Harvesting Grass for the Garden



The sound of children playing reached through still air to the parking lot where I distributed shares to CSA members. The sky was clear and children were having fun chasing balls, swinging on a swing set and playing in the grass. It lifted my spirits for that hour.

Grass Clippings

Grass Clippings

Lilacs are in bloom and apple blossoms are dropping petals as spring’s course runs through our lives. Flipping the calendar to May, there is much to get done before summer starts in three weeks.

A neighbor noticed I left the grass clippings after mowing. They wondered if they could have them, prompting this response.

Thanks for the compliment on our grass clippings.

I plan to use them on our garden as mulch in years one and two, then as compost after that.

I always delay mowing in Spring until the yard gets green and starts going to seed. Then I cut first with the mower, let them dry in the sun a couple of days if possible, and beginning tomorrow will start picking them up with the grass catcher attachment on my mower, or with a rake.

I admit they are nice, but you and I are likely the only people in the neighborhood who view them as an asset.

Over the years I stopped using lawn chemicals so there wouldn’t be runoff to the lake, and the clippings would be as artificial-chemical free as possible for the garden.

You might notice I stop mowing in October to let the grass get long for the spring mow.

I have been collecting up stuff for compost, and if I find extra, I’ll keep you in mind.

Thanks for asking, and see you around.

Cleaned Up Yard

Cleaned Up Yard

It took two and a half hours of work collecting the clippings, including a spate of time tracking down some bolts to attach the top of the grass catcher. I took a bolt, nut and washers into the hardware store in town and said, “I’d like two more of these.” Within minutes, the clerk had them and charged less than three dollars. Once home I made short work of prepping the equipment.

The sun-dried clippings went into the grass catcher easily. The secret to preventing them from clogging the intake is drying them several days and driving the tractor slowly so the right amount go into the mower each pass.

The best part of the work, other than the economics of grass clippings, was the varied smells in the yard. Apple blossoms and lilac; the sour smell of the apple pomace; spring garlic; and the waft of fertilizer from a neighbor’s recently treated yard. Not everyone eschews lawn chemicals, although maybe they should.

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