Lawn Clippings: To Bag or Not to BagMaddy Scheinost
Which Is Better for Your Lawn—Bagging Your Lawn Mower Clippings or Leaving Them?
The answer to this question proved to be divisive among the members of the Treadworld tire experts’ team, so in order to keep the peace, more research was required.
Why You Should Leave Your Lawn Clippings
First, get rid of the notion that people who decide to let the clippings from their lawn mowing efforts stay on the lawn are lazy. Sure, it’s easier, less time-consuming and cheaper not to pick up the clippings, but that’s only one of the reasons you should consider not bagging your lawn clippings:
It’s better for the health and beauty of your yard because it…
Serves as organic fertilizer—leaving grass clippings in place is an easy way to recycle nutrients back into your lawn and flush nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus back into the soil, which encourages green growth.
Helps retain natural moisture—especially during periods of high heat or drought because your grass is 80-85% water.
Serves as a natural weed killer for lawns—by providing a natural barrier to weed seeds, making it more difficult for them to take root.
TIP: if you’re concerned about thatch—a naturally-occurring layer of both decomposed stems and roots that grows between the grass blades and the soil—you can use a mulching lawn mower to chop the grass into smaller pieces, or with your standard mower, you can maneuver your mowing path so that the clipped grass goes into a section of the lawn you haven’t mowed yet, to be mowed again and clipped into smaller pieces.
It’s better for the environment because…
The clippings you leave behind are organic matter and will decompose quickly, while the plastic bags you fill and send to the landfill do not decompose quickly, and in fact can fill up landfills since studies have shown that 20% of the waste deposited in landfills is yard debris.
It saves you time and money because…
It takes more of your time to bag your grass clippings. Not just due to the act of putting the grass in bags, but also by necessitating work stoppages to empty the lawn mower bag. And it can save you cash in two ways. Many garbage services charge extra to pick up lawn debris, or you may have to pay to drop them off at the landfill. Plus, the nutrients your clippings return to your yard can provide up to 30% of the needed nutrients to your lawn, saving on the cost of fertilizers.
The caveat: Leaving your clippings goes from benefit to detriment if you mow infrequently because lawn damage can result when excessive clumps and thick matting of lawn clippings that can discolor and kill areas of your lawn. A rule of thumb often cited by experts is that you should never remove more than 1/3 of the height of the grass blades each time you mow—which may mean mowing more often than your normal routine.
Why You Should Pick Up Your Lawn Clippings
For many people, the benefits of not bagging lawn clippings are less important than ensuring their yard has a crisp, clean, manicured look. That’s a personal decision, only you can make. Beyond that, there are times when you should bag your clippings. For example, if you see signs of lawn disease, you’ll want to bag the clippings so has not to spread the problem. You also may want to bag clippings if you have pets or children with a penchant for tracking cut grass into the house, or if there is no way for you to keep clippings off the sidewalk and roads because the high-nutrients in the grass blades can cause issues for sewers and waterways.
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You can count on us here at Treadworld to provide you with the dependable, high performance RubberMaster Lawn Care Tires you want, including lug tires, turf tires, smooth tires and rib tires. All of our tires, including our large selection of lawn mower tires, offers the finest in top quality, long-lasting, never-let-you-down reliability, manufactured with strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, then covered by our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions or for help finding the perfect tires for lawn & garden, ATV tires, UTV tires, trailer tires and many more specialty tires from our large selection.