Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Grasscycling Makes Lawn Care a Snap!

 août 9It isn’t necessary to bag lawn clippings after mowing a lawn. Just leave them where they fall. They’ll quickly melt into the turf where they’ll decompose and disappear from sight. And as they decompose, they feed the lawn. Free fertilizer? Who could complaint about that? Leaving the clippings on the lawn is actually an organic form of recycling and has recently picked up its own name: grasscycling.

But many gardeners fear that if they do not pick up the clippings, there will be too much thatch. Ah, thatch, that mysterious layer of dead grass interspersed with turf rhizomes and roots that poses such a problem for over zealous gardeners. The truth is that the more pesticides you apply to a lawn, the more you fertilize it with chemical fertilizers and the shorter you mow it, the more there will be. Whether you leave grass clippings on the lawn or not has nothing to do with it! Learn to treat your lawn with the respect it deserves (proper mowing habits and good lawn care) and you’ll find that thatch disappears all on it’s own.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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