It’s a common question most of us have wondered at some point after mowing the lawn: Are those lawn clippings actually good for my grass? The answer is yes! Grass clippings help to restore and nurture the grass by replenishing it with the nutrients it needs to survive and thrive. So before you bag up those clippings, take a moment to learn about all the benefits of leaving them right where they are.
They Naturally Feed the Lawn
Like all living things, grass needs to be watered and fed regularly in order to grow. A simple way to ensure your grass is getting some of the nutrients it needs is by leaving the lawn clippings behind. As they decompose, they return essential nutrients, like nitrogen and potassium back into the soil. This helps the grass grow thicker and healthier.
They Don’t Contribute to Heavy Thatch Buildup
Thatch is a heavy buildup of dead plant material that can suffocate the grass and prevent it from accessing the nutrients and airflow it needs. Eventually, this can cause the grass to thin out and die. But there’s a common myth that grass clippings contribute to thatch. This is not true. Thatch is typically made up of stems and roots, which are much heavier. Since grass clippings are mostly made of water, they don’t add a heavyweight load on top. So if you’re concerned about creating a thick layer of thatch – don’t be.
It Saves You Time and Energy
Aside from being advantageous for the grass, leaving those clippings where they land will save you time and energy as well. You won’t have to bag them and drag them to the curb. Plus, it will reduce the waste that ends up sitting in a landfill, making it beneficial for the environment too.
How to Use Your Lawn Clippings
Grasscycling is a typical word used among many lawn and garden experts, which refers to this concept of reusing and dispersing lawn clippings. Although grasscycling can benefit your lawn, there are some important tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re not causing any damage to the living grass beneath those clippings. Here’s how to get the most benefits from your lawn clippings:
Keep Mower Blades Sharp
Dull mower blades will tear and rip the grass, weakening it and making it more vulnerable to disease. Make sure the mower blades are nice and sharp so they can create a clean-cut each time to keep those grass shoots healthy.
Choose the Right Length
If the grass gets too long, the clippings could become a bit too heavy, so aim to cut and leave behind 1/3 of the height of your grass. And avoid mowing when the grass is wet.
Mow in a Back and Forth Pattern
Mowing back and forth will make sure the clippings get distributed more evenly.
Leave Them Where They Are
If you mow in a back and forth direction, you won’t need to rake the clippings at all. Just leave them right where they are.
By following these simple guidelines, you can keep the clippings light enough and evenly distributed so they won’t detract from the appearance of your lawn and will easily decompose back into the soil.
When to Bag the Grass
In some cases, bagging up the grass clippings might be necessary. If your grass is looking diseased, it’s best to collect them to prevent it from spreading. If the grass is very long, wet and clumping when mowed, pick them up or use them in your compost pile instead.
Looking for lawn care services to maintain your landscape in Ottawa? Contact our expert landscaping team at Dependable Lawn Care today.