How exactly is it better to leave your grass clippings in the lawn after mowing it? What happens after you leave them there?

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How exactly is it better to leave your grass clippings in the lawn after mowing it? What happens after you leave them there?

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They decompose and become “food” for the remaining plants. The nutrients decompose and are absorbed by the roots of the grass that remains. However you need to not overdo it. If you cut your grass often and you can’t see significant piles of the grass clippings, you should be good. If you see piles accumulating, you should bag instead. Too many clippings can “choke” the living grass by blocking photosynthesis.

A good “power raking” in early fall or spring is a good idea to get the remainder of the clippings after the nutrients have been absorbed by the living grass. Once a year is generally good.