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Should I Bag My Grass Clippings?


The quick answer is “NO” (at least most of the time).

Grasscycling is the term used for recycling grass clippings back into your lawn.  There are many advantages to letting your grass clippings lie on the grass and very few negatives.

Do Grass Clippings Cause Thatch?

First, just to dispel one myth – leaving grass clippings on the lawn does NOT create thatch. Thatch is a layer at the top of the soil where the grass roots and stems grow. When this thatch gets too thick, it blocks water, fertilizer and air from getting to the roots of the grass – this is bad for a lawn.

However, grass clippings are one of the fastest things to decompose in nature and they do not contribute to thatch build-up.  You can see grass clippings in the thatch layer but they will decompose before doing any harm. If you have ever dumped grass clippings in a pile, you probably noticed that the pile begins to get hot and smell bad within a couple days – this is the decomposition process.

Saves Time and Work

Bagging grass clippings takes time and, with grasscycling, it is unnecessary. If you recycle your grass clippings, you won’t have to stop every few minutes to empty the grass catcher and you also won’t have to dispose of the clippings.

Grass Clippings Add Organic Matter to Soil

At Green Giant, when we think of lawn care, the first thing we think of is the soil. Decomposed grass clippings add beneficial organic matter to the soil. Soil is (or should be) a living environment and the clippings add to the environment. There are also nutrients in the clippings that will go back into the soil – it’s not a lot from any one mowing but, over time, it adds up.

When Should I bag My Grass Clippings?

The only time you should collect your grass clippings is when there is too much and the clippings can smother parts of the lawn. This typically happens if the grass is wet or too long (or both). Otherwise, grasscycling is the way to go!