Especially during the warmer months or growing phase for your lawn, you might wonder if there are any other uses for lawn clippings other than popping them in the green bin. Good news; there’s quite a few uses for the clippings from mowing.
Use in the compost heap
Lawn clippings are a fantastic source of nitrogen and will break down quickly. You can mix them with some straw, cardboard or shredded paper to add to your compost heap. If you implement this practice during summer as the weather warms the composting microbes and insects will go to work quickly ensuring you have plenty of nutrient rich material to spread in autumn.
Use in garden beds
Using lawn clippings as mulch in garden beds is a great idea if you want to retain moisture in the soil, water a bit less, feed your garden plants and suppress weeds in the beds. Spread a thick layer of about 5 cms around your plants and garden beds – top up the clippings as required to maintain the layer – as the height will drop as the clippings decompose or are taken into the soil by the earthworms.
Use for lawn
Rather than using the lawn mower catcher and popping the clippings in the bin – remove the catcher and allow the clippings to fall back on the lawn as you mow. The cuttings will break down and feed the lawn by providing a natural fertiliser. Ensure the clippings are spread quite thinly so you don’t block too much sunlight and kill the grass below. Tiny clippings will break down fast and not contribute to the creation of thatch.
Use in pots
Plants in containers can dry out very quickly during summer as the entire container is heated by the sun. A thick layer of lawn clipping in the pot, around your plants will assist in retaining moisture.
Use as a liquid feed
You can use lawn clippings to make your own liquid plant feed. Steep a couple of handfuls of grass clippings in a bucket of water. Keep it inside to reduce mosquitoes. After around two weeks it will smell a bit awful but your plants will love it. Add a dash of the liquid feed to the watering can as you water.
Use as a food source
If you have not recently used any pesticides or insecticides, and you cut the lawn with an electric or hand-powered mower, you can use the clippings to supplement the diet of herbivores such as guinea pigs.
Use in a raised bed
A thick layer of lawn clippings can provide nutrients and build up a raised garden bed. This approach means using less compost to make up the volume and the clippings will help to break down any carbon rich fibrous material in the bed.