Help your lawn develop its own natural cycle by leaving some of the grass clippings behind during Summer months to feed and enrich the soil.
These grass clippings effectively act as a FREE nitrogen rich green fertiliser.
Leaf litter is a delicious snack for worms and insects in the soil. Don’t panic! Not all worms and insects are evil (hence the term "beneficial" in gardening). They will drag the litter down into the ground for a feed and help improve the structure of the soil. Earthworms are nature’s little recyclers. Their holes improve the movement of water and nutrients into the soil and make them more available to the lawn. In addition, earthworms are some of the best decomposer organisms that exist in the soil. They help to decompose thatch, which ultimately solves a tricky problem and recycles nutrients to make them available to the grass again.
By regularly catching the clippings and removing them, you are throwing away the best part of your lawn. Over time, it becomes necessary to make up for what’s being continually taken away by applying extra fertiliser.
It is important to note, there is an exception to the rule though. Grass in North Queensland is generally mown once a week in summer and less frequently in winter (maybe only every two to three weeks). If you haven’t had a chance to mow in a while, don’t leave a thick layer or clumps of grass clippings as this will cause yellow or dead patches and increase the risk of disease.
It can sometimes seem like there is a race to mow your lawn after the rain clears. The sun comes out and you can hear the hum of mowers for miles. It is never recommended though, as wet grass tends to cut less cleanly. It also increases the wear and tear on your equipment with the wet clippings clumping together and quickly blocking the mowing deck. Mowing your lawn when it’s wet creates unnecessary compaction issues. Regardless of whether you are walking behind a pushie or on a slick ride-on, running a mower over your soggy yard squeezes highly valuable air pockets out of the soil. It’s always best to show restraint and wait until you can walk out on your lawn and not get wet shoes. Dry clippings will disperse rapidly and break down quickly.
Never pile grass clippings around the base of trees and other plants. Over time the grass clippings will create a thick mat that is slow to break down and will stop the water getting through to the soil. Instead, add heavy clippings with other materials to your compost heap and create your own version of mulch over time. If you want to make the most of this free resource, further research into composting, will teach you how to use this as a beautifully rich topdressing material.
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