Trying to figure out what to do with grass clippings after mowing can be a tricky situation, especially if you have a large yard, live in an urban home, or if you’re new to mowing. Well, there are actually lots of solutions to this issue which range from doing very little, helping out a friend, or taking a drive to a drop-off location. So, there’s an option for everyone. Let’s take a look at 10 options of what to do with grass clippings after mowing and see which works for you.
What to Do With Grass Clippings After Mowing (The Short Answer)
If you are left wondering what to do with your grass clippings after mowing, then here are 10 practical ideas to either repurpose or recycle them.
- Use Your Vegetation Recycling
- Mulch Clippings on Your Lawn
- Use Clippings as Compost
- Offer Clippings to a Local Farmer
- Take Clippings to a Composting Center
- Use Clippings as Mulch
- Offer the Clippings to a Friend
- Advertise Your Clippings Online
- Make Hay for Pets
- Ask Local Landscapers for Assistance
10 Different Ways that You Can Use or Dispose of Grass Clippings After Mowing
The simple chore of mowing the lawn is responsible for producing millions of tons of yard waste every single year. Here’s a list of ideas of what to do with grass clippings after mowing. Some obvious, some you’ve perhaps never thought of.
Deposit Them in the Yard Waste Container
Not the most original suggestion I know, but it is one of the best ways to dispose of your grass clippings so it has to be mentioned. And there are quite a lot of people that are not actually aware that you shouldn’t put yard waste in your normal trash bin. Don’t do it!
Make sure you get in touch with your local collection company and ask them if yard waste collection is a service they offer. Depending on where you live, this will usually be a service that you pay extra for, but if you just want to get rid of your clippings quickly and with relatively little hassle, it’s worth the cost.
Mulch Your Clippings and Leave Them on Your Lawn
This is a decision you’ll need to make before you actually start mowing (as you’ll specifically need to select the mulch setting), and this suggestion also assumes you have a mulching mower in the first place. When mulching, grass is put through the cutting cycle multiple times, chopping up the clippings into very fine pieces or mulch. This is then left behind on the surface of your lawn.
Just why would you do this? Well when the clippings are cut down so small, they decompose very quickly and act as a natural fertilizer for your lawn, providing it with a ton of vital nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that are needed to keep it in good health.
In the hotter summer months, mulch can also help to retain moisture and stop your lawn from drying out.
Related Article: Should I Bag My Clippings If I Have Weeds?
Add Them to Your Compost Pile
If you’ve got a compost pile going in your yard, and you really should, then you can add grass clippings to it rather than disposing of them in a waste container. It’s another way for your clippings to “give something back” rather than just discarding them.
In the compost world, grass clippings are what’s known as a “green” material and it’s important that you don’t just dump a bucket load of them on. This is because an effective compost pile needs to have a balance of green and brown material. So when adding grass clippings to your pile, add either some dry leaves, straw, wood chippings or shredded paper too in equal amounts. This will ensure things “heat up” nicely and it all breaks down quickly, leaving you with usable compost.
I’ve actually done quite a lot of experimenting over the years with composting and share some of the things I’ve found that help speed up the process in the article linked to below.
Live Near Any Farms? Why Not Donate Your Clippings to Them
This won’t apply to everyone, but if you do happen to live near any farms it might be worth a shot calling by to see if they have any use for your clippings. They might be able to use them to feed any livestock that they have, or add to any compost heaps that they have going. Go on, do your good deed for the day!
Have a Disposal Site Nearby?
In some areas this is another good option should you not have any use for your clippings and just want to get rid of them as soon as possible. Local disposal sites will often take all manner of household waste in exchange for a small fee, including, you guessed it, grass clippings.
Use it as Mulch for Your Plants
If you’re used to picking mulch for your plants up at the garden center, you can save yourself the trip and some money by re-using your grass clippings. Not only good mulch for your lawn, if you have used a mulching mower to cut your grass, it’s great for putting in flower beds too. By placing a thin layer around the base of your plants (no more than a couple of inches thick unless you want some nasty smells), you’ll ensure that weeds are kept at bay and help your plants to maintain moisture too. I wrote a whole piece on what I think are the pros and cons of using grass clippings as mulch.
Help a Friend in Need
Even if you don’t have any use for them, you might have a friend that wants to make use of your clippings for any of the things we’ve outlined above. Maybe they don’t have a lawn, but could use the clippings for their compost heap or as mulch for their potted plants. Just ask. You might be surprised.
Advertise them Online
You might think this sounds a little bit crazy at first, but it’s really not. You could take the previous tip a step further still by posting an advert for free grass clippings on a website like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, and reach even more folks that would gladly take your clippings off your hands.
Homemade Hay for Any Pets that You Might Have
If you have pets like rabbits or guinea pigs and the sun is shining, then a good option is dry some of your clippings to use as food for your little fury friends. To do this, take a sheet of plastic out from your garage or shed, lay it on the ground in direct sunshine and then spread your grass clippings out thinly across it. In the summer sun, these will dry out quickly (and do make sure that you wait until they’re completely dry), and your pets will be feasting on them in no time. You can also dry out your clippings by laying them across a window screen.
Get in Touch with Local Gardening/Landscaping Businesses
Small business owners can always do with a helping hand and local gardening and landscaping businesses are more likely than most to have a use for any grass clippings that you’re looking to get rid of. They might like them to use as mulch or perhaps have a larger compost pile they could add them to.
So there you have it. Ten great suggestions if you’re scratching your head wondering what to do with your grass clippings after mowing!