Lawn clippings are chock full of nutrients, especially Nitrogen which plants and lawns use to make their leaves green. They are also highly fibrous as well as being filled with water, and can easily break down into the soil to be used as a natural - and free - fertiliser.
So the question is - why aren't we all using our clipping this way already?
There's really no answer to this, lawn clippings have excellent nutritional value which throw away into bins in abundance to be carried away in polluting trucks - only to be dumped. We then see our lawns and gardens really aren't looking so good, so we head on down to the lawn care shop and buy fertilisers to do much of the job our valuable - and free - clipping could have done for us!
Lawn clippings can be placed directly into garden beds as long as two important rules are always followed.
The first rule is to dig the clippings directly into the soil, so there's no "pockets" of clippings remaining together, this will allow the soil organisms to surround all the clippings and very quickly break them down so they can release their nutrients.
Without doing this, the decomposition process would take far longer to finish. I clippings were left to just sit on top of the garden bed, they may not break down at all, and could instead create a water-proof barrier which repels water away from the soil.
The second thing we should keep in mind is that using clippings frequently in garden beds can release a large amount of Nitrogen into the soil, which isn't always healthy and can alter the pH of the soil to make it more acidic over time. To remedy this, a little garden lime should be applied to garden beds a couple of times a year, and choosing a fertiliser which is lower in Nitrogen will also help in continuing overall garden health.
Composting is an even better use for lawn clippings, the compost pile can break down not only lawn clippings, but all other small garden waste, as well as many green kitchen scraps. Compost piles are very easy to set-up and use and will continue to create an ongoing natural source of fertilised compost that our gardens will love more than almost anything else we can give to them.