That is the question. Frankly, there isn’t a huge amount of debate on the subject. Most professionals would say leaving it alone is not only the easiest, but the healthiest option. However, there are times when bagging your grass instead of leaving the clippings could severely damage your lawn. Below we’ve listed when you should and shouldn’t bag your grass and why.
When to Bag
If your lawn is overgrown: Now “overgrown” is definitely a relative term, but a good rule of thumb is, if you need to cut off more than a third of the blade at a time you shouldn’t leave the clippings on the lawn. Excessive clippings can cause matting, or thatch build-up both blocking sunlight and cause damage to the lawn. Realistically, if you do this once a season after vacation or something like that it will be fine, just don’t let it become a habit.
If your lawn has a disease: Mowing normally can make the disease spread to parts of the lawn that are currently untouched. Bagging the grass helps quarantine the disease, inhibiting it from spreading.
If your lawn has excessive weeds: Ever seen a lawn that looks almost completely yellow because of dandelions? If that’s you, the worst thing you can do is cut them all off and spread them around your lawn. It will just multiply the problem. Literally.
When not to bag
When you regularly mow your healthy lawn: if you are cutting off less than a third of the blade height, clippings can be very beneficial to your lawn. In fact, clippings contain about 25-30% of the nitrogen they need for the entire season; they also preserve soil moisture and encourage earthworms and other helpful insects to make your yard their homes.
Bagging Best Practices: If you do decide to bag your grass, do your best to recycle the clippings. Grass clippings make up 20% of the waste an average family sends to the landfill in a year. Some states have even banned them from landfills. Here’s a handy article we found with 8 creative ideas of what you can do with your clippingshere.
There are always other reasons you may decide to bag your clippings regardless. We have one customer that has us bag them because if we don't, her dog eats them!
Was this helpful? Comment below with any thoughts you have on bagging grass, or any other interesting reasons you’ve heard to bag.