Lawn waste can be incorporated in your garden as a enriching mulch and is a great addition to your compost. This guide is about uses for grass clippings.
I like to use newspapers and grass clipping in my vegetable garden for mulch. I would like to know if I can use grass clippings from a lawn that has been treated with a weed and feed or crabgrass preventer. If I can, how long after being treated can I use them?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
Bonnie from Avoca, NE
I have been using grass clippings as mulch in my veggie garden for many years. While we have changed to organic "weed & feed" products over the years, I have always done this. Generally, we wait until the lawn has been cut twice before adding to our garden, to make sure I am not getting any product into my veggie gardens. I have never found the clippings to impede the gardens growth in any way & it does a wonderful job of keeping moisture in & weeds out. (I never have to weed my veggie gardens)Then it just decomposes into the soil & enriches it even more. I have several raised beds that are filled with compost that we make from our donkey/goat/chicken manure & kitchen/garden waste etc.
Trish in CT
No one should use those chemicals in a place where people and pets walk. Do not put them on your garden. Even grass that has been cut several times still has the chemicals in it because they are in the soil the grass grew in. Just like it will be in the soil of your garden.
I guess I would just do the experiment. Plant some nasturtium seed in the area mulched by that grass and see how it grows. Repeat until you get normal plants.
You really should NOT use treated clippings in your vegetable garden.
When you mow your lawn, take the grass clippings and use as mulch on your flower and vegetable beds. It will bleach out to a straw color in a short time and will help keep moisture in the soil, keep down weeds, and nourish the plants.
By Jennifer from Gilbertsville , NY
Please, make sure this is OK with the one who takes care of the garden. Almost caused a divorce in our household. Never will I allow someone to put the clippings in my garden. You get the seeds of the weeds, etc. My 5-6 hours a week in gardening will not tolerate the new plantings of what should not be there.
As a kid, we had to weed every morning before we could play in the summer. 4 hours, every day, to rid the gardens of all weeds/grass. What you see in a grass growing in the garden, is many times more in length under the ground, creating is own weed system. I pitchfork over all my gardens, remove the plants there, loosen the soil, put them back, and dastardly long roots from grasses which got a foothold anyway, you fight.
If you hire your gardening done and pay by the hour ($10 or more) to have them weed and grass free, more power to them.
I do not use any substance of weed killer, destroyer, etc in any of my flower or vegetable gardens. Many of my friends and neighbors also garden without chemicals.
Leaving the clippings on the grass gives them the nitrogen it needs for the lawn.
I ask my neighbors to give me their grass clippings after they have mowed their lawn. They leave me bags of clippings that I use as mulch around my flowers and vegetable plants. As the grass decomposes it fertilizes the plants and it keeps weeds from growing. The mulch also keeps my soil from drying out too fast, and I do not need to water as much. My vegetables grow really well year after year. I also get everyone's leaf litter in the fall. I put it in my compost pile and in the garden.
By Cynthia from Chicago, IL
I have over an acre of lawn that I mow and sweep. My question is what can I do with the grass clippings that I sweep up? I have already given mulch a thought, but don't know were it would be useful for me.
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Michael from Guntersville, AL
I have about the same area and leave the clippings on the grass. It acts as a fertilizer. If you have too much clippings you may want to attach an mulcher to the mower. That will cut up the clipings to very small pieces.
When the clippings turn brown, does it show on the lawn, or does it go under the grass pretty fast?
Use some of them in your compost bin (if you have one) Layer then with your uncooked kitchen waste.
Do you like animals? You could get a goose, which lays beautiful, edible eggs and she would be happy to eat the grass. Or some chickens, dry grass used for hay. Or you could give it to a local farm to dry for hay and maybe they would give you something in barter, (eggs, vegetables, etc). Goose egg and chicken eggs in photo.
Can I use grass clippings for mulch in my flower beds?
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Chris from IN
Yes as long as the grass clippings do not contain grass that has gone to seed. If it does, well you'll have a lot more grass.
Also avoid using grass that has been treated with chemical weed killers. It might stunt your flowers.
A quick and easy compost method if you don't have manure but do have a good supply of grass clippings. Grass is quite high in nitrogen. Mix one part of sawdust with four parts of fresh grass clippings.