There is a big question within the gardening community – to collect grass clippings or not? Both have their respective benefits in terms of your garden’s health and appearance. Today’s article is for those who collect their grass clippings. We will outline the best and most efficient methods for collecting grass clippings after mowing, moving on to discuss what you can do with the grass clippings after collection.
Should I Collect My Grass Clippings?
Many people leave their grass clippings after mowing as they contain the organic nutrients that your lawn needs. Not only this, but leaving your clippings saves you time and extra work. However, leaving your grass clippings can lead to thatch build-up, which contributes to the spread of fungal diseases, moss ingress and poor growth. Grass clippings can also clog drains, causing water to back-up, leaving your lawn unkempt. So, for the health of your lawn (and drains), we suggest collecting your clippings and then re-using them later on.
Ways to Collect Grass Clippings After Mowing
Use a Lawn Sweeper
Lawn sweepers collect grass clippings and other small waste and put them into a hopper. They come in a few different varieties. Lawn sweepers can be used as a separate machine that you push across your lawn or as an attachment that you tow behind your lawnmower. For smaller gardens, lightweight push sweepers are ideal. Conversely, those with larger lawns might be more interested in purchasing a tower sweeper which can be attached to a lawn tractor for optimal coverage. In either case, lawn sweepers are the most efficient way to collect your grass clippings because they are lightweight and straightforward to manoeuvre.
Using a rake is the most conventional method for collecting grass clippings after mowing. There are many types of rake available, so you can pick the one that complements your specific garden. In more sensitive regions, such as those close to plants, you can use rakes with adjustable heads to make it easier to gather clippings from confined spaces. There are also sturdier rakes on the market which are able to clear the grass clippings, gravel and mulch from the ground without damaging the grass. However, collecting your grass clippings with a rake is very labour-intensive so this is not the best choice if you have a large garden.
Collect Whilst you Mow
It is possible to collect your grass clippings as you mow instead of after mowing is complete. Many lawnmowers are equipped with a collection bag that collects grass clippings and other yard waste while you mow, including small sticks and bark. Some lawnmowers do not come with this attachment, but it is possible to buy an accessory to perform this task. If you have a large garden, collecting as you mow will be more time-effective.
If you are tight for money and want to avoid purchasing another device to collect your grass clippings after mowing, you can mow your lawn twice. As you mow in the opposite direction, the grass clippings are broken into small pieces that are not visible in your garden. When the glass clippings are small, they decompose more quickly, and the nutrients from the grass return to the soil more efficiently. Every time you mow, your mower’s height, starting at a higher setting and moving to a lower setting to make the clippings finer.
How to Use Your Grass Clippings
Now that you know the various ways to collect your grass clippings after mowing, you might be wonder how these can be utilised.
Creating your own compost is the first and most productive thing you can do with your grass clippings after mowing. Grass clippings are a great source of green material for your compost heap. You need a 50:50 mixture of nitrogen and carbon-rich ingredients to make compost. Grass cuttings and other green vegetation are sources of nitrogen. Brown materials like cardboard and woody stems are sources of carbon. Making your own compost is a simple and affordable way to give your plants and grass additional nutrients.
To compost your grass clippings, you should start by adding them to your compost pile. You should then add an equal amount of brown, dry, compostable material and mix this with a pitchfork. If you recently used herbicide on your lawn or if your lawn has an infection, don’t compost grass clippings.
Not only do grass clippings make excellent natural fertiliser, but they also make excellent weed barriers. You can stop weeds from sprouting by mulching the base of your bushes and hedges with grass clippings. It also has the added advantage of holding water, which will enrich the soil as the grass decomposes. For optimal effects, apply clippings near the base of the hedge, staying away from the main stems.
Mulch for Your Vegetable Patch
Slugs and snails may frequently visit your vegetable patch, nibbling on your wares. Drying up your grass clippings and placing them in think layers around your veggies is one way to get rid of those pesky animals without using pesticides. This may stop those animals from nibbling on your crops!
Grass clippings can also be used as mulch on your vegetable patch. Fresh grass clippings serve as a great mulch because they retain moisture and provide up to 25% of the nutrients for the vegetables. The additional benefit of using grass clippings as mulch is that it eliminates one more tedious horticultural task.
You can feed your grass clippings to cows, sheep, goats, chickens and other animals if you live close to a farm. If you have pet rabbits, you may make them a snack out of your grass clippings.
Groundwater contamination is caused by the disposal of grass clippings in landfills, which is a waste of nutrients. Grass clipping would be better used to return potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen to the soil through some of the methods mentioned previously like creating compost.
After reading this blog post, we hope you know what glass clipping collection method best suits your garden. This was our main intention, but the blog post also outlined what to do with these grass clippings, whether that be feeding your animals or creating compost to provide your garden with the nutrients it needs.