Grass Clippings as Mulch Pros and Cons

Published Categorized as Weed Control
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If you are a new homeowner or recently installed new sod, perhaps you wonder if using grass clippings as mulch is a good idea. I have prepared a comprehensive list of grass clippings as mulch pros and cons for you.

Grass clippings as mulch pros and cons include increasing essential nutrients in the soil, retaining soil moisture, and reducing weeds. They also help prevent soil erosion and freezing of plants.

Mulching with grass cuttings has cons, too, like spreading weeds, making soil soggy, harming lawns, and attracting flies and slugs. But the good news is that the benefits of using these cuttings as mulch outweigh the cons.

What Are Grass Clippings?

grass clippings as mulch pros and cons

Grass clippings refer to the cut turfs you leave behind when mowing grass. Sometimes, you capture these cuttings with your mower or grass catcher.

You can leave them on your lawn, use them as compost, mulch for your garden, or feed your livestock.

Grass Clippings as Mulch Pros

Here are five proven grass clipings as mulch benefits:

1. Increase essential nutrients

Lawn clippings contain nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These nutrients are vital for growing healthier, thicker, and greener plants.

2. Helps reduce weeds

Spreading thick layers of grass clippings in your garden will help destroy weeds by restricting their growth to mulch.

3. Retains soil moisture

Another benefit of using grass clipings as mulch is their ability to preserve moisture in the soil. So, if the topsoil gets damaged during summer, add these cuttings as mulch, then water the garden consistently. This will help prevent moisture loss and ensure the healthy development of your plants.

4. Prevents soil erosion

Rain and wind erode the top layer of soil in your garden, making it difficult to absorb nutrients and moisture.

However, adding grass clippings will help the soil recover, adding nutrients to the eroded soil when it decomposes. Additionally, the mulch will help retain water in the ground.

5. Helps prevent freezing

Winter seasons can be too cold, making your plants freeze. Spreading a thick layer of lawn clippings in your yard helps regulate soil temperature, thus preventing plants from freezing.

Grass Clippings as Mulch Cons

i. Spreads weed seeds

Using grass cuttings that contain weed seeds as mulch will help propagate weeds. Strong winds may blow and spread these seeds in the entire garden.

ii. Makes soil soggy

Laying thick, fresh grass clippings may retain too much water for long periods, making the soil soggy. This will encourage pests and disease infestation.

iii. Attracts flies, slugs, and small animals

Sometimes grass clippings may retain too much water, which attracts snails, slugs, flies, and small animals, which may destroy plants.

iv. Can be harmful to lawns

Placing excess grass clippings around your plants increases the nitrogen levels that may destroy your crops. Additionally, if the mulch retains too much water, the ground will become a perfect home for fungi.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why use a bag on a lawn mower?

A: Using lawn mowers with bag (pictured above) makes your yard look professional, neat, and attractive. Also, it helps boost the health of thick lawns and lower allergens.

Q: Is it better to bag or mulch grass?

A: The best option for your grass clipings is to use them as mulch. However, if the turf is tall, and causes the spread of weeds and diseases, bag the clippings.


You can use grass clippings as mulch as it has several benefits, like increasing essential nutrients in the soil and retaining soil moisture. They also help reduce weeds and prevent soil erosion and freezing of plants.

Nevertheless, using these clippings has cons like spreading weeds, making soil soggy, harming lawns, and attracting flies and slugs.

However, using the right amount of grass clippings and spraying the garden with pesticides can help solve the problems.