How To Keep Grass Out Of Mulch When Mowing?

Building a mulch bed on your own takes a significant amount of time. So, I imagine your frustration when you notice an abundance of grass clipping on mulch. 

Removing all the grass without ruining the mulch will test your patience. The wisest gardeners will wonder how to keep grass out of mulch. You can cover the mulch bed using landscape fabric and hold it down with bricks.

Alternatively, you can even make a landscaping fabric out of newspaper. The main goal is to cover the mulch bed and still let it access enough air. Removing the grass clippings will become much simpler when you install landscape fabrics.

You just need to be careful when removing the cover. This article explains more than one method to protect your mulch beds. Paying attention to every single detail will solve the issue. 

Different Ways To Keep Grass Out Of Mulch

It can be pretty annoying to spend hours mowing your lawn only to realize there are several grass clippings on your mulch bed. This ruins the pristine nature of your backyard. No need to worry as removing the grass from the mulch bed is fairly simple.

So, for your convenience, I found out the best ways to remove grass from mulch. I will explain these methods elaborately to make sure it takes the least amount of effort on your part.

1. Mow In The Opposite Direction

The grass clippings will be blown away from the side of the mower if you have a side discharge mower. Mowing in the opposite direction will prevent clippings from getting into your mulch beds.

Make sure you mow in the direction with the discharge facing right, for instance, if your mulch beds are on the left side of your lawn. Depending on your lawn’s layout, it may be the other way around.

You can use this method to keep clippings out of mulch beds if you wish to recycle them into your lawn. You’ll have to rake up the clippings later if you want to remove those clippings.

You can use an edger to clean up the edge between the lawn and flower or garden beds. A string trimmer or manual edger will create a definitive edge around your lawn, separating it from the mulch beds.

2. Make Use Of A Catcher

You can simply collect clippings while mowing if your lawn mower comes with a bag. This method can keep grass clippings out of your mulch beds.

Once the bag is full, empty it, then continue mowing. Keeping clippings out of mulch beds may not be ideal, especially if you want to recycle the clippings.

If you want to recycle the clippings, you can always return them to your lawn. Although it will take more time, it is possible.

3. Makeshift Landscape Fabric

You will be glad to know that you can use normal household materials like newspapers as a suitable substitute for landscape fabric. Although landscape fabrics are effective, they can dent your wallet.

Hence, placing the newspaper over a certain area will prevent the grass clippings from settling on the mulch bed. In the next method, I will delve deeper into the positioning of landscape fabrics for removing grass clippings.

4. Store-Bought Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabrics enhance the looks of your backyard and gardens and protect the soil from erosion. This includes keeping the grass away from the mulching. Installing a landscape fabric isn’t as difficult as you will learn in this next segment.

  1. The first task is to pick the right length of fabric to cover your mulch bed while you’re mowing. Once you pick the correct dimensions, you can install the landscape fabric on the ground. Make sure you remove all the grass blades before you lay down the landscape fabric.
  2. The key step is keeping the landscape fabric from moving out of place. You can easily do that by placing something heavy to weigh it down. A brick or two should do the trick. 
  3. Once you take care of these steps, it’s time to start mowing the grass. One crucial thing you must remember is that you should mow across the edge of the garden. This will ensure that most of the grass accumulates on the fabric, which you can remove later.
  4. All you need to do after that is carefully remove the landscape fabric. Just make sure you remove the bricks first. Otherwise, it might damage the landscape fabric or, even worse, spill the grass clippings over the mulch bed.

5. Creating A Pathway

Another efficient way to prevent grass accumulation on the mulch bed is to clear a pathway in your garden. This is a clever way of separating the grass and the mulch bed.

Make sure you are extra careful while clearing the pathway, and don’t end up mowing portions of your garden. Making pathways are easy if you get your measurements right.

Decide the outline of the pathway according to the length and width of your garden. The pathway should be cut across the line of the mulch bed in a parallel direction. 

All you need is a combination of cement and bricks. Throw in some stones for more sturdiness and texture. Take special precautions when paving the pathway and ensure it’s accurate.

It might take a while to dry completely, so check now and then. If you successfully manage to create a pathway like this, it will divide the mulch bed from the grasses in your yard.

This means you will have fewer chances of covering your beautiful mulch with grass clippings. On top of that, a pathway gives you more room to work with and even more room for error.

How Do You Mow Without Clippings?

Weed seeds can be spread throughout your yard by clippings that contain weed seeds. The clippings can be collected to prevent the spread of these seeds. You can do a few things to avoid leaving grass clippings behind after mowing.

Keep The Clippings In A Bag

You can collect grass clippings with some mowers by using a bag. Some machines require a bag to operate, so you don’t have much choice. Some mowers come with optional bags.

Before you mow, attach the optional bag, and empty it as needed. The grass clippings can be easily collected with this device without much hassle.

Use A Lawn Sweeper

It is much easier to clean up your lawn with a lawn sweeper. There are push and tow-behind models available. Consider investing in a push lawn sweeper if you have a push mower.

To collect clippings as you mow, buy a tow-behind lawn sweeper if you have a ride-on mower. Sweepers feature brushes connected to wheels, so the brush rotates as the wheels turn.

You can collect grass clippings, leaves, and other debris as the device moves through the grass. Clippings are deposited in the hopper by the sweeper. The hopper can be removed once it is full, and the debris can be disposed of in any manner you like.

Rake The Clippings

When you finish mowing, rake the clippings if you don’t have a discharge cover or a bag. There is always the option of doing this job, but it takes more time than the others.

The lawn should be mowed in even sections, and clippings should be directed in the same direction. After you’ve finished, collect the clippings in a bag or box after raking each row. Your yard can benefit from the fertilizer they provide.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Grass Clippings Cause Weed Growth?

Although grass clippings might not induce weed growth, it’s not wise to keep them lying in your flower beds. They can damage the plants’ growth and make the flower beds look like messy eyesores. If you want to reduce the chances of weed growth, just make there aren’t any weed seeds settling on the soil.

2. What Is The Safest Way To Mow Next To Mulch?

You can’t use your mower directly over the mulch bed without damaging it. Hence, I’ll suggest mowing the grass on the edge of the mulch bed and using a weed cutter to clip the rest of it. The grass on the mulch bed and around the edges should have the same height for a smooth finish.

3. How To Prevent Grass From Settling On My Mulch Bed?

Don’t mow around the mulch bed without covering it with some kind of impermeable material. Landscape fabrics are the best materials for this purpose. You can use a heavy brick to keep it in place while you mow the lawn. The grass clippings will settle over the fabric, which makes it easier to dispose of.

4. Should You Remove Grass Clippings After Mowing?

In the end, it’s up to you to answer this question. After mowing, you might dislike the look of the clipping columns left behind. After playing in the grass for a while, you might not want your kids covered in grass clippings.

It is certainly possible to remove grass clippings after mowing in either case. It’s not necessary, though. When you leave the clippings on the lawn, they will return valuable nutrients to the lawn.

By leaving them there, you’ll save time and money. Additionally, organic matter adds essential nutrients to the soil as it decays, making it a good choice for your lawn.

However, if the grass is extremely tall and you haven’t mowed for a while, you might want to collect the clippings. Clippings tend to collect in large clumps when you mow tall, thick grass.

You would probably be better off removing the grass clippings in this case. You can apply the other rule if you keep up with mowing. You can recycle the clippings as long as you frequently mow enough to keep the grass from growing too tall.


I’m sure the methods I explained have helped answer the question of how to keep grass out of mulch when mowing. Be extra careful when removing the fabric to make sure you don’t accidentally drop any grass clippings. Grass settling on the mulch bed can be pretty challenging and time-consuming to remove.

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