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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grass Grow From Clippings?
The only way to grow lawn grass from clippings is to allow the grass to grow so long it produces seed. Allowing grass to become that overgrown looks unkempt and may violate regulations in your community. The success rate of each method depends on the type of grass and growing conditions. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), which grows in areas that roughly cover U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 7, is a perennial grass that might grow from seeds contained in clippings. It is also a longtime favorite for lawns. The clippings degrade quickly, adding organic material to the soil.
- 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
- Ohio State University Buckeye Turf: Annual Ryegrass Contamination
- North Dakota State University: Propagation of Turfgrass
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Poa Pratensis (Group)
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States: Kentucky Bluegrass
- University of Minnesota Extension: Seeding and Sodding Home Lawns
- West Virginia University Extension Service: Don't Bag It