How to Use Grass Clippings as Fertilizer


A natural source of nitrogen, grass clippings can be an excellent natural fertilizer to use on your lawn, in your garden, in composting and in flower and perennial beds. Take advantage of the abundance of lawn clippings available in the summer and use them to nourish your garden.

Step 1

Use a mulching blade on your lawnmower when you mow your lawn. A mulching blade is specially designed to reduce grass clippings to tiny pieces, which helps them to decompose faster.

Step 2

Spread the clippings out to dry; if you've just cut your yard and the grass clippings are in wet, heavy clumps, you'll need to rake them out so that they can dry before being used as fertilizer.

Step 3

Leave some clippings on the lawn. A light layer will quickly fall below the growing grass blades and begin decomposing into the soil, adding nutrients to the root system of the grass.

Step 4

Add some grass clippings to your compost pile. Freshly dried grass clippings can be added in a three-inch layer to a compost pile, then add a layer of brown matter (soil, dried and crushed leaves) before adding another layer of grass clippings to keep the nutrients balanced and the pile decomposing well.

Step 5

Use some grass clippings as the bottom layer of mulch around perennials, shrubs and trees. A layer of grass clippings helps reduce weeds as it decomposes and fertilizes beneath shrubs, hedges, trees,and perennial flowers. Add a layer of traditional mulch on top if you don't like the look of the grass clippings; but regardless you'll reduce the amount of wood mulch you need, which saves money as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower with mulching blade


  • "Recycle Your Grass Clippings"; University of California Cooperative Extension
  • "Grass clippings are a good source of nutrients for your lawn"; Oregan State University Extension Service
Keywords: grass fertilizer, grass clippings, grass clippings as mulch

About this Author

Annie Mueller is a writer, editor, professional blogger, website designer, and tutor. She attended Missouri Baptist College and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Mississippi State University, with a Summa Cum Laude standing. She has written extensively on gardening, parenting, education, and personal growth for women.