Everyone enjoys the view of a tidy lawn. But that means that they have to cut the grass fairly frequently in order to maintain the ideal appearance. Over time, that grass cutting habit can produce tons of grass clippings, and most people throw them away. However, what if we told you that there is a better approach to dealing with grass clippings? In fact, grass clippings can be incredibly useful. So before you go and bag your clippings to toss them away, read this article — you won’t believe how beneficial cutting grass is.
The Benefits of Recycling Grass Clippings
If you don’t let your grass grow too tall before you mow it, there won’t be too many grass clippings covering your lawn. And in that case, you can always leave them there. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and most importantly, it is useful. Grass clippings decompose relatively quickly. And for that reason, they are an excellent way to provide nutrients for the soil.
We all know that it is important to properly fertilize the soil if you want to have a good-looking lawn. And one of the most important elements for a nutrient-rich soil is nitrogen. Thankfully, grass clippings are very rich sources of nitrogen. By simply recycling your grass clippings, you can cut down on fertilizer use by about 25%.
Furthermore, that is not the only reason for you to do it. Not only do you get additional nutrients, but you are actually helping the planet by doing so. Studies are showing that as much as 50% of the landfill waste during the growing season ends up being yard waste. Practices such as throwing grass clippings away are dramatically increasing the rate at which we are filling up the landfills. For that reason, companies like Ziehler Lawn Care always encourage recycling any materials that you can.
Moreover, not only is it eco-friendly and beneficial for your yard, but recycling your grass makes mowing your lawn a lot faster and easier. After all, you don’t have to stop every now and then to collect the lawn clippings.
As you can see, recycling grass clippings takes very little to no effort. But if you want to make the most out of it, you might want to follow these tips.
1. Don’t Cut the Grass Too Short
One of the most common mistakes people make while mowing their lawn is failing to cut the grass to a proper height. That can actually reduce the quality of the grass. You actually want blades to “see” the sun and create slight shade on the soil. That way, the grass can grow healthier, and the water won’t immediately evaporate from your lawn.
On average, you want to let your grass grow up to four inches and cut it down to three inches. Of course, if you have a low-growing variety such as the Bermuda grass, you should cut it down to the proper height.
2. Sharpen Your Mower Blades
Believe it or not, properly cutting grass is very important for a lawn. If your blades are sharp, the grass will be able to properly heal and look great. But if the blades are dull, they won’t be able to cut grass. Instead, they will tear at it and rip it to shreds. You will still have the similar height of the grass, but the leaf tips won’t be able to heal. It can lead to aesthetic issues since the grass will be brown at the tip, and your grass might become vulnerable to diseases.
3. Allow the Clippings to Decompose
You don’t have to gather the clippings and spread them manually. In fact, you can even avoid collecting the grass altogether. Just let the clippings fall on the ground. But if you’ve let your grass grow too tall, the clippings might not fall down. Instead, they will rest on top of the grass. If that happens, the solution is very simple, just use a rake to comb through the grass.
4. You Should Still Use a Fertilizer
While grass clippings are incredibly nutritious, they are not necessarily enough for your yard. By practicing grass recycling, you will cut down your fertilizer use by a quarter. The rest is still up to you. The folks at Ziehler lawn care recommend using a high-quality fertilizer early in the season to make sure your lawn is rich and healthy.
5. Consider Using a Mulch Mower
Mulch mowers are capable of chopping the grass to smaller lengths, which makes it easier to decompose. At Ziehler lawn care, they use mulch mowers to prepare leaves for composting.
The benefits of mulch mowing are clear. Mulched clippings are better when it comes to insulating the lawn soil. That means that you won’t have to worry about moisture loss or low temperatures.
However, believe it or not, your grass can be too healthy. Namely, if you do too good of a job, it might start growing too quickly. In that case, we wouldn’t recommend mulch mowing as the clippings won’t have the time to decompose.
Other Uses for Grass Clippings
Leaving the clippings on the ground to recycle the grass is an excellent way to grow a healthy lawn. However, for a short while after cutting the grass, your lawn might have an untidy look. And if you don’t want to experience it, there are other uses for grass clippings you should consider. For starters, we at Ziehler lawn care use lawn clippings in compost piles.
So if you have a compost pile of your own, you can add to it by using lawn clippings. In essence, they work as an accelerant for the process of composting. Furthermore, it increases the nutritional value of the compost you get. Alternatively, you can use mulch clippings to create a flower bed. It is equally useful in improving the garden bed as it is in smaller environments.
Lastly, if you are not interested in recycling your grass, you can always give it away. If you look around, you might find gardening clubs or even garden recycling programs near you. And those clubs and programs are always on the lookout for more grass clippings.
Maybe you even have a neighbor that is trying to grow vegetables and fruits and simply doesn’t have enough grass in their yard to recycle the clippings. Reach out to others and offer a helping hand.
And here’s a video on the very topic, from Grass Daddy: