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Managing a Weedy Lawn: To Bag or Not To Bag Clippings?

Managing a Weedy Lawn: To Bag or Not To Bag Clippings?

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Taking care of your lawn is very important, and you want to keep your lawn looking its best. If you’re someone who takes pride in how the lawn looks, then you probably cut the grass often enough.

Many people have mowers that will automatically bag the grass clippings. Others will go around and collect the grass clippings manually to ensure that they’re picked up and the lawn looks tidy.

Some will use these grass clippings in compost bins to help create compost that will enrich the soil. You might be worried about whether you should be bagging the clippings, though.

If your lawn has weeds, then you might be concerned about whether bagging the grass clippings could make things worse. Are there weeds in the grass clippings that could spread if you bag the clippings and use them for other purposes?

Read on to learn about whether or not you should bag your grass clippings if you have weeds. You should be able to get all of the information that you need to make the best decision for your property.

Bagging Your Grass Clippings Is Likely a Good Idea

If you have weeds on your lawn, then it’s likely going to be best for you to bag your grass clippings. You see, these weeds have the potential to choke your lawn and make it tougher for the lawn to thrive.

Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn as some people do might seem harmless, but it could be bad for the lawn when weeds are present. It could wind up perpetuating the weed problem or make it substantially worse.

You can take the time to bag the weeds so that the weeds don’t get a chance to spread further. With many types of weeds, it’s not going to be good to use the clippings as mulch for your lawn.

However, you should know that this isn’t a question that has a simple yes or no answer in most cases. Whether or not you should bag the grass clippings can depend on various factors.

For example, not all types of weeds are the same, and some are more harmful than others. Lots of things will factor into this decision such as how often you mow the lawn, what season you’re in, and the types of weeds that you’re dealing with.

So Do Grass Clippings Cause Weeds?

Grass clippings don’t necessarily cause weeds, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t make your weed problems worse. There are situations where mowing a lawn that has many weeds in it will make the weeds spread.

If you mow the lawn and allow the grass clippings to stay on the lawn, then the weed seeds could wind up spreading. This could lead to more of your lawn having weeds than before.

Whether or not this will happen depends on the types of weeds that are present in your lawn. It might be a good idea to identify the type of weed that you’re seeing growing in your lawn.

If you can get more information about the weed, then you might be able to learn whether it’s safe to leave it or if you should bag it. Weeds that have seed heads are the ones that you will not want to cut with your mower because they can spread seeds.

The basic solution to this problem is to try to remove weeds from the lawn ahead of time. If you can remove weeds that have seed heads before you cut the lawn, then you’ll be free to do what you want with the clippings.

The Pros and Cons of Bagging Grass Clippings

Next, you’re going to need to take a look at the pros and cons of bagging grass clippings. Understand a bit more about why bagging grass clippings can be good or bad will make it easier to figure out how to move forward.

There are actually a lot of things to consider that don’t even have to do with whether you have weeds or not. If you do have weeds, then you will need to remember to bag the clippings to avoid spreading the seeds, assuming that you’re dealing with weeds that have seed heads.

Look into the other factors that you should be considering below. After you’ve thought about everything, it should be possible to come up with a solid plan for your yard.

Bagging Grass Clippings Keeps Your Yard From Looking Messy

Do you prefer to look out at your lawn and see that everything is nice and clean? Leaving grass clippings on the lawn could ruin things by making your lawn look messy and disheveled.

It’s hard to deny that grass clippings being left on the lawn won’t look nice. If you want to keep your lawn looking tidy and ready to use, then you’ll probably want to bag the grass clippings.

Many people who care about the aesthetic appeal of the lawn will decide to bag the grass clippings. It’s just easier to keep things looking nice when you go ahead and do that.

There are some potential benefits to keeping grass clippings on your lawn, but they might not be worth it to you. It all depends on how you feel about the look of the grass clippings on your lawn.

Bagging Grass Clippings Helps to Prevent Rot

Sometimes bagging grass clippings is the most practical thing to do because of rot. When you leave a bunch of grass clippings on top of your lawn, it’s possible that it could keep the lawn from growing.

The presence of the grass clippings might make it so that the grass can’t get the sunlight that it needs. It can sort of choke the lawn out and make sections of the lawn die.

Generally, this only occurs when you aren’t mowing the lawn often enough, though. If you’re only mowing once per month and the lawn is getting too out of control, then leaving grass clippings on the lawn will be problematic.

It’s pretty easy to avoid situations such as this by mowing on a consistent schedule and not allowing your grass to get too high. You’ll just have to remember that rot can be an issue if you’re not the type of person who likes to mow very often.

Bagged Grass Clippings Can Be Used in Compost

Bagging the grass clippings has the potential to be beneficial to your garden. Many people will bag the clippings so that they can use those clippings in a compost bin.

Getting rid of grass clippings by turning the clippings into compost is a great option. It allows you to turn the debris into something that can be beneficial for growing flowers, plants, and even vegetables.

If you have a garden area that you tend to, then having compost that you can add to the soil will be nice. In some ways, it might be more useful to you as compost than it would be to leave the grass clippings on the lawn.

Depending on whether there are certain weeds present, you might not wish to use the grass clippings as compost, though. If you’re worried about spreading weed seeds, then it might be better to dispose of the grass clippings some other way, but it depends on what you’re dealing with.

Not Bagging Clippings Allows You to Use The Clippings as Mulch

If you don’t bag your clippings, then you can leave the clippings on the grass to mulch the lawn. Mulching the lawn can be very beneficial to the overall health of the lawn.

This can give the lawn nutrients that it needs to grow strong and look healthy. It helps to add phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to the soil, and that’s going to make a pretty huge difference.

For many people, bagging clippings seems to be a method that deprives your lawn of the nutrients that it needs. You might not want to bag your clippings if you’re worried about helping the lawn to thrive.

However, things can be a lot different when weeds are present on the lawn. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn could allow weeds to spread if you have certain types of weeds.

Consider your situation before deciding that mulching your lawn is a good idea. You might need to kill the weeds in your lawn first before you can consider mulching the lawn.

You Need to Mow More Often If You Mulch Your Lawn

It’s important to understand that you can’t mulch your lawn if you’re only going to mow it every so often. If you allow your grass to get really tall, then mowing it is going to create a lot of grass clippings.

When you leave the grass clippings on the lawn, it’s going to run the risk of causing rot to occur. Your lawn might not be able to grow properly due to the weight of the grass clippings.

To mulch effectively, it’s going to be necessary to mow your lawn on a consistent schedule. Depending on how fast your lawn grows, it might be necessary to mow the lawn bi-weekly, but it’s hard to say because growth rates can differ.

You might live in an area where lawns grow very fast due to how much rain you get. The important thing to remember is that you must mow more often if you want to mulch the lawn.

Bagging Grass Clippings Might Take Extra Work

Taking the time to bag the grass clippings might take some extra work, too. You might be lucky enough to have a lawn mower that bags your grass clippings automatically as you’re going.

Not everyone has a mower that bags things for them, though. If you don’t have a mower that bags the clippings as you go, then you’ll have to go manually gather all of the grass clippings and place them in a bag.

This could add quite a bit of time that will make it more stressful to finish your chores for the day. If you only have so much time to mow the lawn, then leaving the grass clippings on the lawn might seem to be the most convenient thing.

Of course, you could go out and purchase a mower that will make things easier. Also, bagging grass clippings isn’t so bad when you only have a small or medium-sized lawn.

Whether this will be a big issue will likely depend on your circumstances. It’s still something that can be considered a negative by some people.

Mulching Could Spread Fungus

Mulching has many potential benefits for your lawn, but it’s also important to understand that it could spread the fungus. If your lawn has shown any signs of having a fungal infection, then mulching is not going to be a sound idea.

When grass clippings are allowed to stay on the lawn, it’s going to make it a lot easier for fungus to spread. It’s also going to create more of an opportunity for the fungus to grow.

Depending on the conditions in your area and how often you have to deal with fungal issues, mulching might not be ideal. If you’re at all worried about whether mulching will create issues for you, then you might want to hold off.

Bagging the clippings is generally going to be safer in circumstances such as this. You won’t be opening your lawn up to getting infected in multiple spots if you take care to remove the grass clippings after each time you mow.

You Could Only Mulch the Lawn During Specific Seasons

One good idea is to pay close attention to the season that you’re in. You see, weeds are going to be more likely to grow during the warmer seasons, and this means that you might have more issues when mulching during the spring and summer.

Things are totally different in the autumn and winter, though. If you live in a climate where you have to mow your lawn fairly late in the year, then mulching during those months might be good for your lawn.

It should be relatively safe to mulch during this time of the year because weeds shouldn’t be growing. If there are weeds growing in the autumn and winter, then they won’t be as numerous or problematic.

You could try to stick to a plan such as this moving forward if it sounds good to you. Bag the grass clippings during the spring and summer and then mulch during the autumn and winter months.

Does Cutting Your Grass Short Help to Kill Weeds?

Although this question isn’t the same as whether you should bag your grass clippings when you have weeds, it’s still tangentially related. Many people who are dealing with weeds will want to be able to find ways that they can kill the weeds safely.

Some people have heard that cutting your grass short will help to kill the weeds. Is this actually true or is it just a myth?

Cutting the grass short isn’t going to do anything to kill the weeds that are present. It can still be helpful to do this when you have problems with weeds, though.

When you cut the grass short, it’s going to make it harder for the weeds to spread. This could be used as a method to keep weeds in one spot instead of allowing them to spread throughout the lawn.

Weeds spread a lot faster when they reach the flowering stage and have seed heads. If you have weeds with seed heads, then it isn’t a good idea to mow your lawn at all.

All you’ll be doing at this stage is spreading the seeds, and this will lead to the weeds getting all over the place. You need to meticulously remove seed head weeds before you mow at all.

If you mow your lawn more often, you’ll prevent weeds from getting to the seed head stage. Keeping your grass short ensures that the weeds will also be short.

Final Thoughts

Knowing everything about whether you can bag your grass clippings when you have weeds should help you out. You now know that this is generally a good idea when you have weeds that you’re dealing with.

There are many benefits of bagging your grass clippings, but it can take some extra work. Conversely, there are some benefits of mulching your lawn that you’ll miss out on if you bag the grass clippings.

It’s usually best to err on the side of caution with weeds, and you might not want to risk mulching with grass clippings that contain weeds. In this instance, bagging and disposing of the grass clippings might be for the best.

Just consider all of the factors so that you can make a good decision for your property. You want to be able to be happy with your yard, and that means ensuring that your lawn looks healthy and nice.

It might be wise to look into treatments that can help you to eliminate weeds in your yard. Sometimes it isn’t enough to pull the weeds, and some people have needed to get professional help to get rid of particularly nasty weeds.


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