Friday, July 1, 2022

How I Use Grass Clippings on My Garden

 I was asked in a comment by someone recently to share more about how I use grass clippings in my garden. I thought I'd share a quick post about it. What I do is really very simple, but it has made a huge difference for me in cutting back weeds! I can't imagine gardening without it again like I used to...and spending hours and hours weeding as consequence! These are all quick snapshots, so I'm sorry for the low quality on some of them. 

You can see here how well the grass clippings have kept down the weeds between the rows here...but are still popping up around the base of the stalks where I missed putting grass down. 

I use grass as a mulch on my flower garden as well. 

You can see somewhat in this picture how tightly the grass mats together as it begins decaying, 
making it almost come up in one piece when I pulled it up for the picture. 

My favorite way of doing this is to put a layer of newspaper down first as an extra barrier against some of those tougher weeds (You can see the newspaper in the picture above where I've pulled up the grass). We don't subscribe to a newspaper, so I asked my Grandpa to save me some of his, which he is glad to do. You can also ask a local newspaper office for their leftover outdated papers, which sometimes they are willing to give for free. 

So here are the three simple steps I do for this:

Step One: (This step is optional.)

Put down a layer of newspaper. (If it's windy out, it helps to wet the papers first to keep them from blowing away before you can get the grass down.) 

Step Two:

 Spread a thick layer of grass clippings, preferably at least two inches thick, or more if you have enough grass to spare. The fresher cut the grass is, the better, as it mats together more tightly as it dries. This is best to do first thing in the spring, immediately after the soil has been tilled up, but it can be done any time as long as you have cleared the area of weeds first. I often put a thick layer of grass down even before I get everything planted, just to keep the weeds from getting a chance to start. It's easy enough to pull the grass aside when it's time to plant. 

Tip: If you don't have access to very much grass clippings, just a thick layer of newspaper with straw over it would work also. I don't recommend straw all by itself, as it just doesn't pack together like grass does, leaving too many gaps and holes for sunlight to reach the weeds...and they come growing right through it. You could run a lawn mower over the straw to break it up into small pieces, which would help, however. I used to do that with leaves and it worked great. 

Step Three: 

Use your garden hose to wet the grass you just spread out thoroughly. This step is very important! It helps mat the clippings together to prevent sunlight from reaching any weeds sprouting below. If you don't wet the grass, it often will remain too fluffy and weeds will pop right up through it. 

One thing I love about using grass like this, is that it can simply be tilled under in the spring of the following year. 


That's it! It's very simple, and I hope this helps someone else like it has me. : ) If any of you have any gardening tips that have helped you a lot, I'd love to hear them! 


Gabrielle said...

We too, have used grass clippings on our garden...although, this year we have been spreading a layer of cow manure on all the beds. It keeps everything warm and composted during Winter! Thank you for sharing Sunshine Country♥
Blessings and love, Gabrielle♥

Lauren Zaubi said...

Wow! Thanks so much for giving more information! This is amazing . . . I will definitely be doing this. So you CAN do it even now (once you weed well)? I'll definitely add this to my spring and fall routine but would love to get some control throughout the summer too!

Sunshine Country said...

That sounds like it would be helpful to use cow manure on the garden over the winter! I should look into doing something like that for our garden. Thank you for your comment!

Sunshine Country said...

Lauren... Yes! You definitely still can do this now once you weed it well. The advantage of doing it first thing in the spring is so you can have freshly tilled soil and not have all that weeding to do first! But anytime during the year once you get the ground free of weeds works. You're welcome! So glad I could be of some help!

Sister in the Mid-west said...

I really enjoyed seeing pictures of your garden beds! My Grandma always used grass clippings on her garden.They work wonders for weed control!

Sunshine Country said...

Sister in the Midwest...Thank you for your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the pictures!

Jennifer said...

You have such a beautiful garden! I love how you use the grass to mulch. Where I am I can't use mulch or it cools the soil down too much. :) Interesting how different climates change our gardening.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this post since the weeds where I live seem to multiple before our eyes! Since we have so many, they grow in our lawn, too. Thus, our lawn clippings include weeds. Would these weed "clippings" in the mulch exacerbate the problem?

Sunshine Country said...

Anonymous... Thank you for your comment! We have a lot of weeds that grow in our lawn as well, but I would say most times we do mow our grass before they have time to go to seed. I'm sure we do still get some weed seeds mixed in at times, though! I have not noticed it causing any problems, I think because the grass mats tightly together and doesn't give the seeds a good chance to sprout easily. I did find this year that I have sometimes needed to put down a second layer of mulch halfway through the summer if the mulch starts decaying some. Grass mulch doesn't 100% stop some of those tougher weeds, but I would say for me it has cut back at least 90% where I put it down heavy! It has been a tremendous help for me!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you answering my question. Your feedback about the weed seed issue is encouraging and I would be very grateful to remove 90% of my weed pulling! Thank you.