Can I leave grass cuttings on my lawn?

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What to do with your grass cuttings is one of those perennial garden questions that horticulturists are regularly asked. What will happen to your West Lancashire lawn if you regularly leave your grass clippings to rot down rather than collecting them as you mow?

Are grass cuttings bad for your lawn?

Some people believe that grass cuttings are bad news for your lawn, but this isn’t really the case. Much depends on the time of year. In fact, during the spring and summer months, leaving grass cuttings on your lawn can be beneficial as they decompose relatively quickly, releasing nutrients and water back into the soil. This, in turn, helps to strengthen your grass, allowing your lawn to become greener and thicker.

What about thatch?

Dead plant life that builds up naturally on your soil is called thatch. This can strangle growth, cutting out light and airflow from your lawn. Because thatch is made up of dead plant matter, people often presume that grass cuttings become thatch if they’re left. In fact, thatch mostly consists of roots and stems that take longer to break down. Grass cuttings decompose much more effectively and don’t contribute to thatch build-up.

Take a seasonal approach

While leaving grass cuttings won’t do your lawn any harm and can be beneficial, a lot depends on the time of year. During the spring and summer months, grass clippings left on the lawn will quickly decompose, releasing up to 30 per cent of the nutrients that your lawn needs. At the beginning and end of the growing season, you should remove the clippings after you cut the lawn. This is because decomposition slows down.

Keeping your lawn looking its best

Of course, you might feel that leaving clippings on your lawn detracts from how it looks. If you have children or pets then clippings on the lawn can soon find themselves all over your home. Whether you opt to leave clippings on your lawn to supply it with nutrients, or want to feed your lawn some other way the choice is yours. The good news is that despite what you might have heard, clippings won’t cause any lasting damage to your lawn and could be beneficial.