What should you do with grass clippings?

If you are new to the lawn care industry, you may find yourself in a situation where you are unsure of what to do with all those grass clippings you create from mowing your customer’s lawns. Should you bag them? Should you rake them up? Should you pile them in a corner of the customer’s yard or take them with you? Sure there are a lot of ways you can deal with them, but there is one way that will cost you the least amount of time and money and give you the best results. Let’s take a look into this topic from a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One new lawn care business owner wrote “I’m a new lawn care company owner and I just got my first lawn care customer the other day!

My question is, what do I do with the grass I cut? What is standard? Should I mulch, haul away, use the customers dumpster??? I want to know the best method to use for residential and commercial lawn care customers. Or is this something that is subjective and tends to change from customer to customer? Also, do I place this info in my contract? Help!”

A second lawn care business owner said “the best method I have found is to schedule your cutting appropriately so you do not have any grass to rake, bag, or haul off. If there is excess grass, you are either cutting it too short, not cutting it often enough, or cutting it wet. Proper cutting disperses fine grass clippings into the lawn. Grass clippings have lots of nutrients which feed the lawn.

Bagging the grass generates a tremendous amount of excess work for you. It also generates waste. Improperly disposed of grass may leach fertilizers or other chemicals into your local water supply.

We invested in mulching blades so that we don’t have to be wasteful and dump unnecessarily. If you explain the benefits of the grass clipping going back into the soil to the customer, I don’t see why they would say no to that. I just use the ‘Green’ approach when explaining to customers that we don’t want to be wasteful, and that it’s better for the environment. I’ve only had one customer complain about not bagging and dumping clippings…and once I explained to her the benefits she was fine with it.

If I were to have any clippings or yard debris that I could not leave on site, I would bring them to a composting site right here in town. Most towns have them and most of the time it is free to dump. Check to see if you have one…if not perhaps someone you know with land would be willing to start one.

Other towns use large green waste cans. These cans are like the ones used for garbage but they will say something like yard waste only on them. You can put anything organic in them and it gets picked up weekly by the waste management company.

So consider your options, but your best bet always seems to be leaving the grass clippings on the lawn where you cut them.”

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