How to use grass clippings in the garden | 8 Easy Ideas

There are lots of great ways to use grass clippings in your garden instead of putting them in your green bin. They can be used as green mulch, dry mulch, as a compost ingredient or as worm bedding. You can use grass clippings green or dry to use as mulch or to make compost.

This article will explore all of the easy tips and tricks for using grass clippings at home to improve your soil and to get your plants growing well.

1. Use grass clippings as green mulch

The easiest thing you can do with green grass clippings is to use them as a green mulch on garden beds. After mowing your lawn you can pick up the green clippings and sprinkle them around your flowers, vegetables or trees. You can layer it on top of existing mulch in a thin layer to help to feed the soil bacteria.

I like to layer up to ½ an inch of grass clippings as mulch to let air and water reach the soil. You can mix grass clippings with other mulch ingredients like bark chips, leaves or straw. You can then layer the mix 2-3 inches on top the soil. Use up to 1/3 of the mix as green grass clippings and it will break down on top of the soil like compost.

2.  Use dry grass clippings as mulch in flower beds

You can let grass clippings dry on the surface of your lawn for 2-3 days before using them as mulch. This will give you a fine, dry mulch which will help to keep moisture in the soil for longer. You can use up to 1 inch of dry grass clippings so that water can flow through to the soil.

Grass clippings will reduce in size by around half once it dries out. It will be easy to rake up and scoop onto your garden beds. If the grass clippings are thick, it is best to rake them off your lawn to avoid them blocking the sun and damaging your lawn.  

For more on using dry grass clippings as mulch, check out my previous article here: Grass Clippings as Mulch in Flower Beds | Top Tips for Success

3. Mulch grass clippings into your lawn

An easy way to deal with grass clippings is to use the mulch function on your mower. You can mulch the grass clippings straight into your lawn. The mulch setting on your mower will chop the clippings into small pieces so they break down quickly, feed the soil and will still let the light and water reach the lawn.

This is a great way to deal with grass clippings without having to do any extra work. If you mow your lawn regularly, this is an easy way to improve your soil and feed your lawn.

4. Put it into your compost

Putting lawn clippings in your compost is a great way to turn them into rich humus to improve your soil. If you are using green grass clippings, you can mix 1/3 through with brown materials. Mixing 1/3 green grass clippings with dry fall leaves will create a fantastic mulch in around 6-8 months.

For more on how to make mulch with dry leaves, check out my previous article here: Are mulched leaves good for the garden? | 9 Amazing Benefits

Another way to use lawn clippings as compost is to let them dry out as much as possible and then add them to your compost. You can then add and mix them through your other compost ingredients. You can also layer them in a thin layer on top of the compost bin and add extra brown layers on top.

Mix lawn clippings with dry leaves and in 6-8 months you will have compost.

5. Use it as dry bedding for worms

Lawn clippings are a fantastic addition to your worm farm. Green lawn clippings are a delicious fresh snack for your worms which will gradually break them down.

If you let the lawn clippings dry out they make fantastic bedding for your worms. You can sprinkle them on the top of food scraps to deter flies and ants. You can also mix dry grass clippings together with coconut coir and old potting soil to make great bedding for your new worm farm.

Worms love to digest the grass as it slowly is broken down by soil bacteria. Over time you will get humus which you can return to your garden soil.

For more on worm farm bedding, check out my previous article: Worm Farm Bedding | 10 Steps to Success

6. Mulch for vegetable gardens

Grass clippings work well as mulch for vegetable gardens. Make sure there are no weed seeds and you can simply sprinkle them around your summer vegetables like tomatoes or make layers around your strawberry plants.

Make sure to leave at least 1 inch away from the stem of the plant and layer the gras around 1 inch thick. Mix it with straw or sugar cane mulch and layer the mix up to 3 inches thick.

7. The base of your raised garden bed

Lawn clippings can be used to fill the base of new raised garden beds. After layering geofabric and coarse sand you can fill the bottom layers of the garden bed with old grass clippings, sticks and leaves. These will break down over time and feed your plants. This is great if you have a deep garden bed and want to save money on soil.

For more on filling raised garden beds, check out my previous article here: How to fill a planter box | Easy guide

8. Line dog potty areas

Grass clippings can be used to line dog potty areas and protect your lawn. If you have a small yard, you can give your dog a dedicated potty area lined with soft grass clippings to do her business.

It is a great idea to dedicate a corner of your yard to this purpose and lining the area with a mulch like grass clippings is a great idea. It will absorb smells and liquid and is easy to clean.

For more on ground covers for dog potty areas, check out my previous article: Best ground covers for dog potty areas | Top 5 Low-Cost Options

How to use grass clippings in the garden | Summary

Grass clippings are a fantastic green ingredient that is perfect for making home-made compost, mulching flower beds or even mulching your vegetables. You can use grass clippings green or dry and turn them into a great ingredient to return to your garden. Grass clippings can be mulched straight into your lawn for the easiest possible way to recycle this ingredient.

Happy growing.