Springtime again, cutting the grass becomes another weekly ritual to promote the health and beauty of a great-looking lawn and landscape. Most of us don’t realize it’s not necessary to bag those grass clippings. In fact, leaving them on your lawn offers several advantages.
We have a yardman to mow our lawn twice a month but he’s using a mulching mower and grasscycle. Grasscycling is the natural recycling of grass clippings by leaving them on your lawn when mowing, rather than bagging and removing them. It’s such a simple way to mow and save a lot of time. It doesn’t cause thatch, and it reduces nitrogen fertilizer needs. Back then we used to bag the clippings and throw them in our compost pile but mulching mower does a fine job of cutting grasses into pieces so small and blend into your lawn. Modern mulching mowers make grasscycling easy – and certainly easier than bagging lawn clippings and sending them to the landfill. We can reduce mowing time by 30-40% by not having to bag clippings. In one study of 147 homeowners in Fort Worth, Texas, grass recyclers spent an average of 7 hours less during the grass cutting season on yard work.
The following are the guidelines they used in their studies:
Grasscycling does not promote thatch according to university studies and abundant research. It is a common misconception that grass clippings are a major cause of thatch buildup in lawns. Thatch buildup is caused by grass stems, shoots, and roots, not grass clippings. Clippings, which consist of about 75% water, decompose quickly while adding nutrients to the soil, act as a natural mulch, helping to shade grass roots and conserve important soil moisture.
Grasscycling contributes valuable nutrients. Studies indicate that as grass clippings decompose on your lawn, they contribute enough organic matter and nitrogen to reduce lawn fertilization needs by 25% per year.
Grasscycling does not promote weed growth. One of the keys to proper grasscycling is to keep the recommended height for your type of grass. Consistent regular mowing reduces the chances of weeds going to seed and dispersing throughout the yard. It is important to use sharp blades that can cut clean, thus reducing the chance for lawn diseases and pests. A healthy lawn is a lush green without a sign of flourishing weeds on it.
Grasscycling leaves no visible residue. Just don’t mow when the grass is wet because tendency clumps will develop. Avoid cutting off more than a third of the grass blade anytime you mow as it reduces the size of the clippings and less stress on the grass too.
With these guidelines, we can reduce our mowing time, add valuable organic nutrients into our lawn, keep excess waste out of the landfill, and still achieve wonderful eco-friendly results!