Having a lawn requires lawn mowing, and mowing lawns always produces lawn clippings, which over the life of a lawn can be an absolute abundance. So many of us have the continuing bad habit of tossing these clippings in the trash, when the fact is that lawn clippings are an incredible source of nutrients and fertilization for soils, gardens and even lawns themselves. Having a lawn, and the resultant abundance of lawn clippings can be one of the greatest lawn and garden soil improvement and maintenance sources we could ever possibly have available to us, yet most of us waste this incredible value we have right in our own hands.
So how can we recycle all of these lawn clippings?
Here are a few simple ideas to put those lawn clippings to wonderful use for the betterment of both lawns and gardens, and at no cost to us.
Mulch Lawn Mowing
Mulch lawn mowing is the process of mowing a lawn without catching the clippings. The very best way to do this is to use a mulching lawn mower which includes a special plug that is inserted into the catching hatch of the lawn mower. This plug forces the clippings to spin past the mowing blades several times, thereby finely chopping the clippings into smaller particles, before the clippings are released back into the lawn and the thatch layer of the lawn.
These chopped lawn clippings then insulate the lawn soil from moisture loss and heat and cold damage. The lawn clippings are also full of moisture which provides for a moist mulch layer in the lawn as the finely chopped lawn clippings quickly disintegrate into natural lawn fertilizer, which is naturally full of Nitrogen.
Mulch lawn mowing is best done when the lawn is being mowed at regular intervals and before the grass gets too long between cuts.
If the lawn is extremely heathy and requires a lot of mowing due to excessive growth, then regular mulching lawn mowing may not be suitable, because the clippings may not be able to break down and rot into the soil at fast enough speed before the next clippings are left on the lawn. In these cases it may be a better option to only mulch mow occasionally during the busiest lawn mowing season.
Lawn Cliipings In Garden Beds
Lawn clippings can be placed right into the lawn bed directly from the mower catcher.
The clippings can be tilled into the soil so as to speed up the rotting process of the clippings via the mixing in of the soil micro-organisms with the clippings, or they can be left to sit on top of the garden bed to slowly rot over time while insulating the garden soil from heat or cold.
A combination of sometimes raking in the grass clippings into soil, while at other times allowing the clippings to sit on top of the soil can be a good option depending on soil types where we live, or dependent on seasonal conditions throughout the year.
Leaving a soil covering of lawn clippings sitting on top of garden beds in Winter and in Summer, to insulate the soil from heat and cold stresses can be a very wise gardening move. While then at other times of year in milder whether conditions, we can hoe the lawn clippings right into the soil.
Lawn Clippings In Compost Heaps
For those of us with functioning compost piles, there is nothing of value which can be said here that the compost pile owners don’t already know about the value of lawn clippings in compost heaps.
Lawn clippings can be an incredible accelerant for the breaking down and composting of so many other organic composting materials. And the compost produced is a super food for all gardens, plants and soils. For those who don’t have a compost pile, and who have an abundance of garden waste, including lawn clippings to dispose of, a compost pile is like a treasure trove of richness and abundance of food for our gardens to thrive on.
Give Lawn Clippings Away
These days there are so many organic gardening places around, as well as community gardening clubs, and local government garden recycling programs on offer, that there can literally be many many places all around us that are desperate for more and more lawn clippings.
All these groups know of the incredible nutrient value of lawn clippings, and they want them and they want a lot of them. Until the moment these gardening groups are each operating at absolute capacity in all they can possibly do and achieve, they will want more and more lawn clippings!
There are also many individual avid gardeners everywhere who want other people’s lawn clippings for their own gardens and compost too. So be sure to check local advertizements or bulletin boards in your area for anyone searching for lawn clippings.
So get on the net, make some phone calls or online enquiries, and find one of these organic gardening groups, who treasure what so many of us consider trash. Help these people add to their communities, reduce waste, help the environment, and put the super charged organic gardening power of your lawn clippings to work. These organic gardening groups and individuals are all around us, all we need to do is take a few minutes to look for them.
Also, and lastly:
Keep an eye on close neighbors. Any which are already using their own lawn clippings in their own garden beds, or those who are keenly into gardening, especially with vegetables and fruits, who may be extremely keen for your valuable lawn clippings too. So many times we see these keen gardeners cannot get enough of this wonderful resources for their gardens. So go on, be neighborly, say hello, make a friend of a neighbor, and ask him or her if they are would like your lawn clippings too.