Can grass clippings be used as mulch?

Can grass clippings be used as mulch is a frequently asked question after having mowed the lawn. Generally, we throw away the remains in bags and then directly into the garbage can. Today we want to tell you that it is possible to use the grass clippings as mulch, but you must know that there are a few considerations to count on before.

In this blog post, we want to detail to you the considerations you must have before using grass clippings as mulch.

1 – The size of the cut

The first point that we must considerate is the size of the grass, as we know the primary function of mulch is to prevent the growth of weeds in certain areas and also maintain soil moisture. That is why, ideally the grass should be well-grown and long in size, and the thicker the better. This is important because the grass that is long and thick will slowly lose moisture and will gradually decompose, prolonging the lifespan of our mulch.

What happens if the grass is very fine and short? well, this grass will have a very accelerated decomposition and will not allow a good ground cover. That means that in a few days your grass clippings will be integrated into the soil.

Can grass clippings be used as mulch

2- Weed

We know that one of the main functions of the mulch is to prevent the growth of weeds, which is why we must be careful when we are cutting the grass. If we find weeds within the cutting area, it is possible that depending on the stage of the weed, it may be shedding seeds. If we use grass clippings and we will be moving the seeds to unwanted places.

It is advisable to do a preliminary weeding before cutting the grass to avoid unwanted propagation.

3 – Fungus and Bacteria

Fungi can be a problem when using mulching. We must be sure that the grass that will be used as mulch is healthy and free of diseases. If we notice that our lawn is infected with a fungus or disease, it is better to avoid using it as mulch since we may be spreading unwanted diseases.

4 – Irrigation

When we use grass clippings as mulch, the irrigation frequency can be decreased, since the soil manages to maintain moisture for a longer time. We must avoid excess watering as it can lead to the formation of fungus.

5- Insects under the mulch

If we are using very long and very dense grass as mulch, many times we may not be seeing the propagation of insects that are harmful to our plants. If we have a very dense mulch, it is recommended that from time to time we check the surface of our soil, looking for, for example, leaf-cutter ants or grasshoppers.

4 – Steps to successfully use the lawn as mulch

1- Check the health of the leaves that will be used as mulch. The leaves must be healthy and the area free of weeds.
2- Check the length of the leaves, ideally they should be greater than 5 cm.
3- Verify that the place where the mulch will be placed is free of harmful insects.
4- Arrange the cut grass with a minimum thickness of 5-8 cm. If the grass is thin and long, we must place more grass, going up to a density of 10/12 cm. The soil must be fully covered.

Advantages of using mulch

  • Improves soil structure by maintaining moisture and regulating temperature.
  • Promotes the development of beneficial living organisms.
  • Avoid excessive evapotranspiration from the soil.
  • The use of water is reduced.
  • Prevent soil erosion.
  • Prevent soil and nutrients runoff when it rains.
  • Prevents the propagation of weeds.
Can grass clippings be used as mulch

Alternative uses of cut grass

Organic fertilizer

One of the major uses of grass clippings is organic fertilizers. This is mainly because grass clippings are rich in nutrients that can be reused. Although it is possible to use it quickly after mowing the grass and without much preparation, we must be careful if the leaves are long and the amount of clippings is big. This is mainly due to the longer they are, the longer they take to decompose and lose moisture. If this happens, a very thick layer of dead grass could be generated above that will end up killing the healthy leaves below.

If we want to use the grass clippings as organic fertilizer and the grass turns out to be very long, we have two options, throw away 50% of the clippings and distribute the remaining balance evenly, or we can process it, with special machines that shred the grass, this will allow reducing the size of the leave and will allow losing faster moisture thus being able to dry and incorporate into the soil efficiently.

Alternative Use – Longer One

The other use that you can give the grass clipping is as a compost, this process could take much longer but it is also very beneficial for the soil. This process mainly uses microorganisms that are present in the environment to decompose the green matter converting it to compost. Check this post where we answer are grass clippings good for compost?

Can grass clippings be used as mulch


Yes, grass clippings are used as mulch but there are considerations before doing it. The 3 most important is, to check for weeds in the area before mowing, we don’t want to propagate weeds in undesired areas. Second, check for diseases, the same reason as the weed, and also check if the grass is long enough that will cover all the soil.

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