Don't Waste Your Grass Clippings
If you are like most home owners, you have a yard with some grass growing. Grass has gotten a bit of a bad rap here lately it seems, and there is a bit of an emerging trend for people to take out their lawns and replace them with front yard gardens, or other concepts that use less water than lawns. Front yard gardens are great in my mind, but I think maybe people have been looking at grass all wrong.
Every bit of grass grown on this property is still here.
Wrap your head around that idea for a second. While lots of people load up their grass clippings into dumpsters bound for landfills, or pile it over the fence out of site to become a rotting stinky mess, my grass is all still here. Seriously. I have never once hauled grass clippings off this property, in fact, I sometimes import them from other yards.
What do I do with all this grass? I am glad you asked. Here are my top three favorite uses for grass clippings.
Feed it to Animals
Around here we keep a few little critters who love to eat grass. Chickens will go nuts over a pile of fresh cut grass and within an hour or so you won't even know you threw it in their coop or run. They will scratch through it, picking out the pieces they find most interesting and end up leaving next to nothing behind... and there are no eggs in the world like those from chickens getting a steady dose of fresh cut green grass. Delicious!!
We also feed our grass to some of our other animals as well. Rabbits are fond of fresh cut grass and even the worms in the worms bits take a little now and then. I can't see how me feeding lawn grass to animals is much different than feeding hay to larger animals... its essentially the same thing. So if you have animals around that will make use of it, try feeding it as a great option for using grass clippings.
I am sure that at some point I am going to start sounding like a broken record, but I cannot stress enough the importance of building soil if you are going to grow plants. Healthy soil makes such a difference in the performance of plants, especially plants we use for food, so if you do nothing else, mix your grass clippings into a compost pile and use them to build epic soil. The way I look at it, I put fertilizers and other things on the lawn to help it grow. These nutrients are then recycled into my compost mixes and feed other plants around our property. The soil health is improved and if I ever end up with enough compost, I will start throwing it back on the lawn and end up feeding the grass back to the grass. Maybe someday we will get that far..... but for now, my planting beds love the compost that this grass helps generate.
I have long been interested in the soil building method known as sheet mulching and from time to time I just start a new bed somewhere in the yard and begin sheet mulching it. Depending on what we have going on, I am often not in a huge hurry with these piles and just keep adding material to them as it comes available. This make shift bed under this apple tree is a good example. For the past few years it has received grass clippings, card board, shredded branches and fall leaves, shredded paper, Chicken bedding and rabbit manure all at random and periodic intervals. I think there is even an old piece of sheet rock in there too.... that stuff is made mostly out of gypsum you know. Layer after lay it keeps getting added, like the small addition of grass clippings that was added today. In time, all these layers will break down into some amazing soil....in fact they are already starting too to a large extent.
Those are probably my top three ways of dealing with grass clippings. I am certain their are other ideas out there that are just as good and would keep this wonderful resource from ending up in the bottom of a land fill somewhere not being used.
How do you use your glass clippings??
If you are into this sort of thing, there is more information over at our website which you can view here. There is loads of information about gardening, a whole section on animals and composting, and even some ideas about home remodeling! Come check it out. We'll keep posting here on the blog, and do our best to continue to add more content to the website as well.