Grass clippings as mulch

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.

Grass clippings contain 4% nitrogen, 1% phosphorus and 2% potassium. Decomposed grass clippings also serve as a food source for bacteria in soil.

1. Lawn Fertilizer

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.

Also Read: Lawn Care Tips

2. Grass Clippings Compost

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.

Also Read: How to Grow Rye Grass

3. Grass Clippings for Mulch

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.

Also Read: How to grow strawberries

4. Grass Clippings in Vegetable Garden

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.

Also Read: How to grow cluster beans

5. Grass Clippings Slow Release Fertilizer

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.

Also Read: How to use coffee grounds in the garden

6. Grass Clippings Liquid Fertilizer

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.

Also Read: How to get rid of slugs in the garden

Garden Q&A: Make sure grass clippings are safe for garden

Question: We live in the city and have a fairly small yard. I have a little vegetable garden and some flower beds, but most of the yard is grass. I don’t like the idea of sending the lawn clippings to the landfill, but we don’t really have room for a compost pile. I’ve heard that I can use grass clippings in the garden as mulch. Is this true? If so, what’s the best way to use them?

Answer: Grass clippings make a wonderful mulch — if the lawn hasn’t been treated with pesticides or herbicides. If you use any “weed-and-feed”-type products on your lawn, do not use the clippings anywhere in your garden or on a compost pile. Take them to a commercial composting facility or send them to the curb with the garbage instead.

These products contain potent chemical herbicides that can negatively affect the plants you mulch with the clippings. I’ve heard from a number of gardeners over the years who have lost their entire garden because of mulching with treated grass clippings.

I also suggest you avoid using the clippings on your vegetable garden if the lawn has been fed with a chemical fertilizer. Though chemical fertilizers probably aren’t as risky as pesticides and herbicides are, using them on edible crops isn’t the best idea. These clippings can still be used as a mulch in flower beds, however, as they aren’t being grown for human consumption.

If your lawn has not been treated with synthetic pesticides or herbicides, or if it’s been fed only with an organic granular fertilizer, the clippings are a perfect mulch for the vegetable and flower garden.

I recommend adding only 1 to 2 inches of fresh clippings at a time. This is because thicker layers can get slimy and smelly because of a lack of oxygen within the clippings. Spread the clippings around your plants, being sure to keep them several inches away from the stems of plants. Grass clippings have a very high nitrogen content, and as they decompose, they generate quite a bit of heat. Having them snug up against plant stems could lead to seedling burn and stem rot.

Every time you mow the lawn, top the garden off with another thin layer of clippings. Once cut, grass breaks down fairly quickly, and the clippings will progressively decompose, adding organic matter and nutrients to the soil as they do.

You’ll also want to be careful to avoid using clippings that contain a high amount of weed seeds. For example, if you mow the lawn when the dandelions have gone to seed, you’ll risk introducing the seeds to your garden when you add the mulch. However, if you add a few inches of clippings to the garden every week, most of the seeds will be buried fairly deep by the end of the season.

Leave the clippings in place throughout the winter months. They’ll keep the soil from eroding and continue to provide weed suppression year-round. Come spring, most of the clippings will be fully decomposed. Those that aren’t can simply be tilled into the garden. Beneficial soil microbes will break the remaining clippings down and turn them into organic matter full of nutrients to feed your soil and your plants.

Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is www.jessicawalliser.com.

Send your gardening or landscaping questions to [email protected] or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

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    Why You Should Ditch the Bag and Start Mulching Your Grass Clippings

    Ever since self-bagging lawn mowers were invented, people have been told to bag their clippings. When lawn mowers first came about, they were designed to cut the grass and to redistribute natural occurring nutrients back into your lawn — thus resulting in a more luxurious and healthy lawn. In today’s world, most of us have the option of choosing to bag or mulch our clippings, let us tell you why you should choose mulching over bagging every time.

    This orthodox process of providing lawns with nutrients is known as mulching; cycling freshly cut grass through the use of a lawn mower with the intended purpose to provide sustenance. Done correctly, mulching can nourish your lawn without the added costs of having to purchase and distribute fertilizer.

    Nature’s Fertilizer

    There’s a reason why most people who bag typically compile their clippings in a compost. Mixed with other organic nutrients, a compost can turn your clippings into fertilizer to then be used in your flower beds, or throughout your yard. However, composts can be a lot of extra work and typically require a designated spot in your yard.

    Not only does mulching provide your lawn with some of the same benefits as a compost, but it can also be a much faster alternative to bagging. Think of all the times you’ve bagged your grass clippings; stopping the mower, detaching the bag, disposing the clippings. All this repetitive work can be quite exhausting. Mulching can dramatically cut the time spent mowing your lawn to nearly half.

    “Sounds great, but what about the messy grass clumps?”

    When mulching, if you find that your mower is leaving behind large clumps of grass, turn off your mower and adjust your blade height. Grass clippings should be one inch or less in height. If you are continuing to experience a trail of grass clumps, attach your bag and proceed mowing. You can always distribute your clippings with a lawn rake once you have finished mowing.

    Keep Your Blades Sharp

    The key to mulching is a good lawn mower. Ensuring that your blades are sharp will help your mower cut each blade of grass into finer, more lightweight blades of grass. Allowing each blade to blend in and mix with your lawn is an important part of what makes mulching work. Talk to your TaskEasy contractor today for more information about how you can ditch the bag and switch to mulching.

    6 Lawn Myths Busted

    By Marty Ross

    It’s lawn care season. Now is a good time to take a close look at some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the horticulture — and culture — of trim, green lawns. Let’s try to set the record straight. No matter what kind of grass you grow, growing it right makes all the difference.

    1. MYTH: Any time is a good time to water the lawn.
    2. The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning, between about 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., when evaporation rates are low. Watering early gives grass plants plenty of time to dry during the day and helps prevent development of turf diseases.

      However, you don’t need to pad out into the garden in your slippers and bathrobe. With Gilmour’s Dual Outlet Electronic Timer, you can place the sprinkler where you want it in the evening and set the timer to turn on first thing in the morning. The dual timer allows you to connect two hoses to the same spigot and water the front and back yards simultaneously or one after the other. Watering the lawn for 20-30 minutes once a week should be enough to keep your lawn looking great.

    3. MYTH: Grass clippings are ugly, and they’re bad for the lawn.
    4. Think of green grass clippings as free fertilizer. Instead of bagging clippings (which is a lot of work), let your mower do the job of chopping and recycling them directly back into the soil. Grass clippings decompose quickly. They are full of nitrogen, which grass plants need. If you’re mowing your lawn regularly, just keep the mulching attachment on the mower.

      Occasionally, you may want to bag grass clippings. In early spring, and as often as you like during the season, grab a couple bags of clippings with the bagging attachment on your mower. Mix them into the autumn leaves in a compost pile. The grass will heat the pile and speed up decomposition. You can also bag grass clippings to use as mulch around tomato plants which help control weeds, limit evaporation of moisture from the soil, and prevent soil-borne diseases from splashing onto tomato plant leaves.

    5. MYTH: If you see clover in the lawn, the weeds are taking over.
    6. Although most weed-killers target clover, getting rid of it in a lawn isn’t necessarily a good thing. As a natural lawn fertilizer, clover adds nitrogen to the soil which benefits surrounding grass plants. It’s also green, hardy, and drought tolerant. It out-competes bad weeds and it grows well in shady spots. Its white flowers attract insects that are beneficial to the environment.

      The idea that clover is a weed is actually a fairly new concept. Until the 1950s, clover was part of every healthy lawn mix. If you have clover in your lawn, enjoy it.

    7. MYTH: If you cut your grass very short, you will not have to mow as often.
    8. If you give your lawn a super-short haircut, you’re actually injuring it. Short blades of grass plants have a hard time producing the nutrients the plants need to survive. They can’t shade the soil properly, which leads to increased evaporation and eventually to brown patches of dead grass. Cutting the grass too short also makes your lawn vulnerable to opportunistic weeds.

      The rule of thumb for mowing is to never cut off more than one-third of a blade of grass. Therefore, set your mower to 3 ½ inches when your grass is 5 inches long. You’ll definitely need to mow more frequently in the growing season, but your healthy lawn will resist weeds, tolerate drought, and look terrific.

    9. MYTH: Irrigation systems save water.
    10. Water conservation and in-ground sprinkler systems do not necessarily go hand in hand. Too often, these systems are programmed to water a little bit every few days, whether the lawn needs it or not. A properly-installed irrigation system can help you stay on top of your watering routine if you live in a dry climate. However, if you live in a mild climate that gets regular rainfall, a sprinkler and hose are sufficient, and may even save water.

      Lawns should be watered deeply but infrequently, about once a week, for 20-30 minutes (if rainfall does not supply enough moisture). This type of watering encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil.

      A good hose and sprinkler are infinitely adaptable and allow you to conserve water. Gilmour’s Pattern Master Circular Sprinkler can be set to water lawns of almost any size or shape, up to 5,800 square feet. The red flexible ring customizes spray distance at 12 different points for precise watering. Simply pull up on the pegs to shorten the spray or push down to lengthen it. Easily create your own spray pattern to fit any irregularly shaped yard while not watering the sidewalk or driveway.

    11. MYTH: Lawns are bad for the environment.
    12. Actually, lawns are a good thing. A healthy lawn helps control erosion, limits water runoff, and cools the air. In addition, they make the perfect frame for flowerbeds, while providing families with a great space to play.

    Good lawn-care advice often comes from friends and neighbors, but sometimes following along with what others do just perpetuates lawn myths. Keep these tips in mind as you take care of your lawn this season.

    Myth busted: You can leave your grass clippings on your lawn!

    Green Action Centre asked: If I leave grass clippings on my lawn, will they lead to thatch build-up?

    The results are in, and Green Action Centre members have a variety of ways of maintaining their lawns. Many of you said, yes, you leave your grass clippings on your lawn most or all of the time. Terry and Adam confirm they have not had any problems with thatch build-up.

    By leaving your grass clippings on your lawn, you are returning much needed moisture and nutrients to the soil in your yard. And contrary to popular belief, grass clippings do not contribute to excess thatch build-up.

    Thatch is a layer of dead plant matter on top of your soil. When the microorganisms in your soil cannot keep up with rapid root and grass growth, thatch build-up can occur. More than 1/2 inch of thatch can lead to problems.

    If you are having a lot of thatch build-up, this may be caused by:

    • Excess watering
    • Too much fertilizer

    So, try grasscycling – leaving your grass clippings on your lawn. This simple trick with save you time and energy previously spent bagging your grass. It will also keep up to 20% of your household’s waste out of the landfill if you are currently tossing your clippings. Grass clippings are free and grasscycling can eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers. For a healthy lawn, try these tips:

    • Mow high. Adjust the mower height to leave your lawn 3-3½ inches long. Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass height.
    • Mulch It. Use a mulching mower to reduce the size of the clippings. They will break down and release nutrients to your lawn more readily.
    • Keep it sharp and dry. A dull blade can damage grass. Sharpen mower blades annually and mow when the grass is dry.
    • Alternate mowing direction. This keeps the grass from being pushed over in just one direction and being damaged by the sun.

    Find out more on grasscycling from Green Action Centre’s composting program.

    Read tips and information on caring for your lawn organically with the Manitoba Eco-Network’s Organic Lawn Care Project.

    Those with lawns big and small will know how much of a chore cutting the grass can be. But even worse – what do you do with all the grass clippings once you’ve finished mowing?

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that yard waste accounts for 18% of the refuse that we dump into landfills – rising to 50% during the growing season! Approximately 75% of this waste comprises grass clippings (circa 1,500 pounds annually), with the remainder being tree leaves and limbs.

    Given that landfills are beginning to run out of space – and many have banned grass clippings anyway – isn’t it about time we put our grass clippings to better use?

    Here are eight ways to use grass clippings you probably never thought of…

    1. Leave Them on the Lawn

    If you’re striving for a perfect lawn, you probably remove your glass clippings every time you mow. But you’re actually robbing the grass of certain nutrients that it needs to thrive.

    In future, leave your short clippings lie, as they will break down quickly, nourishing the grass and turning it a perfect shade of green. In fact, grass clippings can add back up to 25 % of the nutrients that growth removes from soil! These clippings also encourage beneficial microorganisms and earthworms that digest this grass and maintain healthy soil.

    However, clippings that are too long won’t break down and will leave the lawn looking unsightly. To avoid this, you may need to mow more often – removing no more than one-third of the grass blade each time. Despite more frequent cutting, you’ll still be saving time by neglecting to collect the clippings! Studies show that it takes less overall time to mow more often and leave clippings on the lawn, compared to mowing weekly and bagging clippings.

    Note that if your lawn is showing disease or is full of weeds, tackle these issues before leaving the grass clippings lie, as this will only exacerbate the problem.

    2. Animal Feed

    Grass clippings can be used to make silage for cattle feed. Some tests have found that silage made from recent clippings has a protein content of 18.2%, and a digestible matter content of 68% – much higher than hay, which typically averages a digestible matter content of about 59%.

    In addition to feeding cattle, grass clippings may be a viable supplementary food source for sheep. Results from several studies indicate that grass clippings can be effectively and safely utilized as inexpensive, renewable feed sources for these woolly creatures.

    Even if you don’t have animals of your own, check if your neighbors or local farm owners would be interested in using your grass clippings for their cattle and sheep.

    Remember: never use clippings from grass that has been chemically treated to feed animals.

    3. Compost

    If you don’t want to leave them on the lawn, one of the easiest ways to put grass clippings to good use in your garden is by composting them. Once you prepare and treat the clippings in the right manner, you’ll be able to recycle the nutrients from the grass in other areas of your garden.

    A proper compost pile requires a mix of green and brown materials. Freshly cut grass is considered ‘green’, and so will need to be balanced out by 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.

    Alternatively, you can leave your grass clippings to dry out completely and turn brown when, unsurprisingly, they are considered brown material!

    To learn more about proper composting methods, check out this post: Composting 101.

    4. Lawn Clipping Tea

    Making a tea out of compost and compostable items is a great way to suppress disease, increase the amount of nutrients available to plants, speed up the breakdown of toxins, and improve the nutritional quality and flavor of vegetables.

    To brew a lawn clipping tea, place your freshly cut grass in a bucket of water and allow to steep. Beneficial nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous, chlorophyll and amino acids will leech from the grass into the water. After three days or so, strain off the liquid and use it to feed your plants by pouring onto the roots or spraying on the leaves.

    Here are some other tips and recipes for making homemade fertilizing teas.

    5. Mulch

    Mulch is the term used to describe any type of material that is spread over the surface of the soil as a covering. Organic mulches help to retain moisture, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and improve its fertility.

    Grass clippings, either fresh or dried, make an excellent organic mulch which contains high amounts of nitrogen, something all plants need to grow and flourish.

    Lay a quarter-inch thick layer of fresh clippings around flower and plant beds for a free, organic mulch. If it’s thicker, the grass won’t be able to break down fast enough and may begin to smell as it decomposes. Dried clippings – which make a great mulch for vegetable crops – can be spread on thicker.

    6. Raised Beds

    Raised bed gardening is one of the best ways to garden – find out why here! If you maintain a container garden or raised beds, then you’ll be happy to hear they are a great way to use up your excess grass clippings.

    To improve soil quality and boost your yield, consider utilizing the Lasagna Method of soil mixing. It involves creating several layers of material to fill the bed and nourish your plants.

    In the lower regions of the beds, layer one part grass clippings with two parts shredded leaves – these will slowly compost over time into rich soil. The clippings should be layered thinly to prevent matting. Once the beds are almost full (within six to twelve inches from the top), add a compostable barrier like cardboard and fill the remainder with your chosen soil mix.

    7. Natural Dye

    Grass clippings make a great natural green dye color for Easter eggs, but you could also try it as an organic fabric dye! Find out how to mix it up here.

    8. Recycling Center

    If you’re producing more grass clippings than you can use, then the best option is to take your unwanted clippings to your local recycling center who will dispose of them in a green and clean manner.

    What Not To Do – Burn Them!

    Along with the fact that open burning of grass clippings or leaves is prohibited by law in many states and countries, the incineration of damp grass clippings or other green materials creates thick smoke which can be harmful to health and the environment.

    That said, researchers at the Agricultural Research Service in Albany, California, have discovered how to turn ordinary grass clippings into environmentally friendly fireplace logs which could be on sale in the future – keep your eyes peeled!

    Mulching With Grass Clippings: Can I Use Grass Clippings As Mulch In My Garden

    Can I use grass clippings as mulch in my garden? A well-manicured lawn is a sense of pride to the home owner but leaves behind yard waste. Certainly, grass clippings can perform a host of duties in the landscape, adding nutrients and keeping your yard waste bin empty. Mulching with grass clippings, either on the lawn or in the garden bed, is a time honored method which enhances soil, prevents some weeds and preserves moisture.

    Grass Clipping Garden Mulch

    Fresh or dried grass trimmings are often collected in the lawnmower bag. This heap of green can simply go to your municipal compost facility if you have one or you can use them to help your landscape. For us truly lazy gardeners, leave the bag off and just let the clippings do their work in the sod. Grass clipping garden mulch is simple, effective and one of the sneaky ways to benefit from garbage.

    Lawnmowers with bags became popular in the 1950’s. One way to use the clippings that result from mowing is to let them fall on the sod and compost. Clippings that are less than 1 inch, slip down to the root zone of the grass and break down quite quickly into the soil. Longer clippings can be bagged or raked up and mulched elsewhere, as these stay on the surface of the soil and take longer to compost.

    The benefits of using fresh grass clippings as mulch include cooling the root zone, conserving moisture and adding back up to 25 percent of the nutrients that growth removes from soil. Mulching with grass clippings has the added benefit of taking one more step out of an already drudgery filled garden chore.

    Turfgrass clippings contain high amounts of nitrogen, a macro-nutrient that all plants need to grow and flourish. Can I use grass clippings in my garden? This is one of the best ways to use the refuse and the clippings break down quickly and add nitrogen to the soil while increasing porosity and reducing evaporation. You can use fresh or dried grass clippings as mulch.

    Tips for Mulching with Grass Clippings

    If using fresh clippings as mulch, only lay a layer of ¼ inch thick. This will allow the grass to start to break down before it begins to smell or rot. Thicker layers have a tendency to remain too wet and can invite mold and create smelly decay issues. Dried clippings can go on thicker and make excellent side dresses for vegetable crops. You can also use grass clippings to line paths in the garden to keep down mud and prevent weeds in exposed dirt areas.

    Late fall to early spring grass clippings are excellent for helping you juice up the garden bed. Mix them into the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches to add nitrogen. For a balanced garden soil amendment, add a ratio of two parts of carbon releasing organic amendment for every one part of nitrogen. Carbon releasing items such as dry leaves, sawdust, hay or even shredded newspaper aerate the soil to introduce oxygen to bacteria, prevent excess moisture, and compliment the nitrogen.

    Dried grass clippings mixed with two times as much dried leaf litter will create compost with a healthy balance of nutrients and will break down quickly due to the correct carbon to nitrogen ratio. The proper ratio avoids such issues as smells, mold, slow decomposition and heat retention while allowing you to use up the nitrogen rich grass clippings.

    In lieu of mulch, you can also compost your grass clippings.

    7 Ways to Use Grass Clippings

    3. Use As a Mulch for Grass

    This might sound crazy but in England it is fairly common for people to cut the grass and the clippings are spread as you cut rather than being bagged up. The cut grass breaks down and feeds the lawn and you don’t need to lug a heavy bag of grass clippings about!

    You will need to check with your local ordinances or HOA requirements to see if this is allowed. If you have bagged up your lawn clippings, spread them across the grass to provide a natural fertilizer. Try to thinly spread the cut grass so ensure you do not block light underneath the clippings and kill the grass underneath.

    Smaller clippings will break down faster and it does not create a thatch (dry grass stuff you need to rake) in your lawn.

    4. As a Mulch for Planting Containers

    In the hot weather we experience in the summer, containers dry out very quickly as the whole container is heated up by the sun. A thick layer of grass clippings in the container around your plants will help retain a bit more moisture.

    5. Make Into a Liquid Feed

    Liquid organic fertilizers are seemingly more popular year on year in the store but you can make your own liquid plant feed by steeping a couple of handfuls of cut grass in a bucket of water. Keep the water indoors to reduce mosquitoes or use an organic mosquito control option.

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    After about 2 weeks, it look like the image above and will smell pretty terrible, but the plants will love adding a dash of this to the watering can as you water. You can also use the same technique for perennial weeds.

    6. As a Livestock Feed

    If your grass is cut with an electric or hand-push mower, you could use the cut grass to supplement diets of herbivores. I have fond memories of grabbing handfuls to feed the guinea pig and rabbit as a child and how excited they would get. You would not want to use wet clippings since they spoil quickly and can make animals sick.

    7. Layer in a Raised Bed

    If you are building a raised bed or a hugelkultur bed, you can use a thick layer of grass clippings to provide nutrients and build up the bed which 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 hugelkultur bed.

    Emma Raven has been gardening, cooking, canning and home brewing for most of her life. Formulation scientist, blogger, home brewer and avid gardener. Born in a village on the northern east coast of England, she now calls the Wasatch Mountains of Utah home. Find Emma at Misfit Gardening, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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    All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

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