WHAT TO DO WITH GRASS CLIPPINGS

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When the days are at their longest, some of us with large expanses of grass tend to start sinking under the vast quantities of clippings produced. The simplest way to deal with them is to just leave them on the lawn. There is even a phrase known as "grass cycling" to make us feel less lazy when it comes to dealing with the problem. The grass clippings soon rot down and are a natural feed. This saves money buying fertilizer and saves time bagging up.



There are a few points to note though.



1. Grass will need to be mown frequently (every five days) to prevent your lawn drowning in clippings. Check the cutting blades of the mower are sharp; this will help get a clean cut.



2. Avoid mowing when the grass is damp or wet as this causes the mower to drop large clumps of grass every so often. In my experience, it's hard to combine the wet weather and five day mowing rule due to our climate, but we can try.



3. Be aware that children and dogs will track these clippings indoors possibly onto carpets. In some cases, an adapter kit is required to allow you to safely operate your mower without a bag, or alternatively you could opt for a new mulching lawn mower itself. These tend to be quite expensive, but it may save you a lot of time and fertiliser.



Add areas of low maintenance in the lawn to cut down on excessive grass clippings


Compost them

Grass clippings are approximately 85 percent water and 4 percent nitrogen, which means if composted correctly they will rapidly reduce to one tenth of their volume. A bag of grass clippings would reduce to handful or two of compost. Add carbonA compost heap usually includes other wet waste such as vegetable peelings and fruit. To balance this out, dry matter or carbon material could be added. This will help to keep the air circulating and stop it from smelling. Dry matter includes paper, wood chips, leaves and broken sticks.



Add equal amounts of wet and dry matter to keep the fruit flies at bay and stop the smells. Another way to let the oxygen circulate in your pile is to aerate it. This means turning the grass clippings and other materials to loosen up the piles. Let them bakePut grass clippings in the sun for a day before adding them to the compost pile. This will dry out the clippings and reduce the volume considerably. Adding lime to the compost bin will help to kick-start the decomposing process and prevent the development of moulds and nasty odours.



If you have recently applied pesticides or herbicides to your lawn, do not add the grass clippings to your compost piles until the rain has wash off these chemicals completely.Bin themIf you have a brown bin, then take advantage of this to dispose of your lawn clippings. This is perfect for gardens with a small lawn.



Under the hedge

Grass clippings can be used for weed control at the base of your hedges. This helps to retain moisture and adds organic matter and nutrients to the soil. For best results spread about an inch or two of weed free clippings at the base of the hedge avoiding its main stems. Add more clippings when the previous batch has broken down.



Over the hedge

A pile of grass clippings is very attractive to hungry horses, ponies, donkeys, cows and sheep, but if the animals gorge themselves on the grass, it can prove fatal. Pasture bloat and colic are the main cause of illness, then there is always the possibility of pesticide poisoning if the lawn has been treated recently. Be wary of using this method of disposal, especially if you are doing it unawares to the farmer.



Reduce your lawn area

Try adding flowerbeds and areas of low maintenance if grass clippings are getting too much for you. Also you could plant a few native trees and shrubs for the birds. Less lawn equals fewer clippings...

3 comments:

Karl Carolan said...

nice post!

Edmond landscaping said...

These are great tips in handling grass clippings in our gardens. These information are very helpful in ensuring that our lawns or backyards are maintained properly. Thanks for sharing.

Joshua Donaghey said...

Sadly this only applies to the common area in our estate, which cannot be changed in any way. The piles of rotting grass are shall we say "Odorous" as you well know. The green area is still being well maintained though, the grass clippings being hauled away behind the houses. Thanks for sharing anyway!

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