It's easy to overlook how useful grass clippings can be, but early fall is a great time to collect this valuable 'yard waste' to use in your garden as mulch.
That's because as the weather cools, the grass starts growing faster and needs more frequent mowing. Sure, you could bag all these clippings and set them out to be hauled away with your trash. But why let them go to waste? A much better use is to put them in your garden as mulch. And don't stop with grass clippings — shredded leaves make great mulch, too.
Not only does this all-natural mulch help suppress weeds and retain moisture, but as it slowly breaks down it will naturally enrich your garden soil. Mulch is so valuable for your garden that you might even consider collecting unwanted yard waste from friends and neighbors — anything beyond your immediate needs can go into the compost pile. (Just be sure not to use grass clippings from chemically treated lawns. You don't want to introduce herbicide residue into your garden because it's harmful to your plants.)
For more about how and why to start using grass clippings in your garden and yard instead of throwing them away, check out this helpful information on recycling grass clippings from the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Or for more tips on composting your yard waste, check out the Mother Earth News article, Composting Made Easy.
Megan E. Phelps is a freelance writer based in Kansas. She enjoys reading and writing about all things related to sustainable living including homesteading skills, green building and renewable energy. You can find her on Google+.