Composting is well known as a “green habit” and there in lies the problem! I know that most “green” habits people ask you to adopt require more work, not less. This is often so annoying that one soon quits the new “green habit.”
Do any of these sound familiar:
- Bring your own grocery bags to the store (check).
- Recycle, re-purpose or reuse (check)
- Ride a bus, a bike or walk instead of driving (check).
- Install a rain barrel (check).
“Just Mow It” is the simple practice of leaving your grass clippings on the lawn. Yep, cut the lawn and leave the clippings where they fall! I hear many of you yelling at your computer screens as you read this but just read on. I am serious here, you just leave the grass clippings where they fall and they will quickly break down to fertilize your grass and add bio-mass to the soil.
“Just Mow It” - Tired of bagging your grass clippings? Then the “Just Mow It!” philosophy is for you. It’s as easy as counting to five. It's really fast, and it's awfully good for your lawn!
The “Just Mow It!” 5 Count:
- Proper Mowing Height - The appropriate mowing height for lawns when using this philosophy is 3". That should work well for most types of grass although some folks advise that you should raise the cutting height slightly in the summer. I don't, but the choice is yours.
- Proper Mowing Frequency - Never remove more than one-third of the leaf surface at any one time. Removing more than one-third weakens the grass plant, reduces or stops growth, and leaves significant clippings on the lawn surface. If the mowing height is 3", the grass should not grow more than 4" before it is mowed. In real terms, this means a lawn should ideally be mowed 2 times per week in spring (March – June) and 2 times per week in the fall (September - November), when the grass is growing actively.
- Proper Mowing Time - Lawns should be mowed when dry so clippings won’t clump together on the lawn surface. Obviously, there will be times when rain makes it impossible to mow frequently. You can still leave clippings on the lawn if the clumps of grass are spread out evenly to allow them to readily decompose.
- “Just Mow It!” Tip #1 - Any mower can be used. While mulching mowers cut grass clippings into smaller pieces, you can still use non-mulching mowers. It is recommended to have your mower blade professionally sharpened annually. (Most tool rental stores can provide this service.)
- “Just Mow It!” Tip #2 - Never sweep or blow grass clippings into the road or storm drain. Clippings (like all plant material) contain nutrients that can cause algal blooms if they get into rivers and lakes.
- Reduces work because you don’t have to bag and dispose of your grass clippings.
- Reduces waste going into local landfills.
- Free Lawn Fertilizer! Grass clippings contain nutrients that can generate up to A FULL THIRD of you lawn's total fertilizer needs, so you have the potential to save some money!
- In addition to releasing nutrients into the soil, grass clippings can substantially enhance the soil microbe activity!
Thatch is a tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems, leaves and grass roots that develops between the green grass and the soil surface. Grass clippings are 75 to 85 percent water and decompose rapidly. Thatch is formed from grass parts more resistant to decomposition like roots, stems, etc.
So this year, why not do what I plan to do and “Just Mow It!”!!