Pulaski County Extension Agency Horticulturist Beth Wilson says the clippings provide nutrition for your grass, especially potassium.
Grass clippings left on the lawn will eventually decompose and recycle nutrients into the soil.The grass clippings also help shade the soil, keeping roots cooler and reducing moisture loss. Wilson
says mowers with a mulching attachment will help produce finer clippings. Some mowers are unsafe to operate if you just remove the bagger, so check your manual or talk to a dealer before trying it.Mulching attachments can usually be purchased separately if one is not already installed on your mower. Wilson
also advises homeowners not to get overzealous in their mowing. "Never remove more than one-third of the length of a grass blade at any one mowing," she
says. Cutting your grass too short can make your yard less resistant to disease and heat. Shorter grass clippings - an inch or less in length - also decompose faster. If your lawn is growing fast, that may mean you'll need to mow twice a week until the summer heat slows the growth. Experts have warned against bagging and throwing away grass clippings for several years now, claiming that the waste was taking up too much landfill space. If you have a mower that collects clippings in a bag, or if you would rather not spread your clippings on your yard, Wilson
says clippings can be layered in a compost pile - or they can be used as mulch around some plants. If your lawn has been treated with chemicals, however, Wilson
warns not to use those clippings on vegetable plants. If your lawn is suffering from a fungal disease, Wilson recommends bagging the clippings to keep the disease from spreading. The most common fungal disease is called "brown patch" - small, irregularly-shaped patches of brown grass appear and spread in your yard.If this occurs, call the Pulaski County Extension Agency
at (606) 679-6361 to learn how to treat it. A few other tips from Wilson
: "Use a sharp blade, make sure your lawn mower is in good shape, and don't mow when it's wet."