The Grass Clippings Need To Be Dry
When you are mowing and dropping the grass clippings, your lawn needs to be dry!
If the lawn is wet, it will leave clumps of grass clippings spread over your lawn. These clumps again will block air flow and natural light to your lawn underneath them, which can cause suffocation, disease and the growth of moss and/or fungi within your lawn.
Not to mention, wet grass clippings stick to just about everything, causing one nice heck of a mess for you!
When Leaving Clippings Affects Personal And Environmental Safety
If your clippings are landing outside your lawn, consider bagging them. If clippings are getting on your patio, deck, or walkways, they could be a slipping hazard. And if clippings are flying out into a neat bed of flowers or vegetables, bagging is a good option to avoid the mess.
It is also crucial to make sure your clippings stay out of gutters and storm drains. Many storm drains send water into streams and natural bodies of water. When too much vegetation is swept into those waterways, including grass clipping, it can pollute the water. As yard waste decomposes, it releases nitrogen, which can lead to algae blooms that suffocate a healthy waterway.
The Pros Of Leaving Grass Clippings On The Lawn
To begin with, lets talk about why you should leave grass clippings on the lawn. Firstly, it makes the grass tending far easier. It means that you do not have to worry about placing all the leftover clippings in a bag and disposing of them.
Not only is this better for the environment because you do not have to worry about using plastic bags, but it means that your job is far quicker when you leave the grass clippings as they are.
During the summer and winter months, it is actually really beneficial to leave the grass clippings on the lawn. This is because the grass will be able to soak up and use the nutrients that are released from the grass clippings.
When the grass clippings begin to decompose, they release up to 30% of the overall nutrients that the grass needs. This is beneficial for the grass, and also means that you will need to manually fewer nutrients too, which is useful.
However, this is only beneficial in the height of the summer months. When coming into fall or leaving spring, it is recommended that you remove the grass clippings to prevent it from interfering with the growth of the grass.
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When You Should Bag Your Lawn Trimmings
The experts allow for some exceptions to the general dont bag your clippings rule.
For one, says ORourke, If you havent cut your lawn in a while, dont be afraid to bag some of your clippings. Leaving too much excess grass on your lawn can block sunlight leading to patchiness and discoloration.
Also, a new lawn grown from seed may be too delicate to withstand a coating of trimmings.
The University of Minnesota Extension service suggests mulching is not appropriate if youre giving your lawn a big trim. In no case should you ever remove more than one-third of the length of your grass in any single mow. But if youre following the one-third rule and the cut grass is still long, remove it.
As a general rule, grass clippings of an inch or less in length can be left on your lawn where they will filter down to the soil surface and decompose quickly,according to the Minnesota Extension Service. Remove longer clippings because they can shade or smother grass beneath, causing lawn damage.
Shorter grass bits will break into the soil more easily, unlike longer ones, said Pol Bishop of Fantastic Gardeners, a London-based lawn service company. So next time you mow your lawn you will know if you should keep the grass clippings on or not.
Finally, some pet owners like to remove lawn clippings to prevent pooch paws from tracking them indoors.
Do Grass Clippings Help New Grass Grow
Yes. Grass clippings help new grass grow. They contain nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, crucial for new grass growth. In addition, grass clippings are easy to find and keep in the lawn. Therefore, they are perfect for your lawn maintenanceroutine.
Believe it or not, grass clippings on the yard provide the soil with additional shade. This way, the soil keeps moisture for an extended duration. Therefore, the new grass will not wither because of limited moisture.
In addition, shaded soil is often less vulnerable to weeds, which are harmful to new grass. Weeds take up nutrients and thus may leave limited nutrients for the new grass. So, it would be best to keep them away using grass clippings.
However, excessive and heavy clumps of grass clippings can harm the lawn or the new grass. Therefore, it would be best to leave a reasonable amount that helps the new grass. Also, you can consult with a lawn expert on the correct proportions to use.
Besides, there are a few tricks in recycling grass clippings that will ensure a successful lawn project. For instance, it would be better to ensure that the grass does not get too long between mowing.
Longer grass clippings may give the yard more of a mown hayfield appearance, especially if they stay on top of the lawn. Therefore, please pass over already cut clippings to break them further up and help them decompose faster.
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Are Grass Clippings Good For Your Lawn Or Not
We often get asked, Should I rake grass clippings, or can I leave them on my lawn? Or, Will grass clippings cause harm to my lawn?
We often get asked, Should I rake grass clippings, or can I leave them on my lawn? Or, Will grass clippings cause harm to my lawn? These are two very good questions, that many homeowners have.
Leaving grass clippings on your lawn is certainly something that you can do every so often, as they are actually an excellent source of nitrogen for your lawn. However, in saying this, we recommend that you do not stop fertilising with a good quality granular, slow release fertiliser as this is still full of other nutrients that your lawn needs.
What we recommend that you do is use your grass clippings as a natural fertiliser for your lawn, in between your regular granular fertiliser applications. This method will enable your lawn to take advantage of each of the different nutrients that it requires to stay healthy.
When using this alternate fertilising method, there are a few important things that you need to know which will help you gain the best possible results for your lawn:
Dont Ignore Pet Areas
Dog spots are round patches about four to eight inches in diameter with dead grass in the middle, encircled by dark green grass. Often caused by a winters worth of animal urine, theyre most apparent in the early spring when dormant grass first begins to turn green again. You have to replant your grass it wont come back on its own. But first you have to dilute or remove the caustic urine from the soil. Thoroughly soak the area with lots of water.
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Can You Put Grass Cuttings On Flower Beds
The main rule for using grass clippings as mulch is to apply them in thin layers. This happens naturally if you spread mulch as the final step after weeding. … I have yet to find a garden crop that is not completely happy when mulched with three thin layers of grass clippings, spread two weeks apart.
Should You Leave Grass Clippings On Your Lawn
As long as you are following the one-third rule for mowing frequency, the short grass clippings left behind will easily filter through your lawn down to the soil, where theyll rapidly decompose. Also called grasscycling, leaving clippings on your lawn will help your soil become more rich and fertile.
Problems with grasscycling typically arise when lawns are infrequently mowed, leaving clippings that are too long. This can smother the turf surface, meaning sunlight cant get through to the grass below. In these instances where you can still see grass clippings on the lawn, you have a few options: Either mow the lawn again to cut the clippings down to size, rake and bag the clippings, or use a grass catcher on your mower.
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Change Your Blade Once A Year Or Else Things Might Get Ugly
“The sharpness of the blade is paramount,” Mann said. People mowing with a dull blade are shredding their lawn instead of properly cutting it, which leaves space for fungi to attack. Sometimes, those infections cause spots and odd patterns in the lawn. Sometimes, it can cause grass to die. Changing the mower blade or sharpening it once a year can prevent that.
Should I Rake Grass Clippings Or Leave Them On My Lawn
The Spruce / K. Dave
A reader with a large lawn and concerned about the extra landscape maintenance required to rake up grass clippings asked, “Can I leave them on my lawn? Or will they cause harm?” It is a question that many homeowners have, so the answer is worth sharing with everyone tasked with mowing lawns.
How To Grass Cycle Your Lawn
Grasscycling is an easy way to harness the natural fertilizing power of your grass clippings. To get the most out of grasscycling, follow these tips when you mow:
It Is Best To Cut Grass Often And Leave Clippings On Lawn
CORVALLIS – In case you’ve been wondering what to do with your grass clippings, just leave them on the lawn, advises Tom Cook, turf grass specialist at Oregon State University.
Unless you’ve let the lawn grow excessively long, or the clippings are in thick clumps, grass clippings are a good source of nutrients. Leaving clippings helps save fertilizer costs and thereby prevents ground and surface water contamination.
“Our research has shown that we can cut the fertilizer application rate almost in half when we return clippings with a mulching type rotary mower,” explained Cook. “And on lawns growing in clay soils, I have produced acceptable quality turf for as long as 12 years without adding any fertilizer at all.”
Grass clippings contain up to the equivalent per weight of 3-4 percent nitrogen, .5 percent phosphorus and 2.5-3.5 percent potassium, said Cook.
If you plan to leave the clippings, mow the lawn often.
“Frequent mowing, about once a week during the growing season, will have a greater impact on turf quality than any other lawn care practice except irrigation in the summer,” he said. “I consider mowing more important than fertilizer if clippings are returned via a mulching mower. If clippings are removed, then the only way to keep fertility up is to keep adding more fertilizer.”
Your grass should be cut often enough so that not more than one-third of the grass blade is removed at any one time.
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Grass Clippings Are A Natural Fertilizer
Leaving the mulch in your lawn returns several pounds of nutrients to your lawn each season.
|Lawn Clipping Nutrients|
Thats a considerable amount when typical recommendations suggest 2 to 5 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn annually, notes Oregon State Universitys Extension Service. Lawn clipping mulch allows you to skip the time and expense of a nitrogen fertilizer cycle while still maintaining a healthy lawn.
Leave The Lawn Clippings
Leaving lawn clippings after the lawn has been mowed has some benefits that you may not have considered, but there are certainly some drawbacks to leaving them too.
Most people don’t know this but, one of the biggest misconceptions about leaving lawn clippings in the yard is that it will lead to thatch. As long as you mow regularly grass will not lead to thatch.
But there is a catch…
Cons: There are definitely a few downsides to leaving clippings in your lawn. For one, you may find that clippings are ending up in your home. Whether the clippings are dragged in by pets, the wind, or yourself, some people may find them annoying. If you are using a side discharge lawn mower, be sure not to blow your grass on the road, as it can be a hazard for motorcyclists.
Worst of all, if your lawn has not been properly maintained, or you cut your grass a bit long leaving cut grass in the lawn can have a detrimental impact on the lawn. Leaving piles of grass in the lawn, even small ones is an absolute “no no” as it will choke out the grass below within only a day or two.
Pros: One of the biggest pros of leaving the clippings on the lawn, is that it keeps your nutrients in the lawn.
On the bright side, grass clippings are high in nitrogen which is important for maintaining a healthy lawn. Of course, you can add fertilizer more often, but why not use the clippings when you can? If you do leave the clippings, you should definitely mulch them in.
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Benefits Of Recycling Clippings To The Lawn
- Clippings are a valuable source of nutrients and you can use less nitrogen fertilizer if you recycle clippings to the lawn.
- Adding organic matter from clippings may help improve your soil if it is sandy, heavy clay or low in organic matter.
- Regular mowing will greatly reduce the need to collect clippings. Avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass height at a time.
Dont Mow With Dull Mower Blades
Dont Mow with Dull Mower Blades Make sure your mower blades are sharp. Dull blades will tear instead of cutting cleanly leaving the blades open to diseases and pests to invade them. Its a good idea to have your blades sharpened every couple of months. If you havent had them sharpened in several years, its definitely time.
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Reasons To Remove Grass Clippings
Weve already touched on the aesthetics of leaving grass clippings on the lawn great clumps are unattractive and they will leave discoloured patches.
How about the health of the lawn? Too much dead matter in the bottom of the sward can build up a layer of thatch. Thatch slows down drainage, making it harder for rainwater to soak through to where the roots need it. Thatch can also harbour diseases such as Fusarium patch. Thats why professional greenkeepers scarify their pitches, greens and stadia at least once a yearits to remove thatch.
Things To Consider Before Leaving Grass Clippings On Your Lawn
Although there are many benefits of grass clippings staying on the lawn there can be some negatives as well.
For starters you want to make sure that your lawn is already healthy and not currently dealing with fungus or disease problems.
Another factor to consider is whether or not your lawn has a thick layer of thatch already on the soil.
If this is the case then dethatching can eliminate the buildup so you can get a fresh start.
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The Clippings Need To Be Small And Fine
The grass clippings that you do leave on your lawn as a natural fertiliser need to be very fine, and applied sparingly. When your grass clippings coverage is too thick, it can mat together which can sometimes cause suffocation of the lawn underneath it.
What happens is, if you apply a thick layer of grass clippings to your lawn, it will block all natural light to the plant underneath, resulting in it becoming weak and in some cases even causing sections of your lawn to die off.
Thick layers of grass clippings can also take far longer to breakdown and they are usually picked up during your next mow, creating a bit of a mess!
Small grass clippings will only take a few days to disappear into your lawn and start breaking down, so that they can release the nutrients into your lawn.
How to ensure small grass clippings
You can achieve small, fine grass clippings by mowing sooner than you normally would , to ensure that you are only removing a small amount of the tip of the plant.
Alternatively, to achieve fine clippings you can use a mulching lawn mower. This is just your standard mower, with a rear or side chute attached which sends the clippings back into the blades, and cuts them even finer before they settle on the lawn.
The Case For Leaving Lawn Clippings On The Lawn
Some people like to let clippings fall back onto the lawn. The dead plant material is pulled into the soil and broken down by minibeasts and microbes to make plant food. Its recycling just as nature intended.
Returning clippings to the lawn only really works well if you are only cutting a very little bit of the grass blade off and if the grass is relatively dry.
I remember sitting in a classroom watching a tractor and gang mowers cut the school playing field. It smelled divine but it did leave a lot of debris behind. Huge clumps of clippings and if the weather was wet, it would be huge soggy lumps that congealed and gradually turned brown leaving dead patches on the surface of the grass. On grass cutting day, the boys couldnt wait for play time so they could run outside and throw grass at each other.
That was OK for a primary school field. It wouldnt work on a stadium or on an ornamental lawn.
On a garden lawn, its really for you to use your discretion. Theres a rhyme to remember here If its dry, let them fly
In other words, short dry clippings on a hot day wont do any harm if you let them fall onto the lawn. In fact some say they help to conserve moisture. If the grass is long or wet its better to remove the clippings. Either rake them up after mowing or pop the grass box on the mower.
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