Mowing your lawn is one of the many factors that contributes to the health of your turf. Doing so allows your grass to have easy access to water and sunlight. It also prevents debris from collecting and discourages the growth of weeds. Another outcome of mowing is grass clippings. These are the blades that are leftover after mowing.
It is important to note that these clippings should not be very long. Different types of grass may vary in terms of how much trimming they can tolerate, but the general rule is to cut no more than ⅓ of the total height. For example, St. Augustine grass that is 3 inches tall should be cut to 2 inches, leaving 1-inch long grass clippings.
Cutting grass too short, which is also known as scalping, can lead to a plethora of issues. For one, your grass could become far more susceptible to pests and lawn diseases. Also, low-mowing can negatively impact the root growth of your grass. Brown patches may spread as a result, and this is why it is so important to adjust your blades. By doing so, you will ensure that you are not cutting too much or too little.
There is some debate about whether to bag grass clippings or leave them after mowing. Long and thick grass clippings can mat down and prevent your lawn from receiving enough sunlight. Matting can be avoided by trimming just the right amount. Still, there is no doubt that grass clippings can benefit your lawn in a variety of ways. Here are some advantages of leaving those leftover blades on your lawn after mowing and how they can improve the quality of your turf.
Complimentary Lawn Food: An Abundance Of Nutrients
Grass clippings contain nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. All three of these nutrients are often present in lawn food and fertilizer. Once the grass clippings begin to break down, these nutrients will be released and your grass will have a chance to soak it up. Although grass clippings may contain smaller amounts of nutrients than the products that are available for purchase, it can still help to strengthen your lawn.
Nutrients are essential to the survival of your lawn, as they are responsible for aiding their growth and overall health. Without the necessary nutrients, it will be more difficult for grass to thrive and fight against lawn diseases. Grass clippings can ensure that your lawn is well-nourished, and satiating the hunger of your grass with lawn food can help it to grow thicker. As a result, it will also be able to resist any apparent obstacles.
An Organic Solution: Say Goodbye To Harmful Chemicals
You have to be cautious when applying standard fertilizer, as it is very toxic to animals and can harm children. In fact, it is recommended that you keep pets away from a newly fertilized lawn for at least 72 hours to ensure their safety. Since grass clippings are an all-natural source of nutrients, the chemicals in packaged fertilizer are no longer necessary.
Without these chemicals, you no longer have to worry about burning your lawn as well. Fertilizer burn often occurs when one spreads too much fertilizer or fails to water their grass after applying. The following article can ensure that you use the right techniques to prevent incorrect application: Lawn Fertilization Schedule | When Should I Fertilize My Lawn?
If you are looking to transition to a chemical-free lifestyle, the NanoTowel is one way to do so. This product eliminates the need for paper towels and toxic cleaners, both of which are harmful to the environment. Therefore, you can save money and the environment at the same time.
Additional Moisture: Quench Your Soil
Grass clippings are mainly comprised of water, taking up nearly 85% of the total composition. When they are left in your lawn, the grass clippings can provide even more water to fortify your turf. The extra moisture can help to prevent your lawn from ever seeing a dry day again. This is especially useful when temperatures begin to rise or during drought conditions. If you use grass clippings, you also may not need to water your grass as much as well.
While varying in the necessary quantity, water is essential to all types of grass. Some may require very little water whereas others need large amounts to survive. Still, using grass clippings can contribute to the green color of all grass types and ultimately boost your curb appeal.
Homemade Mulch: A Means For Soil Conservation
Yet another benefit of grass clippings is that it can be used as mulch. Mulch is spread over soil and has more than one purpose, but it is especially useful in a garden. Using mulch around flowers or vegetables can regulate soil temperatures and crowd out weeds.
As for your lawn, mulch can improve the overall quality of the soil. Keep in mind that there are times when you should avoid using mulch. For example, you should not apply mulch to your grass if you recently used chemical pesticides. This is because it will hinder the ability of the clippings to breakdown. Also, using mulch when weeds are present in your lawn can cause them to spread even more.
Save Time: Less Yardwork, More Leisure
Along with saving money, leaving your grass clippings can also give you more time for other activities. Cleaning your lawn can be quite a time-consuming task, and not bagging your clippings can significantly reduce your yard work. There’s nothing better than having a bit more time on your hands. If grass clippings can benefit both you and your lawn all at once, there is no harm in leaving them on your lawn and letting nature take its course.
Overall, there are quite a few advantages of using grass clippings on your turf. It can serve as a way to fertilize your lawn without the need to make an extra effort. This is because they are directly produced from mowing. So next time you consider bagging them, consider all of the ways it can improve your lawn.
Frequently Asked Questions: Grass Clippings
Will grass clippings cause thatch build-up?
Contrary to popular belief, grass clippings do not contribute to thatch build-up. Since they contain a significant amount of water, grass clippings decompose in a short period of time. Thatch, on the other hand, is composed of stems, stolons, and debris that cannot decompose with ease. If too much thatch builds up, then it can prevent grass from receiving enough moisture and cause root damage.
But even though grass clippings do not cause thatch build-up, it can produce a similar result. Grass clippings longer than ⅓ of the height of your lawn can clump and smother your turf. As long as you trim the right amount of grass, then this issue is very avoidable.
Should I avoid using fertilizer if I use my grass clippings?
Grass clippings can provide an abundance of nutrients, but it may not be enough to satiate your lawn completely. Therefore, you can use fertilizer while also using grass clippings as lawn food. If you want to avoid chemicals, there are plenty of organic fertilizers available for purchase.
For the inside of your home, this NanoTowel can help you avoid toxic chemicals as well. This product can capture liquid, dust, and dirt with just water. It is made of Nanolon Fiber, which is considerably finer than one human hair. As a result, it can absorb up to 10 ounces of liquid and reduce the mess that paper towels cause.
When does it become necessary to bag my grass clippings?
If grass clippings are left in a disease-infested lawn, then it can exacerbate the issue. So, make sure to collect any clippings your lawn is suffering from rust or snow mold. To learn more about how to treat snow mold, feel free to visit this article on how to get rid of this lawn disease.
Another instance where you should bag your clippings is if your lawn is wet. This is because the clippings will stick together and clump. Even so, you should never mow your lawn if the grass is wet. As previously mentioned, you should also pick up grass clippings if your grass is overgrown and the blades are long.
Lastly, if your lawn has more than a ½ inch layer of thatch build-up, then you should bag your clippings. This layer of thatch prevents the clippings from reaching the soil. Therefore, it will have a difficult time breaking down and would not be able to provide your grass with nutrients.
Do I have to redistribute grass clippings in order for them to be effective?
It is not necessary to gather grass clippings and redistribute them in order for it to benefit your lawn. However, your mowing habits can impact how well the clippings are distributed. One way to ensure that the clippings are distributed well is by mowing your lawn back and forth. You can also rake your lawn after mowing to spread the clippings to make sure that it is spread evenly.