Depending on who you ask, you will get various answers about lawn clippings. Some will tell you to bag the clippings after you mow and discard them as yard waste. Others may suggest that you leave them on your lawn or recycle the clippings for compost or mulching needs. With so many opinions, what are the facts? Our Landscape Associates team has those answers.

What Are The Basic Facts About Lawn Clippings?

Before we get started, let’s review some of the basic facts about lawn clippings professional lawn care and landscapers will show you. If you’re unsure what to do with grass clippings after mowing, refer to the list below.

  • Bagging your lawn clippings should only be done as a last resort.
  • Recycling clippings back into your lawn can improve your soil.
  • Thatch build-up is not from recycling lawn clippings.
  • Reduce your nitrogen fertilizer usage with recycled clippings.
  • Remove clippings from your lawn for compost and mulching needs.
  • Grass clippings an inch or less are safe to leave on your lawn.
  • It is not necessary to dispose of grass clippings as yard waste.
  • Always think to recycle, recycle, recycle your lawn clippings.

Is Recycling Clippings Back Into Your Lawn Beneficial?

Yes! And for several reasons. As an organic matter, your lawn clippings help improve sandy or heavy clay soils. Those grass clippings provide a valuable and natural source of nutrients your lawn must-have for healthy growth. That also reduces the need to use nitrogen fertilizers.

A tremendous time-saving benefit comes from mowing your lawn regularly. That scheduled cutting reduces the chore of gathering up or bagging your clippings. Also, with smaller grass blade clippings, you can easily recycle those cuttings back into your lawn.

Do Lawn Clippings Increase Thatch Layer Buildup?

No! Lawn clippings are made up of water and compounds that easily and rapidly degrade. To fully understand where thatch sits in your ground, a soil sample would display four layers.

  • Layer 1 – Turf/Grass Canopy
  • Layer 2 – Thatch
  • Layer 3 – Mat
  • Layer 4 – Soil

Do note: when your lawn was initially installed, there was no thatch layer, and a soil sample would display only three layers.

  • Layer 1 – Turf/Grass Canopy
  • Layer 2 – Mat
  • Layer 3 – Soil

However, over time, thatch begins getting lodged in between the Canopy and Mat layers and expands. The causes of build-up are numerous. They can range from excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers, lack of mowing, types of vigorous grasses, or low soil oxygen levels in compacted or oversaturated soils.

Need Help Recycling Your Lawn Clippings?

At Landscape Associates, we understand you may not have time to recycle your lawn clippings and need our help. That’s where our team of lawn clipping experts comes in and takes that burden off your shoulders once you give us a call.

For more tips and advice from Landscape Associates, sign up for our free e-mail newsletter or check out our other articles here. If you are concerned about your landscape, contact us here or give us a call at 920-337-4915 with questions you may have.