row system with plants spaced 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 3 to 4 feet apart, appropriate for June-bearing cultivars; the ribbon-row system, that limits the number of daughter plants and is more labor intensive, but yields more blooms, berry yields and fewer diseases; and the mountain system, where plants have been put around 1 foot apart in multiple rows and all runners are removed, that is acceptable for day-neutral and everbearing cultivars. Berry plants also grow well in containers.


Plant flowering strawberries as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. The very best place for plants is a sunny place in well-drained, sandy, loam soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. Approximately six weeks after planting and before flowering, apply 2 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer for each 100 linear feet of rows, and also utilize another 2 pounds in early September. This will foster the growth and development of blossom and fruit buds. Note that fertilizer needs will vary by region; your county extension office will know the specific kind required for your area. All strawberry plants require about 1 inch of water each week, either by irrigation or rain, to encourage flower growth.


The time from blossom bloom to harvest will be different from 18 to 45 days depending on the form of strawberry plant, sunlight and temperatures. Pick berries, together with the caps on and 1/2 inch of stem attached, in the morning when it’s cool and plants are dry to assist prolong berry shelf life. Harvesting vegetables each other day can help boost high-quality. Store harvested berries in temperatures around 33 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pests and Disorders

Two of the most frequent diseases in flowering strawberry crops are verticillium wilt and botrytis fruit rot, which influences blossom petals, flower stalks, fruit caps and fruit. Insects such as the strawberry bud weevil, which partially severs stems, can also lead to the loss of blossoms. An all-purpose fruit spray may be implemented just as the first blossoms open and at full bloom. Additionally, avoid putting berries in soil where other strawberries, brambles or crops in the tomato family — including potatoes, peppers and eggplants — happen to be developed to prevent verticillium wilt contamination. Eliminate overripe and rotted berries to decrease insect and disease problems.

See related

Mango Tree Spray

The mango (Mangifera indica) is a tropical evergreen tree characterized by a wide, dense layer of leaves, fragrant flowers, and big, thick-skinned fruits that are treasured the world over for their aromatic, sweet taste. If properly cared for in the home garden, mature mango trees are generous with their fruits, bearing prolific amounts. A variety of kinds of mango tree sprays are available that work to help increase overall plant health and fruit yield, in addition to protect the tree from harmful bacterial diseases.

Nutritional Sprays

Mango trees growing in less than perfect soils, such as rocky, calcareous soils, could benefit greatly from an yearly foliar increase of nutrition. For the tree’s initial four to five decades, apply a pre-mixed foliar spray that contains vital nutrients such as zinc, copper, manganese, and boron (a nutrient that helps blossom and fruit production). Following the initial five decades or so, apply a spray that only contains zinc and manganese, with low levels of boron if needed. Trees grown in neutral or acidic dirt may benefit from nutritional sprays of copper and boron in an “as required” basis.

Organic Sprays

For those who prefer organic methods, seaweed tonic is just a mild choice that may be sprayed on mango trees to strengthen tree health, prevent pests and help inhibit diseases such as mildew and blight. There’s little risk of accidentally harming the tree from over-applying seaweed tonic. It may be made readily by putting raw cedar in a bucket of rainwater with a loose lid and leaving it for 2 weeks to a year. After at least three weeks, then pour the seaweed water to a spray can and implement to the leaves.

Fungicide Sprays

Mango trees are notoriously susceptible to powdery mildew and anthracnose, fungal pathogens that wreak havoc on new flowers and fruits. If applied before infection sets in, fungicide sprays may be effective at preventing fungicide. Fungicide will not work if applied after the fungus is present. The fungicide should include copper and sulfur, and also be applied twice to young panicles: the very first time, once the panicles are all about half-mature, and 10 to 21 days later.

Flower-Inducing Sprays

Chemical flower-inducing sprays may be used to encourage higher fruit yields. Fruits are often bigger when the tree is sprayed with flower-inducing sprays. Select a spray that includes potassium nitrate, which gives the tree its required dosage of potassium, or a spray that includes potassium nitrate. Flower-inducing sprays shouldn’t be used on trees that are unhealthy or under ten years old. As with other sprays, it’s rendered ineffective if applied during rainy weather.

See related