Gardeners warned against ‘dangerous hack’ for patchy lawns – ‘causes serious injury’

Gardening expert explains benefits of not mowing your lawn

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A money-saving TikTok lawn care hack for filling in patchy lawns has gone viral with more than 1.4m views as homeowners in many countries look for tips for tackling unsightly dry patches on their pride and joy. But one gardening expert warns that this lawn care hack is dangerous and could cause injury.

In the TikTok video by Oliver Joseph, the British amateur gardener shares his mowing hack, which involves removing the grass box from the lawn mower and using a stick to prop open the rear cover. 

His reason for doing this is to allow the cuttings to be redistributed across the lawn, fertilising any dry, patchy areas caused by hot weather and lack of rain. 

However, according to a lawn maintenance expert from Toolstation, removing the grass box is one of the most dangerous lawn care mistakes you can make.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “We wouldn’t recommend this hack. Without a lawnmower’s rear cover or grass box in place, there’s a chance rocks and other dangerous objects could be picked up and ejected at speed.

“These fast-moving, heavy projectiles could cause serious injury to anybody nearby – including pets. 

“In particular, it could cause a lot of harm if it were to hit the face or eyes. 

“We all want a lush, green lawn, but it certainly isn’t worth losing an eye over!”

Toolstation’s advice is to look for a “mulch mower” when you’re searching for one of the best lawn mowers on the market.

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The experts said: “This is a much better option. A mulch mower is a type of lawn mower that is designed to spit out mulched grass as your lawn is trimmed – leaving behind clippings that will keep your garden well fed with rich nutrients.

“Unlike with this hack, mulching mowers are designed for this purpose, so you’ll avoid any issues with flying rocks!”

The blade and mowing deck of a mulch mower are configured to chop the grass multiple times before the cuttings go back into the lawn, so gardeners need not worry as they won’t end up with unsightly piles of withering greenery all over the garden.

If gardeners are feeling snazzy they could always purchase robot lawn mowers.

They work in a similar way, distributing finely chopped clippings on your lawn to help boost the level of nutrients in the grass.

Lawn care expert Sarah Bahr at Lawn Love, a website dedicated to lawn care advice, loves mulch mowers because they “grasscycle” on the spot.

This saves time, money and energy while encouraging healthy microbiological activity in the soil without causing build-up of grass-based weeds. 

She said: “Mulch releases nitrogen phosphorous, potassium and micro-nutrients directly back into the soil, meaning fewer fertiliser treatments for your lawn, saving money and the environment too.”

Gardeners should make sure to take this safety advice on board if they are considering attempting the latest TikTok lawn care hack this weekend.

Alternatively, don’t worry too much about your lawn during hot weather. 

“With the intense heat and lack of rain forecasted still, it’s likely your lawn will be left with scorched patches,” say the experts at Toolstation.

They added: “But remember, these often look more severe than they actually are.

“Especially after a heatwave, grass that appears dead is actually usually just brown and will perk up with a bit of water. 

“So, don’t panic when assessing the health of your lawn post heatwave!”

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