Honda mulching mower clumping

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volleyhart
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Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by volleyhart » Tue May 30, 2017 8:54 pm

I know mulching mowers - and Honda's specifically - have been covered in other posts, but I'm stumped with respect to one particular issue.

The last several weeks, my Honda push (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Honda-21-in- ... /203709643) has been clumping grass on the left side. The front two wheels stay clean, as does the back right wheel, but the back left wheel gets covered with grass, which then gets pressed into the ground, leaving a trail of clumped grass. I've cleaned under the deck (will do this more thoroughly this weekend), and the deck is set on the second highest setting.

Tonight's mow was on dry grass, about 7pm EST. Since it's only happening on the left side, and specifically getting tracked on the back left wheel only, I don't think it's height of the deck ... but maybe I'm wrong?

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whodidntante
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by whodidntante » Tue May 30, 2017 9:54 pm

I would try replacing the blade.

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Bruce
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by Bruce » Tue May 30, 2017 10:00 pm

Sharpen or replace the blade
Or change the height so you are cutting less grass and see if the problem goes away.
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jadedfalcons
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by jadedfalcons » Tue May 30, 2017 10:01 pm

Honda mowers, in the past, fared poorly when cutting bluegrass. Do you have that? Otherwise, it sounds like an issue with air flow. If you take a tape measure, is the clearance from the tip of the blade to the deck the same all the way around? Is the area where this might be happening close to the side discharge or bagging chute?

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victorb
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by victorb » Tue May 30, 2017 10:07 pm

I have a Honda HRX217HXA and mulch all the time. If it is clumping and building up on the left rear tire, I use more overlap of previously cut grass and slow down. With very lush grass and cutting more than an inch off, it does have a tendency to clump. Make sure your blades are sharp, deck cleaned and engine running at top governed rpm.
The following is from the Honda Power Equipment site for FAQs on lawnmowers:
Does it matter what direction I mow?

For an even lawn finish, overlap each mowing swath by a few inches. If the grass is very tall or thick, use more overlap and a narrower mowing swath.
Your Honda mower will work most efficiently if you use the following mowing patterns as much as possible. Mower deck and equipment design and the direction in which the blade rotates cause these mowing patterns to give the best results.
Mulching
Use a counterclockwise mowing pattern when the mulching plug is inserted or the Clip Director® knob is in the full MULCH position. If the lawn has an irregular shape or many obstacles, divide it into sections where you can use counterclockwise mowing patterns.
Image
Last edited by victorb on Tue May 30, 2017 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tinscale
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by tinscale » Tue May 30, 2017 10:10 pm

In my opinion you are cutting too much grass off the top at once. For fescue, supposed to cut off no more than 1/3 of the height. Set mower higher or mow more often.

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lthenderson
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by lthenderson » Wed May 31, 2017 10:58 am

I used to have a Honda mulching mower and it would clump unless conditions were ideal. Ideal conditions were dry grass, not too tall, not too thick, sharp blade, mowed in a CC direction and mowed with an overlap. In the end, most of the time I left the mulching plug out, mowed clockwise blowing everything to the center and then bagged it up and disposed of the clippings into our compost pile.

livesoft
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by livesoft » Wed May 31, 2017 11:02 am

Also make sure that ALL the wheels are set to the same height.
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BIGal
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by BIGal » Wed May 31, 2017 11:14 am

I believe most of the issues have been covered...You may remove the blade and take it somewhere to be sharpened if it is dull. If the top of your grass is brown it is a good indication that the blade is dull. Be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting when working on the blade. I would also agree that most likely you are waiting too long between cutting and the grass is too tall...even with the highest setting if you are removing more than 1/3 it is too much...and will clump. Finally, you should be mowing at high throttle ...if the mower isn't running like it did when it was new, maybe it is time to have someone tune it up.

BHUser27
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by BHUser27 » Wed May 31, 2017 11:24 am

Mulched with a Honda mower for years. (Don't remember model, but it had the "plastic" deck)

All of these matter:

1) Clean under the deck - thoroughly
2) Clean the blade. Shiny metal with no bumps or build-up. Remove it to do this.
3) Sharpen & balance the blade & keep it that way.
4) Double check that all wheels are set to same height.
5) Make sure side eject cover & back access plug are properly in place & locked
6) Do not mow when damp or wet. Bone dry is best.
7) Mow high and often. If needed, set it high, mow, lower it and mow again.
8) Overlap so last wheel path is in current cut path.

Hockey10
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by Hockey10 » Wed May 31, 2017 12:08 pm

Cutting once per week in May is not often enough (at least in the mid-Atlantic area). Set your mower on the highest setting and plan on cutting every 5 days in May and into early June.

livesoft
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by livesoft » Wed May 31, 2017 12:14 pm

And one doesn't have to create the least possible overlap. One can overlap the mowing rows by 50% or more. That is, one cuts less uncut grass and re-cuts already cut grass by the amount of overlap one chooses.

And the Laws of Physics are not suspended just because one is mowing the yard ... except in movies like Guardians of the Galaxy.
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volleyhart
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by volleyhart » Wed May 31, 2017 1:38 pm

Wow - such great replies! Thank you.

I'll get to sharpening tonight.

jebmke
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by jebmke » Wed May 31, 2017 1:51 pm

Hockey10 wrote:Cutting once per week in May is not often enough (at least in the mid-Atlantic area). Set your mower on the highest setting and plan on cutting every 5 days in May and into early June.
yes, especially with all the rain lately. Although if you don't fertilize, you can probably get by with once a week.

We cut high - 4.25 inches and the guy who cuts doesn't use a mulching blade until fall. The clippings just work their way down into the grass.
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researcher
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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by researcher » Wed May 31, 2017 2:05 pm

volleyhart wrote:Wow - such great replies! Thank you.

I'll get to sharpening tonight.
I have a Honda mower and experience the issue you described. Sharpening the blades will not help with this problem.
There are 2 solutions that have already been mentioned, but I will reiterate...

1) Mow more frequently.
The grass is too high when you mow. Clumping happens when mowing heavy/thick grass that is too long. Mow more frequently, especially in the spring/early summer, about every 5 days.

2) Mow counter clockwise.
I discovered this on my own recently. If you mow in this pattern, the clumped up grass on the left side will be sucked into the mower on your next pass, further mulching it and leaving a clean mowed lawn. Even when the grass is too high, no clumped grass is left behind.

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Re: Honda mulching mower clumping

Post by RudyS » Wed May 31, 2017 4:05 pm

livesoft wrote:And one doesn't have to create the least possible overlap. One can overlap the mowing rows by 50% or more. That is, one cuts less uncut grass and re-cuts already cut grass by the amount of overlap one chooses.

And the Laws of Physics are not suspended just because one is mowing the yard ... except in movies like Guardians of the Galaxy.
That works for us. I call it "making half cuts."

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