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Grass Clippings: What should you do with them?

For most people, the ritual chore of mowing your lawn is done weekly and is signified being done by collecting the grass clippings and disposing of them. As you might not know, fresh-cut grass can be essential to the health and growth of your lawn. Grass clippings themselves can be used to treat your lawn.

The trimming can be used for fertilizer, can help with pest and disease control, and can aid with irrigation. There is a straightforward way and more thorough way to deal with lawn clippings. But knowing all the options available to you is most important. Lawn clippings can be a valuable resource for your yard.

Leaving Grass Clipping on the Lawn

One of the easiest ways to deal with grass clippings is to leave it on the lawn as you cut. It may seem lazy, but what most people think of as waste to be bagged up is a precious resource that acts as a fertilizer. By leaving your grass clippings on the lawn you are helping reduce the amount of actual fertilizer you use by up to 30%.

The grass clippings themselves will help regulate the temperature of the soil in your yard and provide a habitat and nutrients for insects that help promote your yard’s health like earthworms. Once the clippings decompose, they will be absorbed by the soil as organic matter which causes a natural aeration and helps with moderating the water which can help your grass roots become healthier. 

The best way to leave your grass clippings is by using either a mulching mower or a simple side discharge mower, which will work as well. Of course, you will want to monitor the amount of grass clippings as too much of a good thing is bad. While mowing your lawn you will want to make sure you mow only 1/3 of the grass height at a time.

A common misconception is that grass clippings lead to thatch.  

Thatch is not caused by grass clippings but instead is a culmination of stems and roots intertwined. This problem is created by overwatering, frequent watering, and soil compaction creating blocking above and below the soil. This is solved by aerating and grass clippings help by soaking in that moisture if it is not too much. Again, moderation is key as too much of a good thing can be bad.

Compost Grass Clippings

During certain months, more specifically the start of summer, leaving your lawn clippings may be more detrimental to your lawn than helpful. Grass that may be overgrown will produce more clippings. But it cannot be left on the lawn as the buildup can lead to dead patches, lawn disease, or insect infestation.

It is best to bag up the clippings, but they are still useful. Since the clippings are still a resource instead of leaving the extra amount to cause damage you can compost it instead. Grass clippings in abundance are a major source of nitrogen which can help heat up other compost piles. So, towards the end of the summer when it is hottest you can use the compost on fallen leaves to help provide temperature control to your lawn as the cold months approach.

Grass Clippings for Gardening

Another wonderful use for grass clippings is as mulch. This will help perfectly with garden beds on your lawn. Like the lawn, garden plants also will benefit from the mulched grass clippings as it provides insulation and moisture control creating a layer of protection for your garden.

Over time the mulched compost will help the soil improve as a resource. The amount of mulched grass clippings needed is 1 to 2 inches. Try to apply a thin layer on flower and vegetable gardens. An extra layer of protection and resources are always helpful. Be sure to use dry clippings as wet clippings will mat up and repel and attract unwanted problems such as insects and mold.

When All Else Fails…

Sometimes the best option is to get rid of your clippings. Of course, using it would be ideal. But not every mowing will require you to take precautions or steps to find uses for your grass clippings.

When is the best time to get rid of clippings?

If your grass is populated with weeds, it is best to not reintroduce those same weeds by trying to use the clippings as fertilizer. Another course of action to keep track of is when your lawn is sprayed with herbicides or insecticides. The chemicals in the grass remain in those clippings. So it is best to just bag it up instead of letting the chemical residue cause problems for your lawn.

Your grass clippings can be a savior to your lawn.

There are plenty of ways it can be used. Make sure that your lawn is being kept track to know when you should use or get rid of your grass clippings. For more information on landscaping practices, you can contact the professional services of Sarges Property Management. Here is hoping that your lawn stays looking neat and healthy.

Need help creating a healthy, thriving, and beautiful lawn? Contact us today!

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