The Q&A Archives: Leaving Clippings on Lawn

Question: I just moved to a place with beaufitul, lush lawn. To keep it thick and growing well, should I rake the clippings or leave the clippings on the lawn? I do not know what species of grass it is.

Answer: If you have a mulching blade on your mower, mow frequently, or don't mind going over your lawn twice, you can safely leave the clippings on the lawn. The trick is to make sure the clippings are small. If you try to mow down two or more inches of grass blades, they will clump up and take a very long time to decompose. So, as long as you mow regularly, you'll be doing your lawn a favor by leaving the clippings on. As the small pieces decompose they will return nitrogen to the roots of the grass plants. Otherwise, you can rake them off and compost the clippings, or use them to mulch your garden.

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