grass mulchA thing of beauty is joy forever. So is the case with lawn. The more beautiful the lawn is, the greater joy it yields for the landscaper. 

For a gorgeous looking lawn a well thought of mulch is required. The grass clipping can be put around flowers, vegetables, seedlings, shrubs, shoots, and trees and on grass helps them greatly in many ways. 

A mulch is anything that is used to shield the garden soil with. The mulch can be organic- biological and carbon based and it can be inorganic-human made. Organic mulches can be of straw, leaves, clippings, wood chips etc. whereas inorganic can be plastic sheets, pebbles, gravel, metallic, etc.  

Mulching has the following major benefits:

  1. Overpowering weeds- it lets the weeds get weakened and eliminated.
  2. Maintaining soil moisture and nourishment- it helps retain the required moisture and nourishment to the soil and it cannot escape the mulch.
  3. Modifying soil temperature
  4. Ending soil erosion
  5. Composting soil
  6. Season extension 

What are clippings composed of?

Clippings are mainly composed of water. They have biodegradable elements and compounds that decompose easily. As they rot quickly. Hence, their use is quite feasible as garden mulch.

Why to use lawn clippings as mulch?

Availability and Price

What are clippings composed ofThe first thing to be considered is the price of the mulch that you intend for laying in the lawn. Second thing is knowing whether it is available in the market or not. Straw can also be a great mulch. It can come in bulk or in bale. You can also get it from mowing the lawn. When we come to the lawn clipping, it is both available and economical.

Slug Protection

Another sound reason for using grass clipping as mulch is that Grass clippings are slug repellents. Slugs don’t like to stay on clippings. It repels them. Hence it is good to use grass clipping for protection against slugs.  

Nutrient Source

The grass clippings are full of nitrogen which makes the soil more fertile with its decomposition. They decompose quickly. They take less time in decomposition as they are small and tiny. They provide essential nutrients to the soil by disintegration and decay.

A misconception

There is a misconception that the grass clippings add to the straw and thatch in the yard. This popular belief is nothing but merely a misconception. As the clippings are the mixture of water and bio-degradable compound they easily dissipate into the soil. This ends the misconception that clippings are the factors behind the garden mulch. There is no thatch caused by the clippings. 

What causes thatch?

If the clippings are not responsible for the thatch building then what is the real cause?

Following are the things that cause thatch in the garden.

  1. Strong grass varieties
  2. Use of fertilizers containing excessive nitrogen.
  3. Not mowing the lawn often.
  4. Low soil oxygen levels

A great mulch can be made out of the grass clipping. Such a mulch has both thumbs up and thumbs down in different scenarios. 

Beginning with the most important aspect when do we have grass clippings. If the lawn is being mown regularly, there will not be any clippings.  Grass clippings can make great mulch, though using them has advantages and disadvantages. 

On the other hand if the lawn has over grown grass, its clipping can be utilized by converting into a wonderful mulch. 

Given are the different types of grass clippings. 

mulch

  • Dry grass clippings:  The dense application of the green grass as mulch decomposes into a foul smell of the cloying muddle. This stinky environment is suffocating. It then asphyxiates the garden with hot shabby blanket. Such heat can destroy the plants and can attract the diseases. Furthermore, it can hinder aerating.
  • Build clippings gradually: the first layer of your clipping mulch should not be more than 1 inch. It should not be piled as well. Let the first layer of the clipping to dry and to turn brown. Then add the second layer after a couple of weeks. 

Second case in this regard can be first to dry the clippings somewhere else and spread them all at once on your targeted soil when are ready. 

  • Beware of contagion: The clippings will get unkempt and dirty with any chemical applied to the lawn. The insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, chemical for sterilization, etc. will be strained into the soil nearby the plants.
  •  Watch out for weeds: The clippings are the perfect host for the weed seed. These seeds will grow into the weeds soon. 
  • We can use compost having brown stuff of brown leaves mixed with clippings for balancing the process.
  • Grass clippings can be used as mulch and has many pros including reducing moisture loss from soil, stops weed growth and adds organic matter to soil. Mulching with grass clippings can have cons if it is laid too thick including becoming too soggy, anaerobic, or smelling. This can attract bugs and mold can form on top of thick layers.

Pros and Cons of grass crippling mulch are: 

Pros 

  1. It safeguards plants and soil from the severe weather.
  2. Does not let moisture escape from the soil. 
  3. Stops the process of weeding. 
  4. Adds nutrients to soil. 
  5. Feed soil with decomposition.
  6. Provides nitrogen for plant development. 

Cons 

  • Can cause foul smell due to absence of oxygen. 
  • Can become water logged and mushy. 
  • Fungus can grow on thick layers.
  • To stabilize it the carbon base is required.   
  • Can be house to insects like mosquitoes, flies, bugs etc. if gets marshy.
  • Can be a cause to spread weed seeds. 
  • Can be blown away with strong wind or storm. 
  • Composting clippings

Wire mesh makes affordable compost bins for grass clippings and other compostable yard waste.

You can also add the clippings to the soil of your yard. It can be mixed to compost heap. 

The process of Composting consists of mixing grass clippings and other dead vegetation or organic materials with a small amount of soil, this soil should be containing microbes that cause organic matter to decompose and rot. Grass clippings are excellent additions to a compost pile. They are ideal because of their high nitrogen content.

The compost material should not be solely comprised of Grass clippings. It is so as with mulches, a dense coating and sheet of grass clippings in a compost pile will give way to bad stenches and fumes from anaerobic decomposition. Mixing them with dehydrated and arid materials such as dead leaves or hay will solve the problem of stink.

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