When you mow your lawn, you will produce a lot of grass clippings. So how to deal with these grass residues? Traditionally, grass clippings have been bagged, thrown away, and sent to a landfill, where they make up 20% of the total refuse there.
What’s sad is that they are 100% recyclable and are much more beneficial to your lawn when they are left on the lawn. In fact, you can turn them into excellent organic fertilizer, which is more effective for growing flowers.
Here are the benefits that you can get from recycling grass clippings.
- 1 Stimulate Microorganisms and Earthworm Activity
- 2 Replenish Nutrients To The Lawns
- 3 Maintain Balanced Soil Temperature
- 4 Retain Soil Moisture
- 5 Inhibit the Growth of Weeds
- 6 Prevent Soil Compaction
- 7 Improve Soil Structure
- 8 Provide Interest Textures To the Lawn Surface
- 9 Promote The Growth of Roots
- 10 Turn Them Into Compost
- 11 Making Organic Liquid Fertilizer
- 12 Use Them As Mulch
Stimulate Microorganisms and Earthworm Activity
Because grass clippings are 75% to 85% water, they break down quickly and don’t, as some people believe, contribute to a thatch problem. As the clippings break down, they stimulate microorganisms and earthworm activity.
Replenish Nutrients To The Lawns
They also replenish the various nutrients that lawns need to maintain steady growth, especially nitrogen. Studies have shown that a lawn whose grass clippings are left to decompose needs 25% less of the annual fertilizer than other lawns need. This will save you both time and money.
Starting a grass-cycling program isn’t hard. It just takes good lawn maintenance practices. Grass clippings need to be small enough so that they can fall into the lawn easily, reach the soil, and break down at a reasonable rate. To keep your grass clippings small, you need to prevent grass overgrowth.
Be careful not to over-fertilize or over water your lawn, and mow the grass frequently to keep it at its optimal height, without removing more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. Each type of grass seed has its own optimal height, listed below:
- Buffalograss: 2 ½”
- Bermudagrass: ½ to 2.”
- Kentucky bluegrass: 2”
- Perennial ryegrass: 1 ½ to 2”
- Tall fescue: 2 to 3”
- Zoysiagrass: ½ to 1.”
When your lawn is in its growing season, you will have to mow more frequently to keep the grass clippings small. If you cannot keep up with frequent mowing, or if several rainy days interrupt your normal schedule, there are a few things you can do with larger grass clippings.
Maintain Balanced Soil Temperature
The mulch can make the soil maintain a more balanced soil temperature. The heat conduction for mulch is slow so that the soil can be kept relatively cool under strong sunlight. At the same time, they can keep the soil warm in severe cold weather conditions.
Retain Soil Moisture
Conserve the moisture in the soil and reduce the direct transpiration of moisture from the ground.
Inhibit the Growth of Weeds
When the mulch itself does not contain grass seeds, and the thickness of the laying reaches more than 7 cm, it can effectively inhibit the germination of weed seeds and eliminate existing small weeds.
Prevent Soil Compaction
The recycling grass clippings can turn into mulch, and you can use them to prevent the compaction of the soil surface. They can also help improve the absorption and penetration of water in the soil and reduce water and soil loss.
Improve Soil Structure
Organic materials as mulch can improve soil structure and farming performance. After the organic mulch decays and decomposes, it can also be used as a fertilizer to supplement the soil’s nutrients.
Provide Interest Textures To the Lawn Surface
You can recycle grass clipping by covering them on the lawn. This can provide balanced colors and interesting textures to the surface of the lawn.
Promote The Growth of Roots
Plants can promote the growth of roots under the coating of organic mulch. Comparing these roots grown in the mulch environment with the roots grown in ordinary soil, it turns out that the roots in the mulch are better than those in ordinary soil. The condition of hair roots is much better.
After we know the benefits of recycling grass clippings, we should now learn how to make them to good use.
Turn Them Into Compost
The most commonly used of these grass clippings is to turn them into compost, which you can make into decomposed organic fertilizer.
You can directly mix these grass clippings with other compost materials, such as fallen leaves, dead branches, coffee residues, tea residues, eggshells, peels, etc.
You can add some garden soil. Then you can mix them in a compost pile or put them in the compost bin.
In the later stage, make sure to keep the compost pile loose, breathable, and proper moisture. You need to stir them regularly and avoid stagnant water stay on your compost pile. It will become a decomposed fertilizer in about 3 to 6 months.
Making Organic Liquid Fertilizer
you can also turn these grass clippings into a good organic liquid fertilizer. So, it would be best if you kept all the grass clippings after mowing your lawn instead of disposing of them.
You can mix them into the water to become organic liquid fertilizer that will contain more nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and amino acids.
You can soak the grass clippings in clean water for about three days to filter out the residue. These solutions can be mixed with water and sprayed on the leaves of the plants to supplement nutrients to the plants.
When spraying, be sure to add water because the concentration of these organic fertilizers will be very high that can easily burn the plants. Generally, The ratio of liquid fertilizer with water is about 1 to 50 or 100 times, depending on the strength of the plants.
Use Them As Mulch
These scraps of grass clippings can become a perfect mulch, which you can spread on the soil’s surface to help retain water, inhibit weeds, keep the soil cool, and improve the fertility of the soil.
One option is to use a mulching mower. Mulching mowers will cut clippings into even smaller clippings so that they can decompose easily. Another option is to remove the larger clippings from the lawn and compost them. You can also use them as mulch for gardens or surrounding trees.
Whether they are fresh grass or dry grass clippings, you can turn them into very high-quality organic mulch. These grass clippings contain a large amount of nitrogen, which is very helpful to the growth of plants.
It would help if you took note that you should not spread these grass clippings directly at the bottom or on the roots of the plants. The ideal distance should be 3cm to 5 cm away from the plant rhizomes.
Usually, whether you are planting vegetables, foliage plants, or flowering plants, you can use these grass clippings and spread them on the soil 3 cm thick.
Even if there is no plant in your lawn, you can still spread a layer of 5 cm thick grass clippings on the soil. By doing so, it can help to improve the structure of the soil and make the soil to be more fertile.
Right now, we should know that mulch is extremely beneficial to your lawn. It helps reduce weeds, regulates soil temperature, retains moisture, and limits soil erosion. Ensure that you do not use grass clippings that have come into contact with herbicides within the past two weeks. Let those break down on the lawn, or bag them if necessary.
So, it would be best if you recycled your grass clippings and made them to good use. Don’t simply dispose of them. You can also leave the grass clippings on your lawn since this is a natural and efficient way to keep your lawn green, healthy, and growing.
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