Question: I still catch all my clippings. I like the way the lawn looks when I do. Can I work them into the garden?

Answer: It would be much better if you would compost them for 6 to 12 months, so they’re dried and unrecognizable. That’s true whether you intend to till them into the garden soil or just use them as a mulch. Fresh clippings pack together and prohibit good flow of water and fertilizers, plus they can actually rob the soil of available nitrogen as bacteria break them down. Of course, many people use mulching mowers to shred the clippings enough that they can be left in place on the lawn. That returns nutrients and organic matter directly back to the soil, but it also requires that you mow fairly frequently.

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