The grass is greener when you grasscycle!

May 10, 2022

Spring is here. No doubt you’ve pulled out the lawnmower by now, or at least thought about it. As you begin another mowing season, it’s time to think about “grasscycling.”

Grasscycling is allowing your grass clippings to drop back onto the lawn as you mow. Instead of picking up the clippings with the mower’s bagging attachment, you let them drop onto 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 produces and consumes 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. Check out this 30-second video to see grasscycling in action!

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, 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 and bag occasionally, remember that you can use grass clippings as mulch around plants or add them to your compost pile or bin. Don’t like mowing? You can always Ditch your lawn!

Credit: Wildroze | E+ | Getty Images