Grasscycling – Mow High, Mow Often and Leave the Clippings

grasscycle-twitterWith the re-emergence of the sun, life has returned to our neighborhoods – birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and our lawns have started to grow again.

Consider turning over a new leaf in your lawn care routine this spring and summer. Leave your mower’s bag attachment in the shed and let the grass clippings drop on your lawn.

You’ll save tons of time that otherwise would have been spent bagging and disposing of all the clippings. You’ll also have more room in your yard waste container for other yard trimmings and food scraps. Plus, you’ll decrease the chances of getting grass in your hair and green-stained fingers from trying to cram the clippings into a bag or your yard waste container.

When you leave the clippings on the lawn, also known as “grasscycling” or “mulch-mowing”, you are improving the health of your lawn. The clippings are free fertilizer that will help your lawn grow green and denser. As they quickly decompose, the clippings release nutrients back into the soil.

Here are some tips to maximize the benefits of grasscycling:

  • Mow when the grass is dry, to avoid clumping.
  • Mow high. Set mowing heights up to 2 to 2 ½ inches for most lawns to hide clippings better, and to make a healthier lawn.
  • Mow often. Follow the “1/3 Rule:” mow your lawn often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade is cut in any one mowing. Frequent mowing will produce short clippings that will not cover up the grass surface.
  • Mow weekly in the spring. Cutting too much at once stresses the grass.
  • Leave the clippings on the lawn. Grasscycling provides free fertilizer, helps lawns grow greener and denser, and doesn’t cause thatch buildup.
  • Water and fertilize less. Every time you grasscycle, you add free fertilizer to your lawn.
  • Sharpen mower blades twice a year. Dull blades can shred grass.