The warmer temperatures are great for the garden and lawn. Most homeowners have already had their mowers out already. But what do you do with all those grass clippings? Do you gather them up and put them out at the curb for your Burlington’s yard waste collection? Your composter won’t thank you for loading it up with all those grass clippings.
Resist the urge to gather up your grass clippings and keep them out of the yard waste. Instead, leave the clippings on your lawn as a natural fertilizer and mulch. Here’s why.
Grass clippings serve as a biodegradable mulch for your lawn. The clippings temporarily shade the soil which helps retain moisture and slow the growth of weeds. This means you’ll have to water a little less and you won’t have to gather up and replace the mulch every season.
Grass clippings are just leaves and stems, so it makes sense that they’re a great natural organic fertilizer. Clippings break down quickly because they’re small, so you won’t have to worry about causing other problems or smothering your grass. Decomposing grass clippings provide nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (identified on commercial fertilizer with the initials N, K, and P respectively). Grass clippings will never burn your lawn and you don’t have to worry about delivering enough water to dilute the fertilizer or adding it at the wrong time of year.
You don’t want the clippings to lie on top of the grass -- you have a lawn not a hayfield, so you’ll need to mow your lawn regularly. One trick is blow the clippings onto a portion of the lawn you haven’t cut yet so you pass over them multiple times so they’re broke down completely. Clippings that are small will break down more quickly. Sharpened mower blades will reduce stress on your lawn and make mowing easier. Read about how to mow your way to a healthier lawn here.
If proper mowing techniques are used, clippings should almost entirely break down between each mowing.
Some people believe that leaving grass clippings on the lawn promotes thatch growth. Thatch is prevalent when decomposing material accumulates on the soil faster than it breaks down. When clippings are kept small and lawns are mowed frequently, this shouldn’t be a problem. Grass clippings are usually small enough to break down very quickly.
When Not To Leave Grass Clippings
• Don’t leave the clippings to decompose if your lawn has a disease of any kind. This can promote or prolong the eradication of the problem you are battling.
• Don’t leave clumps of wet grass clippings on your lawn. If you must mow your lawn when it’s wet, disperse them so there are no clumps or gather them up. Clumps will smother the lawn rather than act as a natural mulch.
• Don’t leave the grass clippings to decompose if the lawn was so long that you’re leaving furrows of clippings behind. Either mow the rows of clippings repeatedly to further break down the size or gather them up.
The lawn care professionals at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa would be happy to answer all of your questions. Contact the experts at Nutri-Lawn Ottawa and let us prove to you that we’re the best company to take care of your lawn and yard maintenance.