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You’ve Raked Up Your Grass Clippings, Now What?

pile of grass clippings on a healthy green lawn
MskPhotoLife/Shutterstock

You chose to rake your grass clippings, even though you don’t have to. Now you have piles of grass and need something to do with it. Instead of paying for yard disposal pickup, try these tricks.

Sometimes you shouldn’t leave your grass clippings on your lawn, like when you water too long between mowings. You shouldn’t put those clippings in the regular trash—they’ll end up buried in a landfill for ages.

Compost Your Grass Clippings

Compost needs both brown and green material together to create a healthy composite pile. Grass clippings are an excellent green material contribution to your compost pile. Compost can be used in gardening to give your plants extra nutrients. It can also be spread on your lawn to help your grass grow greener.

You can compost in a container, or you can make a compost pile on the ground. Turn ground piles with a pitchfork or shovel. You can toss raked leaves in there, too. Worms love mulch piles, so gather some for your next fishing trip.

Use Your Grass Clippings as Mulch

Grass clippings make great fertilizer when you leave them on your lawn, but you can also use them around hedges to help prevent weeds from growing, to fertilize, and to keep moisture in the soil. Use grass clippings in your flower beds, too.

When using grass clippings as mulch, follow these rules:

  • Lay one inch or less of grass as mulch.
  • Don’t use treated lawn clippings (those you’ve used pesticides or herbicides on).
  • Only use dry clippings because wet clippings will mat down and cut off oxygen to the soil.

Use a Waste Service That Composts

Let’s say you’re not interested in composting your own grass clippings because you don’t have the space (and/or inclination) to do so—and you don’t need mulch for your landscaping or gardening.

Many waste management companies offer containers you can fill with yard waste including grass clippings, weeds, bush and tree prunings, plant cuttings, and pretty much anything else organic from around your yard. They pick it up with a truck just like your trash, but instead of dumping it all in the landfill, they compost it on an industrial scale. If that sounds like something that would work well for your lawn and garden care needs, give your regular waste management provider a call and see if they offer it.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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