I did first mowing this year, and have extra grass clippings. I would like to use the clippings to cover some areas, currently dominated by grass and weed, where I want to plant and sow some other plants this year, hoping that the clippings will "choke" existing plants and a sort of free the soil for new plants. I gather one feet high layer of clippings would be sufficient for this purpose.

For how long I have to keep the clippings layer until the plants (grass and weed) under that layer are killed, and will not appear again? A month? Three months? A year?

(to clarify more, my intention is not to keep the clippings indefinitely in that area, they will be eventually moved to a compost bin, but not until the plants below the clippings disappear, if that is possible)

  • Sounds like you want to create a no dig garden – Graham Chiu Apr 6 '18 at 10:29

The answer is: it all depends. I've used grass clippings to smother weeds along the edges of my house's concrete slab, probably 8 inches worth. A foot deep would have been plenty. I left them there to mat down so didn't disturb them till I got curious after several weeks. They were very warm underneath, with white streaks of what I assumed was mildew or the like. There were still some tired-looking plantain alive underneath. The next spring, most of the area was clean, just covered by remnants of dried grass clippings, but there were some very sturdy survivors poking through. I dug them and so had a nice area to put flowers in. So: I think it depends on what weeds you're evicting. I think my survivors were tall, coarse grass (been a while-can't remember exactly), and digging them was enough followup. There are some vines (poison ivy comes to mind) that will survive anywhere and put out runners to find opportunity elsewhere, too. And sometimes if you dig something and leave just a root tip behind you get a whole new plant from it (dandelions and others). So: it depends. I'd certainly try the grass-clipping mulch because it will do at least some good and won't poison our planet. You may have some stubborn weeds that you'll have to handle separately later.

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