Benefits of Mulching Grass Clippings

Some people think that mulching grass clippings is bad for your lawn. They mistakenly believe that bagging your grass will be better for their lawn than recycling the nutrients in it by using them as mulch.

Mulching benefits are seen in many ways including cost, time, and lawn health. Grass clippings are a great mulching material because they are free, and they add nutrients to the soil as they decompose. If you mulch your lawn appropriately, it will allow your grass to grow taller, fuller, and greener.

Mulching your grass may seem like a simple process, but there is actually more to it than meets the eye. 

What does mulching grass clippings mean?

Mulching is the process of breaking down plant debris into smaller pieces using mechanical or physical means. In other words, it’s simply the act of chopping up grass clippings into tiny bits using a mulching mower or a lawnmower blade.

What to know before mulching grass clippings

Mulching can be an effective way to treat grass clippings and other plant residues, but it isn’t always easy to do. Before you start mulching, here are a few things you should know:

  • It is not a good idea to pile up grass clippings or other plant debris on top of your lawn. Mulching will break them down into smaller pieces, but it won’t get rid of the dead leaves and stems that are left behind. If you don’t want these parts left behind, then bagging them up in plastic bags for disposal later might be your best option.
  • The first time you mulch grass clippings and other plant residues should be after mowing when there’s still some green color present in the plants being mulched; this way they’ll decompose faster than if all their chlorophyll had been removed by sunlight exposure during normal lawn care procedures over many weeks or months (depending on your climate).
  • Mulching breaks down plant residue into smaller pieces which makes it easier for microorganisms in the soil to eat and decompose them. This process enriches the soil with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other needed nutrients.


Why should you mulch?


Mulching helps conserve water

The first benefit of mulching is that it helps conserve water. When you break down plant debris into smaller pieces, the surface area increases, which allows for more moisture evaporation. This reduces the amount of water needed to keep plants healthy and hydrated.

Weed reduction

Mulching also helps reduce the number of weeds that grow in your yard. Weeds thrive in environments where there is an abundance of sunlight and moisture. By mulching your grass, you are effectively depriving the weed seeds of both light and water, which will help to minimize their growth.

Soil quality improvement

Mulching grass clippings is a great way to improve the soil quality in your yard. It does this by adding organic matter, which improves soil structure and makes it easier for roots to grow. Mulched grass clippings also add nutrients to the soil and can help keep weeds from sprouting, which means you won’t have to spend time pulling or spraying weeds.

Helps recycle lawn waste

Using a mulcher will shred the grass debris into tiny pieces that can be added back onto your lawn as compost. It has been called “grasscycling”. This process is beneficial as it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevents water pollution from entering our waterways.

Free, easy and environmentally-friendly

The best thing about mulching is that it’s completely free and easy to do. All you need are a few tools such as scissors or pruning shears, lawnmower blade (or even your hands), and some patience. Plus, by using this method of recycling grass clippings we can help reduce our carbon footprint while helping the environment at the same time.

Naturally feeds plants and trees

Organic mulch adds nutrients to the soil. The amount of nutrients added depends on what kind of material you use. Organic mulches are better at retaining nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium than synthetic mulches, as well as keeping soil cooler in the summer months by retaining more heat during the colder months.

Mulching also provides trees and other plants with nutrients by providing them with nutrients. By adding mulch around the base of these types of plants, you will help to keep their roots cool during hot summers while also helping prevent soil erosion during heavy rains or snowfall events.

It retains moisture longer than bare soil

By using mulch, you will retain moisture longer than bare soil. This means that your plants won’t need as much water because they’ll have more of it available to them when they do require hydration. Plus, the mulched area will look good even after heavy rains or snowfall events thanks to its dark coloration, which hides mud and stains from view.

Prevents fertilizer runoff into waterways

When you fertilize your plants, the fertilizer can runoff into waterways and create harmful algal blooms. Mulching helps to prevent this from happening by trapping the fertilizer near the roots of the plants where it is needed most.

Saves time on lawn maintenance

Mulching also saves time when it comes to lawn maintenance. By mulching your yard, you will minimize the amount of grass clippings that need to be raked up and disposed of. This means less time spent on yard work and more time for relaxing and enjoying your garden.

Mulching saves you money

You won’t need to spend money on lawn bags or fertilizer. Mulching also helps to save you money on your water bills. By using mulch, you will minimize the amount of water that is needed to keep your plants healthy and hydrated. This can add up to big savings over time, especially if you have a large yard or garden. 

How to mulch correctly

If you have a mulching lawnmower, it will do all the work for you. All you need to do is set the mower to its highest setting and allow it to run over your yard as you normally would. The clippings will be chopped up and dispersed evenly across the surface of the soil.

How much should you mulch?

Mulching is recommended for lawns that are less than an acre in size. For larger areas, it’s best to use a bagger attachment on your mower so that the clippings can be collected and composted separately from the grass (this also prevents them from piling up). The amount of mulch you should use depends on several factors, including how thickly seeded or sodded your lawn was originally; what type of soil conditions exist there now (clay soils will retain more moisture while sandy ones tend to dry out faster);  and if there are any existing problems with weeds or disease in your lawn.

When should you mulch?

Mulching is not recommended during the first spring mowing of a new lawn unless it has been established for at least one year. It’s best to wait until all dangers of frost have passed before beginning this process. Aim for when temperatures begin warming up again consistently around here.

When not to mulch

There are some instances when you should not mulch your grass clippings.

  • If you have recently applied herbicides to your lawn, wait until the herbicide has dried before mulching. Applying fresh mulch over top of herbicides can reduce their effectiveness.
  • You should also avoid mulching if there is a lot of moisture in the air – doing so will cause the mulch to become soggy and may lead to fungal growth.
  • Finally, do not mulch if you have recently aerated your lawn – the holes created by the aeration process will fill in with mulch, which will prevent water and nutrients from reaching the soil.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is it better to bag or mulch grass clippings?

There are benefits to both bagging and mulching grass clippings. However, if you want the best possible results for your lawn, mulching is the way to go. Mulching helps return valuable nutrients and moisture back to your lawn, while also keeping weeds at bay. You may think that bagging grass clippings will give it a cleaner look, but it does nothing to help your lawn grow healthy and strong.

Can I compost my grass clippings?

Yes. Composting grass clippings is a great way to recycle them and give your garden a boost. The nitrogen-rich compost will help keep plants healthy and thriving all season long.

What’s the best way to mulch my grass clipping?

Let the clippings fall and mulch in place. When your mower is set to a medium-high height, typically about three inches, you shouldn’t have any problem with leaving the clippings on your lawn. However, if it has been really dry and not raining for several weeks or longer, then bagging grass clipping would be best as they can quickly dry out.

How often should I mulch my grass?

The frequency of mowing will depend on how fast your lawn grows but most experts recommend cutting no more than one-third off at a time so that you don’t stress out the turfgrass plant.


Mulching grass clippings has its benefits, but it’s up to you to decide if it wins out overhauling them away for the landfill. It does cut down on your yard work and saves money over time. But there are potential drawbacks to mulched grass clippings. The amount of nitrogen in the clippings can also be a problem for some lawns. If you have any concerns with your soil, you can contact professionals to help you determine whether or not using grass clippings is the right choice for your lawn