There are so many things we can do with grass clippings than throwing them away in the trash…
Here are some ideas to try in our garden to put that grass waste to some good use:
Add to Compost
Grass clippings are packed with nitrogen and break down quickly.
A proper compost pile requires a mix of green and brown materials.
Freshly cut-grass is considered ‘green’.
It needs to be balanced with the addition of some brown material like dry leaves, branches, twigs or paper.
When adding fresh grass clippings, make sure to turn the grass into the pile to enhance aeration and prevent compaction.
(This compost bin would fit the bill – and is highly rated.)
Microbes will break the pile down quickly. Over time, it will give us a rich pile to spread in a short amount of time.
Lawn clippings tea
Instead of buying expensive liquid organic fertilizers, we can make our own at home.
To brew a lawn-clipping tea, we place our freshly-cut grass in a bucket of water and allow to steep.
Beneficial nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous, chlorophyll and amino-acids will leach from the grass into the water.
After 4 days or so, strain off the liquid and use it to feed plants by pouring this “tea” onto the roots (or spraying on the leaves).
Leave them be
We think the perfect lawn is grass clippings free…
But we are robbing our lawn of key nutrients it needs to thrive.
Leaving our short clippings lie on our lawn fits the bill. It will break down quickly and nourish our lawn – turning it into a perfect shade of green.
Grass clippings can add back-up to 25 % of the nutrients that growth removes from our soil.
These clippings also encourage beneficial microorganisms and earthworms that digest this grass and maintain healthy soil.
Moisture is always an issue when it comes to container gardening.
Containers need a lot of watering.
And when we add a thick layer of grass clippings on top of our potting soil, it holds in extra moisture.
Grass clippings (either fresh or dried) make an excellent organic mulch. It contains high amounts of nitrogen… something all plants need to grow and flourish.
When our grass is cut with an electric or hand-push mower, we can use the cut grass to supplement diets of herbivores.
WARNING: avoid using wet clippings since they spoil quickly and can make animals sick.
When building a raised bed (or a hugelkultur bed), adding a thick layer of grass clippings provides nutrients and build up the bed. As a result, it will use less compost to make up the volume.
The added bonus is that the grass clippings help to break-down the carbon rich fibrous material in a raised bed.