Recycling Grass Clippings Helps Save Water

Recycling grass clippings is becoming more and more popular as various municipalities urge homeowners to ease the volume of clippings on yard waste sites. With the warmer temperatures, chances are very good that you've already had to mow your lawn once or twice this season. Now is the time to look ahead to the hot summer months and install your inground sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems save water and take the guess work out of keeping your lawn and gardens green and vibrant.

Recycling grass clippings saves water. Of course there are several other benefits, one of which is that you don't have to gather the grass clippings each time you mow.


Grass clippings act like a quick-degrading mulch. By shading the soil, grass clippings help keep the weeds from popping up and keep moisture in the soil longer. Even with an inground irrigation system, why not try and take advantage of every water saving trick you can. Another tip is to place grass clippings around the base of various plants so it acts as a mulch and biodegrades into the soil. This means you'll have to water a little less and you won't have to gather up and replace the mulch every season.


Fertilizers can be tricky. You have to know what kind of synthetic fertilizer to use, when to apply it, and how to apply it. Grass clippings are really just leaves and stems and so break down quickly providing much-needed nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Grass clippings will never burn your lawn and you don't have to worry about watering correctly to dilute the fertilizer so it reaches the soil.

Mowing Strategy

Another way to save water is to follow best practices around mowing your lawn. Keeping your lawn too short will use more water. Mow the lawn so that grass clippings are blown toward the uncut portion of the lawn, so you repeatedly pass over the clippings and further break them down. Healthy lawns with deep root systems are hardier and require less water.


Thatch can be a worrisome problem for homeowners because it dries out your lawn because it shields the soil from the moisture. Thatch is a layer of decomposing material. When new organic matter is added faster than it can decompose thatch develops. There are professional dethatching services you can purchase. Grass clippings do not cause or exasperate thatch problems. When clippings are kept small and lawns mowed frequently, this shouldn't be a problem.

When Not To Recycle Grass Clippings

  • If your lawn has a disease, leaving diseased grass clippings to decompose doesn't help the problem. In fact, it could slow down any treatment strategies you have in place.
  • If you have to mow your lawn when it's wet, clumps of grass clippings won't decompose fast enough. The piles left on top of your grass may smother the plants and kill your lawn or leave it vulnerable to disease.
  • If you've missed a week or more of mowing, don't leave the too long grass clippings on the lawn. If your lawn resembles a freshly cut hay field when you're done mowing, make sure to disperse those clippings or pass over the rows to further break down the clippings. Too much of a good thing can cause major problems.

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