Why make investments hundreds of {dollars} in rising a crop of grass solely to throw it away?

Man on a Greenworks lawnmower (Picture: Enterprise Wire)

With water being such a scorching matter in Utah proper now, it’s value exploring choices for lowering garden irrigation. The apparent methods contain 1) eradicating grass from the panorama, 2) solely watering on non-windy nights, 3) getting sprinklers set in the proper areas and 4) holding off on watering till the grass truly seems to be thirsty.

However there’s an alternative choice — enhance the quantity of shade your garden will get. I observed a very long time in the past that the grass rising within the shade of a tree is greener and extra healthy-looking than grass with no shade. Duh, proper? The shade retains the soil cooler and reduces evaporative losses. However how can we shade the garden in areas with out bushes?

The reply is, mulch. Among the mulch your garden wants ought to be from mowing — so long as you’re not bagging the clippings after all. BTW, in what different nation on the planet would individuals yearly make investments hundreds of {dollars} value of vitality, labor and chemical substances on a crop (grass), after which put the top product (grass clippings) within the trash?

We Individuals have misplaced our minds in extra and waste. Hopefully you’re not nonetheless bagging your clippings. Anyway, moreover leaving grass clippings the garden, you in all probability produce other free mulch assets round. That is what I wish to concentrate on.

For 10-plus years, I’ve gathered the clippings from my garden, flower beds, shrubs and bushes, in addition to leaves my neighbors have bagged up, and I’ve thrown all of this on my garden. I name it “chop and drop” — a phrase I borrowed from permaculturists. Yeah, OK, it’s unconventional and appears odd quickly. However the enjoyable and deeply satisfying reward comes once I mow over the clippings, watch them get minced into small items and in just a few days see gravity pull the mulch right down to the soil floor, unnoticeable.

When you have a look at my garden, you’d by no means have the ability to inform it has 10 years’ value of chopped-up yard waste on its floor. What you’ll discover should you dug down just a few inches, is that the soil is alive, organically wealthy and thriving.

I’ve been doing this lengthy sufficient that I’m assured “chop and drop” can cut back garden irrigation with out destructive unwanted effects, however with loads of constructive. In addition to shading your soil, yard waste clippings may also add necessary vitamins for the soil organisms that feed and shield the grass. Additionally, your garden turns into a large composter, conserving yard waste out of our landfills.

For a pleasant, conservation-minded garden, neglect about chemical band-aids and fast fixes the house enchancment shops wish to promote you — concentrate on constructing and sustaining the soil through the use of “chop and drop.” And have a look at it this fashion— when the zombie apocalypse occurs, you’ll have a great soil base for rising your individual meals.

Gregg S. Alex has a grasp’s diploma in environmental science, was within the environmental consulting enterprise for greater than 20 years, and has been educating highschool environmental science for the final 9 years at Juan Diego Excessive College in Draper.

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