Every spring as the grass begins to grow, the lawn mowers come out as homeowners and lawn mowing services tackle the task of mowing grass to keep lawns healthy and looking good. When lawn maintenance season arrives, so does the important question of what to do with the lawn clippings left behind by the grass cutter. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to handle clippings. Depending on lawn health and clipping size, those who assist with lawn care can choose an easy, beneficial way to handle lawn clippings.
Mulching – Green and Easy
When lawn cutting is done with a mulching mower, either by an expert mowing company or the homeowner, lawn clippings provide important nutrients to grass roots, improving the general health of a lawn. Little bits of grass that filter through the blades, to lay on the soil, quickly decompose. They are then absorbed into the soil to feed plant roots. Mulching mowers make lawn mowing easier, as there is less effort involved by simply letting clippings fall. They also prevent the need for bagging, thereby reducing residential waste – much of which is bagged lawn clippings in the summer. Of course, proper mulch mowing only works when clippings are less than an inch tall, since amounts will lay on the top of the grass and eventually cause damage.
Professionals who provide grass cutting assistance highly recommend mulching lawn clippings; however, when clippings are larger because the lawn is longer, catching or raking them is necessary to prevent lawn damage. Any clippings that are extremely wet and clump should also be picked up. In the rare event that clippings are produced faster than they can decompose, a thatch layer can form. Some of the clippings should be collected to allow enough time for decomposition between mowing.
Many popular grass mowers include mulching capabilities; for those that do not, there are a number of attachments available that turn non-mulching mowers into mulching ones. Using the right blade or attachment is important when leaving clippings on the ground, since they cut grass into finer particles that decompose quickly and prevent thatch buildup.
Collecting Lawn Clippings
When bagging clippings, either because the lawn is too long or wet, or too much thatch is developing, clippings can either be raked by hand, or collected with bagging attachments. They can then be bagged and put out for pick-up with the regular trash, or can be collected in a pile and composted for great gardening soil. They can even be used on the lawn at a later time, once decomposition has begun.
Other times it is important to bag lawn clippings is if the grass is afflicted with a fungus or some other disease, or if there are many weeds that have seeded – since lawn clippings can spread seeds or disease across an entire lawn. It is safest to collect clippings, for ideal yard maintenance, until any disease has been resolved and weeds are not seeding.
Before starting up the grass cutter for that first mow of the season, make sure you have a good plan for what to do with all the grass clippings. Mulching is a great way to reduce work and keep a lawn healthy; however, make sure any lawn cutting service you employ is using the right mulching equipment. When mulching is not recommended, collect clippings with bagging attachments and either put them into lawn bags to set out on trash day, or add to a compost pile to create great topsoil for continued lawn and garden care!
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