Grass Clippings: What to Do with Them
When you leave grass clippings in the yard, does that make you a lazy groundskeeper? No! It makes you a pro at grasscycling and the king/queen of innovative nutrition for your lawn.
The experts at The Grounds Guys have a few tips on how you can be the next “Grasscycling Guru,” protect your lawn, and help the environment all at the same time. All you have to do is leave the grass clippings where they lie.
What is Grasscycling?
Grasscycling, according to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), “is the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing.” It is considered eco-friendly because it cuts down on water use, reduces the need for fertilizers, and eliminates un-necessary waste in dumping sites. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), yard waste accounts for 18% of the waste that is dumped into landfills, and can rise to as high as 50% during the growing season.
Four steps to grasscycle properly
1) Cut grass when it is dry
2) Cut grass regularly, normally at a height of 1-2 inches
3) Cut grass with a sharp blade
4) Leave the grass clippings where they fall
Seems almost too easy! Grasscycling adds nitrogen to the soil as the grass decomposes and releases the water stored in the stem to feed and water the freshly cut grass. By leaving the clippings alone, you also eliminate unnecessary work of gathering and bagging the clippings in the yard.
If you can’t tolerate the sight of loose grass clippings laying in the yard, here are a couple of other solutions to put those left overs to good use.
· Create a compost pile.
A compost pile can add nutrients to your lawn or garden and is cost effective because you won’t need to spend money on fertilizers. Compost piles normally contain any biodegradable substances, including weeds, orange and banana peels, apple cores and grass clippings. If you don’t want a compost pile in your yard, take your clippings to a neighbor who has one or your community’s compost pile!
· Use the clippings to stop weeds
Believe it or not, The Grounds Guys have found that scattering grass clippings around the base of bushes and other plants is great way to deter weeds. The clippings help stop the growth of weeds while adding water and nutrients as the grass decomposes.
· Feed your local herbivores
If you’re looking to attract local wildlife to your yard, rabbits and deer love the extra grass clippings as well chickens and goats. Be warned, farm mice also enjoy a grass-clipping snack!