Leave Grass Cuttings on Your Lawn
Grass cuttings and other yard waste (leaves, tree and shrubbery prunings) make up 12 percent of the solid waste sent to American landfills. The amount can exceed 50 percent during peak grass cutting and leaf collection times in some parts of the country.
The myth that allowing grass cuttings to stay on a freshly mowed lawn will damage the lawn still persists in the minds of many homeowners and others who are responsible for maintaining grassy areas, even though research has proven otherwise. Cut grass clippings are a source of free, nutrient-rich fertilizer for consumers. Throwing away cut grass clippings not only overburdens landfills, it is also costly: millions of taxpayer dollars are spent to collect and transport this organic fertilizer to the landfills.
The environmental benefits of keeping cut grass clippings on lawns are considerable, according to the Department of Horticulture at the University of Missouri:
From now on, you can have a healthy lawn that saves water, time, landfill space, and money. Here's how...
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A mulching mower cuts grass blades into smaller pieces than does a regular rotor mower, although it is not necessary to use a mulching mower when leaving grass cuttings on the lawn. For more information on lawns and the benefits of grass cuttings, the Virginia Cooperative Extension offers details as well as tips on how to use excess clippings in compost.
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