Is it Ok to Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn? (Solved & Explained!)

Ideally, it would be best if you did not leave grass clippings on the lawn. Leaving lawn clippings on your yard is not terrible for your lawn and will not result in immediate damage. However, there are many ways to utilize grass clippings, so leaving them unused on the lawn is considered a waste. Plus, there are several ways that grass clippings can harm your beautiful lawn.

Although leaving grass clippings behind after mowing will not ruin your yard, it does have an impact on your yard quality. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn can cause the grass to die because of its inability to retain sunlight. Grass clippings left behind may also clump together when wet and leave imprints in the grass or block important drainage holes.  

To avoid potential disaster, remove grass clippings from your lawn and opt for one of the most eco-friendly options like bagging or mulching. Using grass clippings in compost is a great way to re-use grass trimmings. These trimmings can be placed in a compost bin and then re-used as a regular part of your gardening routine.

What Happens When You Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn?

Leaving clippings on your lawn can lead to several outcomes, most of which are not beneficial for your lawn. Although the nitrogen-rich grass works as a wonderful asset in compost, it can be a detriment to your lawn when alone.

Depending on the size of the blades, uncut grass clippings can block sunlight from hitting your grass. Not all grass blades must be large. Clumping may also cause sun blockage. When grass bunches together, it can clump and block sunlight. Clumped grass is extremely harmful because it can even cause impressions in the grass. 

Grass has many nutrients and can act as a natural fertilizer too. Sprinkling grass inside the pots of other plants or at the base of other vegetation can be a useful nitrogen source. Be careful not to block your plants from getting sunshine when doing so.

Clippings Block Sunlight

Leaving lawn clippings on your yard can block sunlight from hitting your grass. The size of the grass blades is a major factor in how much sunlight is blocked. However, even small grass will clump together and block sunlight. 

The lack of sunlight can lead to poor growth and yellowing. In the worst-case scenario, this can even cause your whole yard to die.

In addition to blocking sunlight, grass may also prevent aeration. When plants do not get sunlight and air, they cannot complete the photosynthesis process. Naturally, your lawn will begin to die as well.

Clippings Clog Storm Drains

When you leave clippings on your lawn, they can converge together, and block storm drains. Blocking a storm drain is considered extremely dangerous because there is nowhere for the additional water to go when bad weather comes. 

Take preventative measures by clearing grass clippings from your lawn after you cut grass. Collecting or clearing grass from your lawn will prevent it from collecting above storm drains and clogging them during large storms. 

The storm drain scenario is only applicable in residential areas. However, it would help if you kept in mind that clippings have the opportunity to create blockages and cause flooding. In rural areas, it is just as important to keep pathways clear.

Clippings Can Clump

If you mow your yard while the grass is wet, the clippings will likely clump together. Even worse, wet lawn clippings often stick to surfaces like car doors and can be difficult to remove.

When not removed after mowing, clippings can bunch together and clump in piles. Clumped grass is a massive problem, especially when the sprinklers kick on! 

If these piles of sloppy wet grass do not get cleaned up, the heaviness can cause impression prints in your yard. Yellow-green impression prints can make even the most beautiful yard unsightly.

Turn Into Natural Fertilizers

Not all things that happen to grass in lawns are bad. When you leave grass on your lawn, it often turns into a natural fertilizer. 

The elements inside grass are essential nutrients that your grass already requires to grow. These nutrients and vitamins are key reasons why grass clippings are such wonderful assets to your lawn.

What You Can Do With Lawn Clippings

You can do several things with your lawn clippings. Ideally, everyone will be eco-friendly with their gardening by re-using or composting their lawn trimmings. 

Folks who are uninterested in composting can also participate in the environmental movement by bagging lawn clippings and donating to others.  

Lawn clippings and majorly beneficial, and there are many things that you may do with them. To avoid waste, use your grass clippings in any way that you can.  

Compost Grass Clippings

Grass clippings make a great base for compost because of how much you can fit into your compost pile and how quickly it breaks down. The base of your compost is important because it determines how 

Mixing grass into your compost pile will create nitrogen-rich compost! By using grass-based compost, you do not need to use as much nitrogen fertilizer.

Use a Waste Container

Disposing of your cut grass in a yard waste container is the best way to remove your lawn clippings if you do not intend to re-use them. Most residential trash cans will not let you throw away lawn clippings in them.  

These yard waste containers are limited to lawn clipping and natural vegetation disposal use only. That means you cannot dispose of regular garbage in these bins. Likewise, you cannot use these bins for composting either.

Yard waste containers may require an additional fee. If you mow your lawn often, purchasing a special yard waste container is well worth the small convenience cost.

Bag Lawn Clippings

Bagging your lawn clippings involves collecting your lawn clippings after cutting the grass. Using lawn clippings in your daily gardening practice is massively beneficial. Having them pre-bagged keeps fresh clippings at your disposal at all times. 

Bagged clippings are convenient for later use and donation. Many gardening stores are happy to collect your bagged clippings for free if you do not use them. Local disposal sites are also available in most areas. These people are happy to take additional clippings off your hands.