It turns out that the lawnmower is one of my really important gardening tools. It's never used in the actual garden itself, but it creates the material that is my favorite mulch : grass clippings.
|Dry, brown clippings. Excellent for nest boxes and mulching.|
In reality, I use grass clippings for more than just mulch. They are a major ingredient in compost, they are used as an edible litter in the chicken pen, plus I sometimes use dried clippings for lining the hens' nests.
|Fresh green, and very wet, clippings great for the|
compost pile. Also wonderful for the chickens.
Grass clippings make a nice garden mulch. They are easy to apply. I can control the thickness and get then into tight places. And they decompose as the soil microbes feed on them, thus creating food for the plants. Between crops, they are easy to till into the soil. And I can readily get more when I need them.
|Mulch in the vegetable gardens.|
As a compost ingredient, they are easy to work with. Already finely chopped, they compost down quickly and are easy to mix with the other ingredients. I can choose to add very green clippings which are high in moisture and nitrogen. Or I can pick the clippings from overgrown pastures that are mostly brown and quite dry. It all depends on what the compost pile needs.
|Pineapple bed at the community garden. Mulch helps keep|
the grass at bay.
|Mulched areas have very little weeds.|
I'm always asked about weed seeds. Don't I have problems? Quite honestly, not to date. Sometimes a patch of weeds will sprout in the garden, but I can either flip them over with a shovel, cut them with a scuffle hoe, or simply lay a thick layer of mulch over them. Seedlings are fairly easy to kill. But when I do have a trashcan full of seedy clippings, I normally direct that to the chicken pen so the girls can hunt out the seeds. They do a good job.