The snow shovels have been put away. The grass is starting to turn green and grow and, before you know it, lawn mowing season will be here.
This year do your lawn or your garden a favor: don’t bag and send those grass clippings to the landfill.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that yard waste accounts for 18% of the refuse sent to the landfill. Therefore, it is time to start to rethink clipping removal.
Instead of bagging, grass clippings should either be left on the ground – a term commonly know as “grasscycling” – or collected and added to an ongoing compost pile.
Some homeowners bag and discard grass clippings out of habit or because it’s a common practice in the neighborhood. Others don’t like to see globs of cut grass on top of the lawn. There is also a misconception that grass clippings cause turf disease or form a thatch layer.
The idea that grass clippings result in thatch in not true. It has been refuted for many years. Consider golf courses. They mow fairways and greens almost daily and return clippings back to the turf. In cases where clippings are removed, they re-used in manure spreaders; in garden beds and around trees.
If you opt not to participate in “grasscycling” and want to bag your clippings, you should consider starting a compost pile. Although a compost pile is more labor-intensive, the long-term rewards offer a rich soil amendment for your garden and flower beds.