Many folks like a nicely manicured lawn, but with all that mowing comes tons of grass clippings. What can you do with all those clippings?
1. A lot of people simply bag them and send them off to the landfill or municipal recycling center. If you apply lots of pesticides to your lawn, this might be an optimal solution but if it costs you, then you might consider a mulching attachment for your mower.
2. The mulching attachment keeps the grass clippings in the mower blades’ path long enough that they get chopped to bits, literally. Once the bits fall evenly on the lawn, they quickly break down, which adds organic matter and fertilizer to the soil that supports the lawn itself. You can take this even further if you don’t spray pesticides of any kind on the grass.
3. When your clippings are pesticide free they make a great nitrogen fertilizer for the garden. Collect them and spread them in thin layers or lightly bury them around hungry vegetables. When applied to the surface they will also act as mulch. Don’t pile them too deep or they may begin to smell.
4. If you don’t want to use the clippings in the garden, and they are free of all poisonous chemicals, you can feed them to your chickens — just pile them in the coop and let the chickens do the rest. If there are more clippings than the chickens can eat, they will compost them for you.
Once you get the hang of looking at the grass clippings as a resource, your entire attitude toward mowing may just change — hopefully for the better.
Watch the full episode! Hanks shares hints like these in each episode of Tough Grit. Visit Tough Grit online to view this episode and many more. The grass clippings suggestions above appeared in Episode 23, “Cutting Corners.”
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.