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When To Bag Your Grass Clippings
Grass Clippings - To Bag or Not To Bag
Keeping grass clippings on the lawn after mowing saves resources, time and money. Many states have banned yard waste from landfills to conserve space. Besides this important environmental concern, yard waste can actually be of value by being reused as mulch or compost on your property.

The same is true for the grass clippings left on the lawn after mowing. Leaving grass clippings rather than collecting them can reduce your lawn’s fertilizer needs by an estimated 25%. How often do we get to gain something by doing less?

You may have heard the repeated tale that leaving the clippings will increase thatch in your lawn. Research at agricultural universities has found that the grass blades decompose so quickly that they do not contribute to thatch problems. We recommend leaving the clippings if they are 1 inch or shorter. If you have a thatch layer thicker than 1/2 inch, it is recommended that you take action for the healthiest lawn. At scott flangan landscape we offer core aeration and dethatching services, so give us a call if you need a hand.

Tips for success: Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the grass blades when mowing to avoid stressing your lawn If you have to mow when it's wet, its best to pick up the clippings so the wet clumps don't suffocate the lawn underneath If your lawn has disease issues, the clippings should be picked up to minimize spread Excess clippings can be composted, but make sure to mix with "brown" materials such as dried leaves or wood chips

This is one of those rare win-win situations: from the time saved by not bagging clippings and the free source of nitrogen fertilizer to the conservation of resources by not trucking yard waste away!


Written by:
Nicole Gear
Horticulturist and Office Manager
scott flanagan landscape
2011 – present

Reference: http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6958

Scott Flanagan Landscape    708.460.5884    sfl@scottflanaganlandscape.com