By now, you’ve pulled out the lawnmower and cut the grass a time or two or three…As you begin another mowing season, it’s time to think about “grasscycling.”
Grasscycling is the habit of letting your grass clippings drop back onto the lawn as you mow. Instead of picking up clippings with the mower’s bagging attachment, you allow them to stay on the grass. These short clippings decompose quickly. As a result, the clippings, which are about 80% water, provide your lawn with needed moisture. Grass clippings also contain nitrogen, a fertilizer that your lawn needs. When you grasscycle, your lawn is able to produce and consume some of its own “homemade” fertilizer, reducing the amount of fertilizer that you will need to buy and apply.
In addition to helping water and fertilize your lawn, grasscycling also reduces your waste. When you leave clippings on the lawn, you have no clippings to bag, carry, or dispose. When you are done mowing, you are done with the work! And you’ll be done more quickly, too. Grasscycling takes about one-third less time than mowing and bagging.
You don’t need a mulching mower to grasscycle. Any mower can become a mulching, or grasscycling, mower. Simply remove the bagging attachment. If the bagger on your mower attaches to the back of the mowing deck, be sure that the discharge chute is covered after you remove the bag. You may need to insert a “chute cover.” If you have a side discharge mower, you won’t need to do anything more than remove the bagger.
No matter what kind of mower you use, you should be “trimming” your grass. In other words, give it regular trims, not one big “haircut.” Each time you mow, you should trim the top one-third or less off your lawn. If the grass is growing quickly, you may have to mow more than once a week. The small clippings will quickly begin to rot before the next mowing. If you chop off more than one-third in a single mowing, it is hard on the grass plants and you leave behind long clippings that take longer to break down.
If you grasscycle most of the time, but do bag occasionally, remember that you can use those grass clippings as mulch around plants or add them to your compost pile or bin.
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