Grass clippings can make incredible mulch and using it some very many benefits. If you have ever had an adventure in the forest, then you will notice how the forest soil is dark and rich in humus. This is as a result of mulching which comes by when the leaves and other vegetation fall to the ground. You would love to have such soil in your garden. Grass clippings are high in nitrogen and this naturally speeds up the process of decomposition which is necessary for turning raw materials into mulch.
Using freshly cut grass clippings as mulch
Dried and fresh grass clippings are commonly collected in bags. For those who are too busy, they can just leave the bag. The process of making mulch from grass clipping is quite straightforward. Since clippings have a small size of about an inch, you will not be required to cut them further.
The use of lawnmower bags dates back to the 1950s. One major way of using the clippings which result from mowing is by simply letting them fall on the compost and the sod. Clippings that are less than an inch will normally slip into the root area of the grass and break down into the soil very quickly. The longer clippings are usually raked or bagged up and then mulched in other areas. This is because they can take quite some to properly compost.
Fresh grass clippings when used as mulch has a lot of benefits to the plants. They can help preserve the moisture of the soil, provide a cooling effect to the root area of the plant, and further adding up nutrients to the soil. Mulching using clippings is an ideal way of enriching the soil with a purely organic method.
When using fresh grass clippings as mulch, you should lay a layer of about a quarter-inch thick. This allows grass to begin breaking down before it even begins to rot or smell. Avoid thicker layers as they tend to remain wet for a long time, and this can result in molds developing which brings a very bad odor. Using dried clippings is also another good option as they make ideal side dresses for crops such as vegetables. One can also use these grass clippings as line paths in the garden which will help keep down mud and weeds from getting to the plants.
Using composted grass clippings as mulch
Turning grass clippings into mulch using this process is quite easy. You only need to compost the grass clippings and then mulch it over the plants.
To begin with, you need to build an enclosure for your compost pile. You can do that by simply purchasing a compost bin and your nearest hardware store. However, you can choose a less expensive option of constructing a homemade compost bin using hay bales. Then ensure you place your stack of bales in a sunny area ensuring that the interior of the enclosure is roughly four feet wide, four feet deep, and four feet high.
- The next thing you need to do is shred the grass clippings into smaller sizes as this will speed up the process of decomposition. This is not complicated since the grass clippings are usually cut in just the right sizes.
- The next thing you need to do is rake up the grass clippings into some large piles. Then begin to layer the piles of grass clippings in the composting enclosure. Place the piles over each other. Do this until the composting enclosure is filled with grass clipping piles.
- You should then sprinkle some water on the compost with a watering can. You will not be required to water the compost any other time unless the area you live in experiences extreme hot and dry weather conditions.
- As you continue, you will need to turn the compost after three days. You can effectively do this using a pitchfork. The moment you turn the compost, you allow oxygen to circulate into the mixture which will speed up the decomposition process. It will take some time before the grass clippings turn brownish and get the compost like texture.
Once the compost-like texture is achieved, you should go ahead and make a layer of it which will help preserve water for the plant. It will also have a cooling effect on the roots of the plants and also add nutrients to the soil.