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Grass clippings as mulch in the garden? Is this a good idea?

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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 08:35 AM
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Grass clippings as mulch in the garden? Is this a good idea?
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randr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. Try a light layer of dried grass clipping
Green grass clippings will eat up nitrogen from the soil as they decompose, robbing your plants of the needed nutrient. They also, when wet and green, encourage slugs and other pests.
Best is to add grass to an active compose pile and allow it to naturally decompose.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 10:53 AM
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2. No!
the best use of grass clippings is to use a mulching mower blade and leave the cuttings on the
lawn .... this will return the nitrogen and water in the clippings back to the grass plants

grass clippings tend to clump together and turn nasty in a compost .... it makes the
situation anaerobic (no O2) vs aerobic .... same with on a garden.

BTW it is best to set your mower on the highest possible setting too.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Sorry, but I disagree.
I've been using my grass clippings for years as mulch. They're an excellent way to keep down weeds around plants and return nutrients to the soil. Yes, you do need be sure to spread them when fresh, because they soon clump and also get full of molds, so you don't want to have to work with them after they start to decompose.

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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. over all from an energy and environmental prospective
the best use of grass clippings is to let them stay on the turf and the extra time that you would have used to collect
and spread the the clippings can be used to hoe the weeds in the beds which also help to cultivate the soil
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. From an environmental standpoint, not mowing at all is the best.
Lawns are a ridiculous waste of energy and $, but most of us are mandated to have at least a nominal lawn, or face the wrath of local governments. If I had my druthers, I'd have no lawn at all, but a nice little pasture where I could have a couple of goats, a sheep, and an emu graze. But, that's not really in the cards here in the 'burbs.

And, if you get into gardening on a large scale, hand control of weeds is simply not realistic. It takes a combination of mulching, herbicides, and cultivation to do the job. Or a staff of gardeners for those capable of paying them, which isn't me.

So, yes, I look forward to EVERY bag of grass clippings, because I always have a place to use it to control some type of weed that is emerging at that point in the season. In return, the worms turn it into incredibly rich soil. I have areas where I've been dumping grass clippings for over 30 years now, along with all of the leaves and yard waste I can get my hands on, and it has made wonderful rich, dark, fluffy loam.

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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. but the question was about lawn clippings .....
..... so that means you have a lawn. Gotta deal w/ the real.

BTW I have killed acres and acres of lawn and replaced them with prairies, forests, and wetlands.
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. Yes, in my view - been doing it for years.
We really don't give a hoot about our lawn - mostly crabgrass and weeds which are nice and green and look fine when mowed - and we don't put anything on our lawn, so they work great as mulch - we grow lots in pots, and it helps with water retention and slowly feeds the plant as it breaks down.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:34 PM
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6. another vote for leaving them in the lawn
My understanding is that they add nutrients.
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. exactly. It's all about if you would rather have the nutrients on the lawn (which we don't), or the
garden (which we do!).
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-05-11 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I fertilize limited areas of my lawn.
Problem spots where a little fertilizer encourages it to grow, otherwise it would be a patch of mud. Mostly areas around/under trees with surface roots or where the soil is very poor.

Which, of course, promotes rapid growth of the grass, which means more mowing, which means more clippings which are high in N to go onto the garden.

Not a bad thing IMHO.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. the bunnies, the birds
like the lawn for foraging. It's full of clover, dandelions, violets.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
11. I used to mulch with a layer of grass clippings
But now I prefer to leave the areas between the vegetable plants clear and cultivate them with my new "diamond scuffle hoe". The "dust mulch" on the surface of the planting bed serves as an ersatz mulch to prevent groundwater from moving up to the surface and evaporating.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM2909070001P...
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-11 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. I use grass clipping as mulch only where I am not actively growing
plants and want to keep weeds out. From what I have read (but have no experience with it), green grass decomposing will pull nitrogen away from the plants. Up thread someone said not to use it in a compost pile, but I also use it there---just not 100% grass clippings in there and I get beautiful compost. It just takes a long time for it to get beautiful but I am in no hurry.

I would prefer to just mulch the grass and leave it on the lawn, but I am too lazy to mow often enough and the grass clippings are too thick by the time I mow and just clump all over the lawn. My 30 year old mower is not a "mulching" mower, so I don't know if that would make a difference, but that would be my preferred use of the clippings.

For mulching, I use the leaves from my oak trees (too many huge ones, lots of leaves). I bag them in the fall, leave them overwinter, then mow over them and catch them after they are mulched. They look great and appear to be good for the garden. Then they are worked into the soil at the end of the season.
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-11 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
13. I don't know.
We use them every year with no apparent adverse effects. They keep the weeds down and hold moisture in the soil. This year I put newspapers down first then clippings on top. All of the tomato plants have flowers on them and the cucumber plants have have tiny cukes on them already. We had an amazing harvest last year.
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femmocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-11-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. That is what I do too. No problems that I could tell.
Our old garden is directly on the ground, so the newspapers and grass clippings deter creeping charlie and other weeds from wandering over from the yard. I keep putting dry newspapers under the pumpkins to keep them off the soil.
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-11 01:16 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. We have a raised bed.
The soil is so bad here you need a raised bed to have a chance of growing anything. It's worked well for so many years if it ain't broke why fix it? It's so hard to control the creeping vegetation otherwise.

Newspapers are great. We put in a bed of knock-out roses three years ago using the newspapers first then mulch on top. The roses are magnificent this season.
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