Some people believe using grass clippings as mulch is a good idea and other people believe it is a bad idea I’m going to look at the pros and cons of using grass clippings as mulch so you can make an informed decision on what you choose to do.
I do mulch my grass as I believe it is the best way to keep your lawn healthy and it’s like organic fertilizer so why not.
The problems people have from mulching, generally, are because they don’t do it correctly or they follow bad procedure read on to find out about the pros and cons.
Grass Clippings As Mulch Pros
1. Adds nitrogen back into the soil
Your lawn needs nitrogen and using your grass clippings as mulch will help add some nitrogen back into the soil so it is definitely a good idea to mulch your lawn.
Nitrogen is the nutrient that helps your grass grow and gives it a good color so it is very important to the health of your lawn.
Recycling the nitrogen that is in your grass clippings is definitely a pro as it will result in you having a lawn that grows vigorously without you having to add chemical fertilizer which is definitely a good thing and will save you some money.
2. Adds phosphorus back into the soil
Phosphorus is one of the nutrients your lawn needs to grow healthy so adding it back into your soil with recycled grass clippings you use as mulch is definitely a pro for lawn health.
Phosphorus is especially good for the roots of plants and having healthy roots is a big part of the battle when it comes to having a thriving beautiful lawn.
Overuse of phosphorus is very bad for the environment so by mulching your grass it means its environmentally friendly you don’t have to add chemical phosphorus that is in most fertilizers.
3. Adds potassium back into the soil
Potassium is a vital nutrient your grass needs to survive and grow healthy so mulching your grass back into the lawn is a very good idea.
Potassium is the nutrient that will encourage your grass to build thicker healthier cell walls and this makes it stronger for the times it has to deal with stressful periods such as drought, disease, hot and cold periods.
It’s an organic way to add potassium back into the soil so I feel it is a win-win situation and will definitely not do your lawn any harm if you mulch it properly.
4. Save time and energy when mowing
When you use a mulching mower and mulch the grass clippings back into your lawn as you go it can be a big time saver.
Because you don’t have to constantly empty your lawnmower when it fills up with grass or you don’t have to rake up grass clippings when you finish cutting your grass it means you can cut your lawn up to 60% faster.
Just this simple factor is enough to make me want to use a mulching mower as it saves time and improves the health of your lawn.
5. 100% Organic lawn care
When you use grass clippings as mulch it is a natural way of adding nutrients back into your soil.
By using your grass clippings it means you probably won’t have to use any chemical fertilizer so you can keep it completely organic.
These days with people becoming more aware of the harm chemicals can do to the environment it is a good idea to go the organic route and use natural products to achieve your goals and there is nothing more natural than using grass clippings to fertilize your lawn.
6. Ideal for large lawns
If you have a large lawn it will have loads of grass clippings you have to remove.
When you mulch the grass clippings it makes cutting your lawn so much more simple as you don’t have to deal with the mountains of grass clippings that are produced.
It also means you don’t have to use loads of chemical fertilizer to keep your large lawn healthy, the fact you are mulching will add nutrients back into your soil.
If you have a large lawn then you really need to start mulching your grass clippings and if you have a small lawn you should still also mulch the clippings to benefit the health of your lawn.
7. Keeps clippings out of landfills
You might not be aware of this but up to 12% of landfill waste is actually waste from peoples yards.
Just think of the environmental benefits of 12% less waste if everyone started to mulch their lawn instead of sending grass clippings to a landfill.
The conditions in a landfill site that cause waste to decompose lead to the production of methane gas, this is a greenhouse gas so anything you can do to reduce its production should be a goal.
This should be enough to make you seriously start to mulch your grass clippings (or start a compost pile) instead of sending bags of yard waste to a landfill site.
8. Reduces thatch
When the mulch starts to decompose it starts a chemical reaction and this will spread onto the layer of thatch that is in your lawn and make some of it start to decompose.
A bit of thatch is necessary for a healthy lawn but too much and it will have a detrimental effect on the health of your lawn.
By mulching your grass clippings it means you will naturally reduce the amount of thatch and this can lead to less work as you won’t have to go through a dethatching process such as using a power rake or scarifier anywhere near as often.
Grass Clippings As Mulch Cons
1. If you have weeds like dandelions and crabgrass mulching can spread them.
When you mulch your grass clippings it is simply a process of chopping them up into hundreds of tiny pieces.
If your grass clippings are full of weeds they will also be chopped up into tiny pieces so if you spread these clippings over your lawn you will more than likely spread the spores of weeds over your lawn so you should expect to see more weeds growing.
The best idea is to get your lawn weed-free and in good condition before mulching.
2. If you have been using chemicals or synthetic fertilizers it’s not a good idea.
If you have been using chemical fertilizers on your lawn to improve its growth you should not then use that grass as mulch.
Grass that has been grown with chemical fertilizer has its structure altered and this means it won’t decompose the same way grass that has been grown organically does.
If you plan on mulching your grass clippings back into your lawn you should really lay off the fertilizer for a period before you start the process of mulching.
3. In wet or damp conditions the grass can end up as large clumps of grass.
If you mulch your grass clippings and they are wet or damp they will more than likely end up forming big clumps and this has a detrimental effect on the health of your lawn.
When you have big clumps of mulched grass clippings on your lawn then it will block the light from reaching the grass where it is needed most.
When big clumps of mulched grass clippings dry out they will form big solid areas of matted grass that are like a carpet over your lawn that blocks the light. This will all lead to large dead patches appearing on your lawn.
4. Small animals like voles and shrews can be attracted to mulch.
This problem is more for if you don’t mulch your grass correctly.
If you attempt to mulch your grass and you don’t use the proper equipment the grass will more than likely be too long and will turn into clumps of grass on your lawn.
When this happens it becomes a haven for small animals like voles and shrews and these small animals although cute can be super destructive for your lawn and any plants or crops you have in your yard.
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