Your lawn would prefer that you didn’t cut it at all! (It knows how to grow.)
However given the preference for most homeowners to make it look uniform, we’ll have to deal with the next best case situation.
Your lawn put a lot of time and energy into collecting the material to grow. That material is certain to be among the most useful for mulch, fertilizer, etc. And grass will have its own little ecosystem — resistent to disease, catastrophic flooding and fire, etc.
So if you rake the material away, all the natural goodness goes with it. And you get to fertilize it later to put back what you took.
The problem, of course, is cosmetic. Cut grass quickly turns brown. And you’ve probably cut it so short the brown is clearly visible. To your potentially anal neighbors, this may suggest sloth and lack of aesthetics on your part.
Sounds to me a like a case of keeping down with the Jones’.
Hi there !!! Oh brother, that last answer was very…uneducated. sorry…to answer your question (I am a landscape architect, 3X master gardener and worked as foreman in ls maintenance 4years)…if you own a GOOD mulching lawn mower then yes, leave your clippings, if not, bag them. Our lawn grasses DO benefit from mowing!!! Even pasture grasses benefit from a mowing once or twice per year! Depending on your location which dictates the seed types that comprise your lawn the most important thing you need to do is decide how high to cut your grass. I’ve found here in the NW it is 3 inches! Rich green foliage and few if no weeds can compete. Also, water seldom, but very deeply!! Grin…my goodness! Glad you are out in your yard enjoying your plants and grass and not leaving the work to some maintenance company! Good for you!!!!
It is better for your lawn (and greener) to keep the grass clippings. Bagging the cut grass wastes paper bags, uses fuel to transport the waste, and seeps into the groundwater. The nutrients that are in the grass clippings could greatly benefit your lawn. You can use the cut grass as mulch or fertilizer.
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