Should I Collect My Grass Clippings?
Yes. You should!
Instead of throwing away your lawn clippings after mowing consider recycling them as a natural mulch around your flowerbeds or vegetable patch. This eco-friendly approach can improve soil health, conserve moisture, and even suppress weeds contributing to healthier and more vibrant flowers. You can also put them in your compost pile or bin to use as compost at a later date. They are a rich source of nitrogen and when paired with carbon-rich plant materials will break down very quickly. Do not drop them on your lawn! We advise against this at Allett as they will build a thatch layer in your lawn.
- Nutrient-Rich Mulch:
Grass clippings are a valuable source of nutrients as they contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—essential elements for plant growth. When you spread grass clippings around your flowers or vegetable patch they act as a slow-release fertiliser providing a steady supply of nutrients to the plants as they decompose. This helps to support robust growth throughout the growing season.
- Moisture Retention:
Mulching with grass clippings can help retain soil moisture by reducing evaporation. The clippings form a protective layer over the soil preventing it from drying out too quickly under the sun's heat. Consistent moisture levels in the soil are crucial for flower health especially during hot and dry periods.
- Weed Suppression:
Using grass clippings as mulch can also help suppress weeds around your flowers. The layer of clippings blocks sunlight from reaching weed seeds, inhibiting their germination and growth. Fewer weeds mean less competition for water and nutrients allowing your flowers to flourish without undue stress.
Best Practices for Using Grass Clippings as Mulch:
- Choose Chemical-Free Clippings:
Ensure that your lawn clippings are free from any pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals that could harm your flowers. Using organic and chemical-free grass clippings is essential to promote a healthy garden environment. We would hope you aren't using chemicals on your lawn anyway with you having the Allett cartridge system!
- Allow Clippings to Dry:
Before using grass clippings as mulch, let them dry out for a day or two to prevent them from clumping together. This way the clippings will spread more evenly around your flowers and they won't smother the plants.
- Apply a Thin Layer:
Avoid piling up thick layers of grass clippings as this can lead to excessive moisture retention and potentially harm the flowers roots. Instead, apply a thin layer (around 1 to 2 inches thick) and spread it evenly around the flowerbed. Keep the grass clippings slightly away from the flower stems to prevent moisture build-up around the base of the plants. This helps to prevent rot and fungal diseases that can occur if the stems remain consistently damp.
Cylinder mower users cutting 3/4 times a week with the 10 blade cylinder sometimes leave the box off and drop their clippings on their lawn. This is ok as long as you are cutting very little off and scarifying at least once a month to get rid of these clippings that form thatch. If you keep dropping your clippings and aren't scarifying through the mowing season you will have serious issues with thatch.