What Should I Do with My Grass Clippings? - Ask BrightView


Ask BrightView: Episode 9

BrightView Turf Expert Mac Briley explains the best time to should mow your lawn and why you should recycle your grass clippings back into your yard.

(For the full transcript, see below.)

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Video Transcription

What should I do with my grass clippings?

MAC BRILEY, expert:

One of the things that I'm often asked about as a turf expert is, "When should I mow my lawn and what should I do with the clippings?"

Don't Bag

I want to emphasize to everybody that many of us were raised at a time where it was common to bag clippings. What we know now is that it's not beneficial to our environment. We need to make sure that we're not putting those clippings from our grass into landfills. We want to return them to the environment where they can be recycled and the nutrients in those clippings can be returned to the grass for new food to help it grow and be healthy.

Mowing Height

We also want to make sure that we're mowing our grass at the proper intervals so that we can return those clippings to the lawn. We're going to make sure that we can recycle our clippings back into the environment by mowing at the correct time. A simple key is to never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time. That's going to reduce the clippings going back into the environment from being too much. We don't want those unsightly messes left in your yard. Talk to your local Ag Center - find out from them how high they recommend your grass to be as well.

Tidy Up

A lot of people bag their clippings because they're worried about thatch management. The biggest thing about thatch management that we want to suggest to you is to simply mow your yard at the correct height. Make sure to clean up after mowing the lawn and never allowing clippings to go down the driveway and into the street. We want to make sure that we blow all of those clippings back into the yard so they can be recycled and reused. The worst thing that we could have happen is any of the grass clippings, leaf debris, or anything from our yard work washing down the stormwater drain which will in turn create algae blooms in our waterways - our streams, rivers, and lakes.

We've made recycling a part of our life - we recycle plastic and we recycle paper products, so let's recycle our yard waste as well. It's responsible and it's being a good steward to the environment.