Tips & Advice

Grass clippings: bag them or leave them?

Bagging clippings did not become commonplace until the 1950s when bagging attachments were designed for rotary motors. In nearly every instance, proper lawn care can greatly reduce or eliminate the need to collect clippings.

In fact, clippings are a valuable source of nutrients.

University of Minnesota soil test recommendations call for less nitrogen fertilizer if clippings are returned to the lawn. Also, the addition of organic matter in the form of clippings may help to improve the status of your soil if it is sandy, heavy clay, or low in organic matter.

Contrary to popular belief, returning clippings to the lawn does not contribute to increased thatch formation. Thatch is a layer of un-decomposed organic matter that builds up between the soil surface and the actively growing green vegetation. A thatch layer will develop if organic matter is produced faster than it is decomposed by microorganisms.

Source: University of Minnesota SULIS (