Be as green as your grass and start recycling your grass clippings! Leaving clippings on the lawn will actually make the grass and soil healthier and stronger. Grass clippings break down quickly and encourage micro organisms and earthworms into your garden. The organisms subsequently break down the clippings, providing much needed nutrients to make your grass grow greener and stronger.
Collecting, bagging and transporting heavy grass clippings to the local tip is not only backbreaking work, it also wastes so much time and money! Just add up the time it takes to collect the clippings, bag them up, load them into the car, drive to the tip, queue up at the tip, drive home from the tip, and remove the stray clippings from the inside of your car – not to mention money wasted on fuel and bags.
The myth surrounding grass clippings
There is a myth that leaving clippings on your lawn will cause thatch – this is not true. Thatch is a layer of dead turf material, usually formed from using too much fertilizer. As the grass grows, new roots, stems and leaves are formed, and the old ones die off. If the new growth is vigorous, growing faster than the old growth can die off, thatch forms. Thatch is broken down by various fungi that live harmlessly in your lawn. Leaving grass clippings to break down on your lawn will encourage healthy grass and soil.
Grass clippings are mostly made up of water, but also contain valuable nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which encourage healthy growth. These nutrients hidden in the waste clippings can provide up to a third of the annual feed requirement for a lawn, therefore saving you money on lawn feed!
If you have an abundance of grass clippings, recycle them in a compost bin. A word of caution – remember not to add waste clippings to the compost bin if you have recently treated the lawn with weedkiller, as this will affect the quality of the compost you produce.
Mow your lawn frequently, never mow more than the top third off the top of the grass, and only collect clippings if you have seen signs of disease in your lawn – you may end up spreading the disease over the entire lawn area if you leave them.