Every so often it is a good thing to leave small grass clippings on your lawn after mowing. Why?... because they are an excellent source of Nitrogen, which some organic fertilisers are often lacking in.
That being said, definitely don't stop fertilising with a good quality granular slow release fertilser as grass clippings alone wont be able to give your lawn all the nutrients it requires; but there is certainly an argument for combining both during the growing season to produce lush, healthy lawn.
There are two things that you need to know;
- the clippings need to be very small; and
- If your recently applied pesticides, fungicides or herbicides to your lawn, you should wait until you have mowed at lease three (3) times after application.
Ensuring that the grass clippings are small will ensure you do not damage your lawn. You can achieve this by giving your lawn a mow earlier than you would normally to ensure that you are only removing a small amount of the tip of the plant and do this without the catcher on, or the best thing would be to use a mulching lawn mower - which is just your standard mower with a rear or side chute which sends the clippings back into the blades and cuts them even finer before they settle on the lawn. The reason for small clippings is to ensure that they only take a few days to disappear into your lawn and start breaking down to release the nutrients into your lawn.
It is important to note that longer grass clippings should never be left on the lawn. They take far longer to breakdown, if at all and will usually just be picked up during your next mow - providing nothing for your lawn and a bit of mess for the neighbours!
The other important thing to remember is that if you have applied a pesticide, fungicide or herbicide to your lawn you need to catch the clippings for at least 3 mows. These treatments are for targeted areas and you do not want to risk spreading the chemical over your healthy lawn.
It is recommended that to maintain a healthy lawn you should be using a slow release fertiliser every 8 weeks during the growing season. Leaving your lawn clippings would be recommended in between your fertiliser cycle so you are giving your lawn a source of added nutrients every 4 weeks and alternating on the type of nutrients provided each time.
For more tips on maintaining lush green lawn have a read through our blog posts or visit the Lawn Solutions Australia website.