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Lawn mower not picking up grass? Here’s why

Have you just finished your first cut of the year and noticed that there are grass cuttings all over the lawn? This is not ideal when you are getting your lawn tidy as you’ll have to spend more time removing the cuttings. In this article, we look at the reasons your lawn mower may not be picking up the grass. 

Your lawn mower doesn’t have a grass box.

Firstly, before we look at the basics, you will need to check if your unit even has a grass box. Some electric lawn mowers do not actually have a way of collecting the grass. They can cut the grass for you, but you will need to rake the leftover grass up manually. 


The grass box needs cleaning.

Another reason why your lawn mower may not be collected is that your grass box is clogged. If the box becomes clogged with grass, dirt, or debris, it will be difficult for the grass to enter the box as the debris will create a blockage. To rectify this, empty and clean the box in accordance with any maintenance instructions. Generally, just patting away debris and wiping with a cloth if applicable can be enough to clean. 

The grass box isn’t correctly attached.

You may find that the grass box itself isn’t correctly attached to the lawn mower. In these scenarios, the grass is likely to fall straight out of the basket or miss the basket completely. To solve this, check that it is securely fastened to the unit and aligned correctly. 

The blades are clogged.

It isn’t just the box that can become clogged, but the blades can too. If grass is left in the blades between uses it can harden and stick. This makes it difficult for the blades to cut effectively and throw up into the grass box. Instead, it may rip the grass and leave it on the lawn. To resolve this, safely wipe off any dirt from the blades and sharpen up if necessary. 

The grass is wet.

If you are cutting grass when it is wet, you are likely to experience issues with the cutting results and the ability for the grass to collect. This is because blades struggle to cut the grass when wet, but when it does cut the grass clumps together. These clumps of grass tend not to collect in the grass box as they are damp and heavy, so they will fall to the ground when cut and remain on the lawn. To prevent this, only cut in dryer, warmer weather. 

You’ve cut too much grass at once.

Cutting too much at once without emptying can result in grass cuttings being left behind. This is because the grass box will fill up and overflow. You should aim to empty the box throughout your lawn mowing to prevent too the grass from overflowing. This is particularly significant when cutting larger lawns as you will get a bigger collection of grass.  


The grass has been cut too low.

Similar to cutting too much at once, cutting the grass too low can also be problematic. If you are cutting too low the box can overflow quickly. This is because when you cut long grass to a shorter length, the volume of the grass collected will be notably higher than when gradually adjusting the length. We recommend reducing the length over time to prevent the box from overfilling. This means the grass will be successfully collected without leaving cuttings on the lawn, not to mention is better for your grass. 


To summarise...

For most cases, if your lawn mower isn’t picking up the grass it is usually down to general maintenance or the conditions of which you’re cutting in. Even if most grass is collected, you are likely to find some stray cuttings so will need to manually tidy up with a garden rake. 

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