Anyone who has a lawn accumulates a lot of grass clippings throughout the year and part of the fun of mowing is deciding what to do with the clippings that you get from your yard. They’re actually very useful to have around because most yards and gardens do not contain enough organic material.

Leaving grass clippings on the lawn is an idea if you have a mulching mower. It is not a good idea to leave piles of grass clippings all over the place but mulching mowers chop the blades of grass up until they are so fine that they become practically invisible. Fine grass clippings decompose rapidly and help to fertilize the lawn. Which is handy since grass is such a fertilizer hog.

Grass composting is another thing to do with grass clippings. If you either do not have a mulching mower or for some reason prefer bagging the grass clippings they can be added to a compost pile. If grass clippings are added to the compost pile they need to be mixed in fairly well with the browns. Grass clippings on their own can become an unpleasant mess but mixed in with other garden waste and they’ll help the compost pile to heat up. You can never have too much compost, and most gardeners can't come up with enough plant material to create as much as they need. Grass clippings make a great addition.

Grass clippings can make good garden mulch if added in thin layers throughout the season. You wouldn’t want to put 4 inches of clippings on top of the soil and then ignore it but if added an inch at a time and allowed to dry out before the next batch is added it forms a very nice weed barrier. The only time this is a bad idea is if the lawn has a lot of weeds that have gone to seed in it. Adding weed seeds to the garden bed can cause issues later. I do this one a lot, but I tend to mix the clippings in with the first inch or so of soil. Grass clippings make the soil really nice.

Sending grass clippings to the local composting site is the thing to do if you absolutely must get rid of the clippings. If your city has a composting site they probably have pickup and drop off for yard waste as well. This isn’t the best option for your home garden but at least this way someone will get some use from your grass clippings. If your taking your grass clippings to them you may as well grab a load of compost to bring home and add to the garden.

Things Not to Do With Grass Clippings

Sending grass clippings to the landfill is a wasteful thing to do with them. The landfills are getting over filled as it is and adding to this environmental burden is strongly discouraged in most places. Most cities will take your unwanted lawn and garden waste and recycle it for you.

Don’t dump grass clippings in an out of the way place. Piles of clippings are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The grass collects water which forms a nice place for the mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

Grass clippings are great to have around if you have a garden. I can always come up with a use for mine with my hard as a rock clay subsoil.