Taking care of grass clippings is one of the things that others might consider a challenge to deal with after mowing their lawn, especially if you have a large lawn to work with. Most of us have gotten used to simply sending it in a landfill for disposal. But some landfills don’t allow it. There are times that we don’t have the time to transport them for proper disposal. But what if we can provide you some ways of handling your grass clippings that will also benefit your lawn in the long run? If this catches your attention, then read on.
Below are the 8 ways that we can think of on where you can get away with your grass clippings that will not only benefit your lawn but yourself as well.
1. Do not bag them, just leave them from where they came from
We have mentioned this a few times already but we really do not mind if we keep on telling people repeatedly 😊. Grass clippings do contain nutrients that your lawn needs in order for it to thrive. They will eventually break down and once that happens, it will release the nutrients that it holds then those nutrients will find its way back to your lawn. Study shows that this process can back up to 25% of the nutrients that growth removed from soil. They also encourage helpful microorganisms and earthworms that digests this grass and maintain a healthy soil for your lawn. Just be mindful that clippings that are too long won’t break down, making your lawn unsightly. To prevent this from happening (and as we have mentioned on our previous blogs), the proper way of mowing your lawn is to mow higher and more often.
Please do note that if your lawn is showing disease or has weeds then you will need to sort these issues first before leaving the grass clippings on your lawn because this will only worsen the problems.
2. Can be used for animal feed
Grass clippings can be used to make silage for cattle feed. Test shows that silage made from grass clippings has a protein content of 18.2% and a digestible matter content of 68% which is much higher than hay on which typically averages a digestible matter content of about 59%. Grass clippings can also be a suitable supplementary food source for sheep as per the several studies conducted. You can ask your neighbors or anyone nearby that you know of that has a cattle or sheep if they are interested in your grass clippings. But remember not to offer your grass clippings if your lawn was chemically treated (like for lawn fertilization or weed control).
3. Use them as compost
Grass clippings do organically come from grass. This fact itself makes it a good candidate for compost in our garden. Once you prepare and treat the clippings in the right manner, you’ll be able to recycle the nutrients and take them in the other areas of your garden.
A proper compost should have a mix of green and brown materials. Grass clippings is the “green” part while dried leaves, branches or twigs is the “brown” part. Just make sure to turn the grass into a pile to enhance aeration and prevent compaction. As an alternative to the brown part of your compost, you can also leave the clippings to dry out to make it the brown part of your compost.
4. As a… tea
Yep, you read it right. We know it sounds surprising and unusual but this is a great way to suppress disease, give yourself the nutrients that you can get from the grass clippings, speed up the breakdown of toxins in your body and improve the nutritional quality and flavor of vegetables.
To brew a lawn clipping tea, put your freshly cut grass into a bucket of water and allow it to steep. This process will release beneficial nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous, chlorophyll and amino acids into the water. After three days or so, strain off the liquid and use it to feed your plants by pouring it to the roots or spraying it on the leaves.
5. As mulch
The definition of mulch is that it is a type of material that you can use to cover the surface of the soil as a covering. Organic mulch has a lot of benefits to the soil like helping it to retain its moisture, suppress weeds, keeping the soil cool and improve its fertility. High amounts of nitrogen can be found on grass clippings, either fresh or dried and this is one of the nutrients that plants need to grow and flourish.
As a mulch for your garden, you can start by laying a ¼ inch layer of fresh grass clippings around your garden bed. If the amount is thicker, it might take a while for the grass to break down, resulting in an unpleasant smell as it decomposes. While dried clippings can be used for vegetable crops can be spread on thicker amounts.
6. As an ingredient in your soil mix for your garden with raised beds
You can mix the grass clippings with your soil to improve soil quality and boost the yield of your garden raised bed. In the lower regions of the bed, spread one part of grass clippings with two parts shredded leaves – these will turn into compost to enrich the soil. This should be spread thinly to prevent matting. Once the bed is full (within six to twelve inches from the top), add a barrier that can also serve as compost (like a cardboard) and fill the remainder with your chosen soil mix.
7. As a natural dye
They can also be used as a natural green dye that you can use for decorative purposes. Some examples are using it to dye Easter eggs or as an organic fabric dye. Try to search online to know how.
8. Bring them to a recycle center
Bringing them to a recycling center disposes the grass clippings in a green and clean manner instead of simply disposing it to a landfill.
Lawn Care Pueblo Colorado is strongly against burning of grass clippings or leaves. This process creates thick smoke which is a health and environment hazard.
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