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Mulch - Grass Clippings / Cuttings

Frequency of mowing varies with grass varieties. Leave the clippings on the lawn to return nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Mulching mowers are the best but not essential. Put occasional excess clippings in compost pile. Do not ever let clippings leave the site. Do not use or allow maintenance people to use line trimmers around shrubs and trees. They can do serious damage to plants.

  • Grass clippings should only be used as mulch if mixed with leaves and other debris
  • I don't recommend lawn grass clippings as mulch by themselves because the flat blades plate and seal off the soil's gas exchange.
  • Grass clippings should be left on the lawn. Straw and hay can be used if they are free of broadleaf

See the Mowing, Lawn Care topic for mowing heights.


Question: Can grass cuttings be used as mulch, or will this result in excessive weeds? S.B., Palestine, Texas

Answer: Grass clippings can be used as mulch unless they are applied in a layer that is too thick. When clippings are piled too thick, they do not get enough air circulation while decomposing and will smell terrible. They also won't form humus or help plants well. When grass clippings are used as mulch, the thickness should be barely enough to cover the soil. The best way to use grass clippings is to leave them on the turf as you mow. They break down well there, especially if you follow an organic landscape program, and they feed soil microbes. The net result is better-looking turf while using less water and fertilizer.


Don't be this neighbor! Leave the grass clippings on the lawn, and mulch in the leaves (or move them and mulch them elsewhere on the property for use later). 





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