Eight Uses For Lawn Clippings You’ve Never Considered

Ridley's Wreckage

It’s not easy maintaining your lawn. Lawns of any size can be tedious and time-consuming to properly maintain. Worse still, after you're done mowing, what do you do with all the grass trimmings?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that during the summer growing season, yard waste makes up about 50% of all landfill trash. 50%! That’s crazy, right?! Approximately 1,500 pounds each year of this garbage is made up of grass clippings, while the other 25% is made up of tree leaves and branches.

Since our landfills are starting to run out of room and many of them have prohibited grass clippings anyway, doesn't it make sense to find other uses for them?

Below are eight creative uses for grass trimmings you may not have considered before.

Eight Uses For Lawn ClippingsPhoto byR.Gerner/Canva

1. Leave Them Alone: Yes, that’s right, leave them alone, mow, and walk away. Now, that’s not going to give you a picture-perfect lawn. Because a picture-perfect lawn doesn’t have a blade of grass out of place. But what it will do is provide much-needed nutrients back into the soil.

This works great when you have short glass clippings, as they decompose rapidly. Allowing your grass clippings to decompose in place replenishes around 25% of the nutrients lost from mowing your lawn. Not only that, but it also provides beneficial bacteria for your earthworms to devour.

2. Food for Animals: Cattle feed made from grass clippings is called silage. Compared to hay, which normally has a digestible matter level of approximately 59%, studies have shown that silage formed from recent clippings has a protein content of 18.2% and a digestible matter content of 68%.

Sheep may also benefit from eating grass clippings as a supplemental food source, in addition to cattle. From personal knowledge, our goats, who are known browsers, really enjoy grazing on our grass. Multiple studies have shown that grass clippings may be used as a viable, sustainable source of nutrition for these woolly critters without posing any health risks to the animals.

If you don't have any livestock of your own, you may see if your neighbors or area farmers could use your grass clippings for their livestock.

Eight Uses For Lawn ClippingsPhoto byR.Gerner/Canva

As a reminder, never give grass clippings to animals if the grass has been chemically treated.

3. Composting: Grass clippings may be put to good use in the garden via the simple process of composting. Just keep in mind that "green" materials, such as freshly cut grass, need to be offset by 'brown' ones, such as dried leaves, branches, twigs, or paper. Turning the grass into the pile as you add new grass clippings will help aerate it and avoid compaction.

Eight Uses For Lawn ClippingsPhoto byR.Gerner/Canva

4. Lawn Mowing Tea, AKA homemade "Green" Tea: Put your newly cut grass into a bucket of water and let it steep to make lawn mowing tea. Potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, chlorophyll, and amino acids are just some of the good stuff that will seep from the grass and into the water. After three days, filter the liquid and use it to water the plants or spray the leaves with plant food.

Eight Uses For Lawn ClippingsPhoto byR.Gerner/Canva

5. Mulch: That’s right, free organic mulch! Doesn’t get much better than that! Mulch is so beneficial for your soil; it helps protect it from erosion and helps with weed control. Mulching with organic material is an excellent way to keep the soil wet, prevent weeds from sprouting, reduce temperature extremes, and boost fertility.

Fresh or dry, grass clippings make fantastic organic mulch because of the high levels of nitrogen they contain. Spread in quarter-inch layers around your flower and plant beds. It may start to stink when the grass decomposes if it's too thick to break down quickly. Trimmings, once dried, make excellent mulch for vegetable gardens.

Eight Uses For Lawn ClippingsPhoto byR.Gerner/Canva

6.Raised Beds: Great for the lasagna method of gardening! Grass clippings are wonderful additions for use in a container garden or raised beds. It’s a great way to enhance the quality of your soil, building up your soil with layers of compost and other plant friendly materials. To create nutrient-rich soil, cover one part grass clippings with two parts shredded leaves in the beds' bottom areas. To avoid matting, the clippings should be stacked thinly. A biodegradable barrier, such as cardboard, may be placed on top of the beds before the final layer of soil is added.

Eight Uses For Lawn ClippingsPhoto byPinterest

7. Natural Dyes: Did you know that you can use grass clippings as an organic fabric dye? It’s a simple process that's easy to do. Follow this link: https://scotts.com/en-us/how-to/how-to-make-grass-dye.html for a fun-filled project!

8. Recycle: If you have more grass clippings than you need, you may take them to a recycling facility, where they will be disposed of in an environmentally responsible way. That way, we are not overloading our already-filled landfills.

Caution! One thing to avoid with grass clippings is burning them. Wet grass clippings and other green materials produce dense smoke that is damaging to health and the environment, and the open burning of such items is forbidden by law in many states and nations.

References Adapted By:

8 Things To Do With Grass Clippings You Probably Never Thought Of. (2016, March 26). Natural Living Ideas. https://www.naturallivingideas.com/8-things-to-do-with-grass-clippings/

Mowing To Recycle Grass Clippings: Let the Clips Fall Where They May! (2021, July 8). Mowing to Recycle Grass Clippings: Let the Clips Fall Where They May! | VCE Publications | Virginia Tech. https:////www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/pubs_ext_vt_edu/en/430/430-402/430-402.html

Grass Clipping Garden Mulch - Using Fresh Or Dried Grass Clippings As Mulch. (2023, January 4). Gardening Know How. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/mulch/mulching-with-grass-clippings.htm

FARM SHOW Magazine - The BEST stories about Made-It-Myself Shop Inventions, Farming and Gardening Tips, Time-saving Tricks & the Best Farm Shop Hacks, DIY Farm Projects, Tips on Boosting your farm income, time-saving farming advice, farming tractors and Agriculture equipment reviews. (n.d.). FARM SHOW Magazine - the BEST Stories About Made-It-Myself Shop Inventions, Farming and Gardening Tips, Time-saving Tricks & the Best Farm Shop Hacks, DIY Farm Projects, Tips on Boosting Your Farm Income, Time-saving Farming Advice, Farming Tractors and Agriculture Equipment Reviews. https://www.farmshow.com/a_article.php?aid=22406

The Jury is Still Out on Compost Tea - FineGardening. (2014, April 25). FineGardening. https://www.finegardening.com/article/the-jury-is-still-out-on-compost-tea

9 Reasons To Try Lasagna Gardening & How To Get Started. (2018, July 2). Natural Living Ideas. https://www.naturallivingideas.com/lasagna-gardening/

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Hello! Freelance blogger and videographer here! I love to refurbish furniture, show my creative side with cooking and crafts, and love to talk about my homestead and hobby farm. Follow me for flipping furniture inspiration and techniques, DIY craft projects, homestyle cooking with easy to follow recipes and some great gardening and animal husbandry tips!

Red Creek, NY

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