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Wednesday, 21 June 2023
Should grass clippings be left on site?

Should grass clippings be left on site?

You've just finished mowing your lawn, and you're faced with a dilemma: should you collect all the grass clippings or just leave them where they are? It's a question that has divided gardening enthusiasts for years. Some argue that leaving grass clippings on the lawn is beneficial, while others maintain that it's better to get rid of them. In this blog, we explore the pros and cons of each approach, to help you make an informed decision.

Is it okay to leave grass clippings on the lawn?

It's generally best not to leave grass clippings on the lawn. While it's tempting to leave grass clippings after mowing, this can be detrimental to the long-term health of your lawn. Here are a few reasons why it's a good idea to collect grass clippings:

  • Appearance: Grass clippings can make your lawn look untidy and unkempt. They can accumulate in piles and form a thick layer on the ground, which can make your lawn look unattractive.
  • Obstruction: Leaving too much grass clippings on the lawn can obstruct sunlight and airflow, which can prevent healthy grass growth. This can lead to a weakened lawn and encourage weed growth.
  • Slow decomposition: Grass clippings are composed mainly of water, which means they can take a long time to decompose completely. During this time, it can create a dense layer that prevents nutrients from reaching the soil and grassroots.

However, there is one exception to this: mulching. Mulching involves using a special mower equipped with a special blade that finely chops the grass clippings and scatters them evenly over the lawn. In this case, the cut grass can act as a natural fertilizer, providing nutrients to the lawn as it rapidly decomposes.

If you choose to use the mulching technique, it's important to follow a few guidelines to avoid damaging the lawn. Make sure you don't leave a thick layer of grass clippings that could smother the lawn, and mow regularly to keep the clippings short enough to decompose quickly.

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What to do with your grass clippings?

When you've finished mowing your lawn, you're left with grass clippings. So what do you do with them? Here are a few options to consider:

Collection and composting

The most common method is to collect grass clippings and add them to your compost heap. Grass clippings are rich in nitrogen, making them an excellent addition to stimulate the decomposition of other organic matter in your compost. Be sure to mix grass clippings with other garden and kitchen waste to maintain a good balance of carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials.

Use as mulch

You can also use grass clippings as mulch for your flower beds. Spread a thin layer of grass clippings around your plants to help retain soil moisture, reduce weeds and nourish the soil as it decomposes. Be careful not to apply too thick a layer, as this could smother the plants.

Pet food

If you have pets, such as rabbits, guinea pigs or chickens, you can give them the grass clippings. However, make sure the grass has not been treated with harmful chemicals before giving it to your pets.

Donation to a municipal composting center

Some municipal composting centers accept grass clippings. Check with your local authorities to find out what recycling options are available in your area.

Spreading on bare areas

If you have areas of your garden that are bare or in need of regeneration, you can spread grass clippings over these areas. This can help protect the soil, retain moisture and provide nutrients to encourage new plant growth.

Depending on your preferences and the needs of your garden, you can choose the method best suited to managing your grass clippings. Whether you opt for composting, mulching or any other use, always take into account good gardening practices to maintain the health of your lawn and plants.

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Where to put the grass clippings?

If you intend to use the mown grass at a later date, it's important to put the clippings in a suitable place to ensure that they keep well. You can put the clippings in a compost bin temporarily, mixing them with organic matter and turning them regularly. If you don't have a compost bin, simply create a temporary compost pile.

Choose an area of the garden that isn't used frequently to keep them under cover and pile the grass clippings with the dead leaves, then mix to speed up decomposition. Alternatively, you can simply store them in a plastic or canvas bag and seal it tightly. The residue must be dry to avoid unpleasant odors.

If you regularly mow your lawn, we advise you to set aside a storage area in your garden for the clippings to be used each time. Lawn clippings should be used as soon as possible to take full advantage of their benefits.

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