Do you know that grass clippings in the garden can make it more functional. The use of grass can be very helpful and Eco friendly. How? Check out below.
Are Grass Clippings Good for Garden?
Leave grass clippings on your lawn and they will save up to 25% consumption of lawn fertilizers. But only leave grass clippings on the lawn if they are short, shorter clippings break down fast. Some lawn mowers are equipped with ‘mulching mode’ use this to cut grasses into very small fragments without picking them up.
For this you’ll need to mow regularly with a mower equipped with mulching function, since this technique is not suitable for tall grasses.
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Grass clippings compost is an another way to recycle grasses. However, you can’t make compost consisting of only grass clippings otherwise it’ll rot and stink because grass clippings consist 80% of water and also if used alone they pack together and compact the air flow.
The trick is to use a good amount of other organic waste such as leaves, twigs, shredded branches etc. with thin alternating layers of clippings in proportion of about 1:1 or 2:1, means 2 part of grass and 1 part of dry organic matter.
In humid weather, especially in spring and fall it is necessary to dry grass clippings for 1 or 2 days before putting them into the compost pile. Your compost will be ready to use within 2 to 3 months.
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If you’ve not applied any chemical weedkiller recently on grasses, you can use dried grass clippings for mulching in the garden.
Spread on 2-3 cm thick layer near the base of plants.
Grass clipping mulch also limits evaporation and conserves water.
If you’re using fresh clippings as mulch, only lay ¼ inches thick layer. This will allow the grass to break down quickly before it begins to smell or rot. Thicker layers made of fresh grass clippings have a tendency to remain too wet and can invite mold and create smelly decay issues.
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Grass clippings in vegetable garden can make it more functional.
Nitrogen present in grass brings a big boost to vegetables, especially those which have large nitrogen needs: all the green vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach and other vegetables like cucumber, squash, zucchini, potato and pumpkin.
If you let your grass clippings to dry out for several days, you can use them as thick mulch, for example to protect strawberries. You can also use this thick mulch to cover the shrubs, circumference of trees and thus prevent weeds from growing at their feet.
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Rich in nitrogen, oxygen and phosphorus, grass clippings can be used as effective slow release organic fertilizer in the garden.
Incorporate 2 to 3 inches mass of grass clippings 6 inches deep in garden soil. These clippings will be absorbed in garden soil and work as an additional and effective Eco-friendly source of nutrient as the grass decomposes. Take care not to mix grass clippings that contains weeds or their seeds.
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Grass clippings can be made into an effective and 100% organic liquid fertilizer just in a few days. N-P-K level of this liquid grass clipping fertilizer is around 1 – 0.5 – 3.1. To make this liquid fertilizer– fill a bucket of any size with 2/3 part of fresh grass clippings. Fill the bucket with water and close the lid. Let it steep for 3 days and your grass clipping liquid fertilizer is ready to use.
Soak the plants thoroughly using this solution. Depending on the size of plant, apply this solution from half cup to one quart, for plants growing in pots apply until it starts to seep out from bottom holes. To learn in detail about this grass clipping liquid fertilizer– Must read this detailed article.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not use grass that has been treated with herbicides.
- Collect only that much grass clippings for the garden, which you can use. Leave the rest on the lawn or put in the compost pile, making sure that it makes no more than half of the stack. Mix other organic materials in order to combat the foul odor of organic decomposition.
- When used as compost ingredient, grass clippings can give a tremendous temperature increase in a compost pile, which results in fast decomposition.
- Fresh grass clippings have a C:N (Carbon – Nitrogen) ratio of around 20:1, depending on the species, growing conditions, life stage and season, it varies.
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