Grasscycling is the practice of leaving grass clippings on the lawn or using them as mulch. Grass clippings are over 80% water, so they decompose quickly and release nitrogen and other nutrients back into the lawn and soil naturally, thereby improving lawn quality. Grass clippings add water-saving mulch and encourage natural soil aeration by earthworms. Advantages to grasscycling include:
- No bagging or raking the lawn
- Plastic lawn bags don’t wind up in the landfill
- Fifty percent of your lawn’s fertilizer needs are met, so you reduce time and money spent fertilizing
- Less polluting: reduces the need for fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides
- Non-thatch causing, thus making a lawn vigorous and durable
Not only does it make caring for your lawn easier, but grasscycling can also reduce your mowing time by 50% because you don’t have to pick up afterwards. Leaving clippings on the lawn also slows water loss through evaporation and reduces the needs for fertilization. To grasscycle properly, cut the grass when it’s dry and always keep your mower blades sharp.
More tips to help maximize the advantages of grasscycling clippings on your lawn:
- Remove no more than 1/3 of the leaf surface area with each mowing.
- Mow when the lawn is dry.
- Use a sharp mower blade. A dull mower blade bruises and tears the grass plant, resulting in a ragged, tarnished appearance at the leaf tip.
- Aerate your lawn. In the spring, rent an aerator which removes cores of soil from the lawn. This opens up the soil and permits greater movement of water, fertilizer, and air by increasing the speed of decomposition of the grass clippings and enhancing deep root growth.
- Water thoroughly when needed. During the driest period of summer, lawns require at least one inch of water every five to six days.
- Make sure you follow the proper lawn care schedule for your type of turfgrass.