Has your freshly mowed lawn left behind a messy array of grass clippings? Well instead of trashing these pesky blades, or leaving them scattered across your lawn — although this actually proves to be beneficial (more on this later) — there are many practical ways you can benefit from this detritus.
Recycling grass clippings is a generally overlooked and grossly underrated aspect of lawn care.
For all of my fellow “leave it on the lawn” yard owners, this indolent act actually proves to benefit your soil health, and subsequently improves lawn growth. Cut grass will decompose quickly, providing nutrients for your soil, particularly nitrogen, that the grass needs. It also will help increase your soil organic matter (SOM) which ultimately contributes to the sequestration of carbon – so you’ll be doing your small part to help with climate change!
If you aren’t keen on the untidy look of grass clippings covering your lawn, there are other ways to take advantage of clipped grass. An easy way to benefit from lawn clippings is to add them to your compost pile! Just as your lawn will benefit from the added nutrients, your compost will too! An alternative is to use clippings as natural mulch. By packing the clippings in flower beds and around vegetables, you will be helping the plant retain water, maintain a warm soil temperature, and prevent weeds. However, use caution in the thickness of clipping layers.
All of this being said, there are instances when leaving grass clippings on your lawn can be harmful rather than practical. If the grass is going to be wet when you cut it, there is potential for the blades to clump together. Leaving clumps of grass on your lawn could damage the growing grass by choking it. Additionally, if you have recently sprayed your lawn with weed killer it is best to simply bag these clippings up and discard them.
Knowing how to use your grass clippings has a larger benefit than you might think on the health of your lawn or garden. Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more tips and tricks!