Expert issues warning over the latest TikTok lawn care hack

The latest TikTok lawn care hack has gone viral, but one expert says that this new trick should be treated with extreme caution

person mowing a lawn
(Image credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images)

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. 

Doing this allows the cuttings to be redistributed across the lawn, he says, fertilizing any dry, patchy areas caused by hot weather and lack of rain. 

person mowing a lawn in a backyard

(Image credit: Sergey Novikov/Alamy Stock Photo)

Why this TikTok lawn care hack is dangerous

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.

'We wouldn’t recommend this hack. Without a lawn mower'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!'

woman using a lawn mower to cut a lawn

Keeping the grass box in place on your mower, such as this one from B&Q, is the safest way to ensure small objects don't get picked up and ejected from the mower

(Image credit: B&Q)

Alternative options to try

Toolstation's advice is to look for a 'mulch mower' when you're searching for one of the best lawn mowers.  

'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.'

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 don’t worry, you won’t end up with unsightly piles of withering greenery all over the garden.

The best robot lawn mowers also work in a similar way, distributing finely chopped clippings on your lawn to help boost the level of nutrients in the grass. 

Gardena Smart Sileno City robot mower

(Image credit: Gardena)

Mulching mowers makes sense

Lawn care expert Sarah Bahr at Lawn Love, a website dedicated to lawn care advice, loves mulch mowers because they ‘grasscycle’ on the spot, saving time, money and energy and encouraging healthy microbiological activity in the soil without causing build-up of grass-based weeds. 

'Mulching releases nitrogen phosphorous, potassium and micro-nutrients directly back into the soil, meaning fewer fertilizer treatments for your lawn, saving money and the environment too.'

So consider yourself warned. Make sure you take this safety advice on board if you're considering attempt the latest TikTok lawn care hack this weekend.

Jayne Dowle
Freelance writer

Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.