Grasscycling simply means to leave grass clippings on the yard, rather than bagging grass clippings for disposal after mowing the lawn. Grasscycling clippings can be left in the yard to enrich your lawn, reduce waste, and save time.
Benefits of Grasscycling
- Contributes to a healthier yard and environment by returning nutrients and moisture back to lawns.
- Saves money by reducing watering and usage of chemical fertilizer.
- Saves time and energy on lawn maintenance by eliminating the process of removal and bagging of grass clippings waste.
- Reduces the amount of waste disposed of by eliminating grass clippings in the waste stream.
- Reduces run-off pollution protecting local waterways
- Ensure that grass is dry and your mower blade is sharp to prevent clumping.
- Set the mower blade height to three inches before cutting.
- Cut grass regularly, cutting no more than one third of the length of the grass blade at one time.
- Leave the grass clippings where they fall.
- Try not to over-water or over-fertilize. Over-watering can cause the lawn to develop shallow roots. Over-fertilizing can weaken the lawn by causing an extreme amount of growth.
- Myth: Grasscycling suffocates healthy lawns.
Mythbuster: Cutting grass while it is wet can cause uneven trimming and leave behind wet clumps which, when matted, can suffocate areas of your lawn. So cut grass while it is dry and before it reaches four inches.
- Myth: Grasscycling contributes to an untidy lawn.
Mythbuster: Grass clippings decompose quickly and disappear during peak season, April through September, in one to three days. Mowing frequently allows for smaller grass clippings, which are unnoticeable between grass blades and decomposes faster.
- Myth: Grasscycling requires a specific mower.
Mythbuster: Any lawn mower is acceptable for grasscycling. No special attachments are needed; however mulching lawnmowers cut the grass clippings into finer pieces that decompose more quickly.
- Myth: Grasscycling causes thatch buildup.
Mythbuster: Thatch is an organic layer of living and dead grass plants (dead leaves, roots, stem nodes, and crowns) that are resistant to decay. Grassclippings can be found in a thatch layer, but they do not contribute to thatch build-up. Grass clippings are mostly comprised of water which contributes to their rapid decomposition.
- University of Maryland Extension Service Information on Grasscycling
- Department of Energy and the Environment ‘s Best Practices for Fertilizer Use