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What is "Grasscycling"?

It is simply leaving your grass clippings on the lawn!

10 Reasons Why You Should Grasscyle
  1. Grassclippings are a large portion of the waste stream so grasscycling will help reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.
  2. When properly clipped, grassclippings decompose quickly and release nutrients back into the soil.
  3. You will have a healthier looking lawn.
  4. Eliminates the necessity for collection and disposal.
  5. It's easy and can save time.
  6. Grasscycling greatly reduces the need for fertilizer because grass clippings return nitrogen to the soil.
  7. Frequent mowing at a low cutting height deprives the root system of nutrients and moisture. Longer grass blades create more shade, providing the soil protection from the sun.
  8. By mowing at a raised height, you reduce stress that can retard root growth.
  9. If you have a gardener, grasscycling will save your gardener time because there are no clippings that require collection and disposal. Encourage your gardener to grasscycle!
  10. Grasscycling is good for your lawn.

How to grasscycle
Basic Rule: Do not cut any more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade at one time.

Proper mowing is the key to grasscycling. Grass should be dry and the mower blades sharp. In the fast–growing season you may have to cut every seven days-but in the slower growing season you might only need to cut your lawn every 7–14 days.

During a "wet season" or at a time your grass cannot be mowed as frequently as desired, you might have an excess of clippings. This is an excellent opportunity to put your clippings in a backyard compost pile.

Watering
Water in the early morning if possible. Do not over–water. Too much water will cause your lawn to develop shallow root systems. Water less frequently but deeper.

Fertilizing
Do not over–fertilize. Proper fertilization is important, however, over–fertilization can weaken a lawn by causing excessive growth. It is best to apply smaller quantities more frequently.

Lawnmowers:
There are several brands of recycling mowers available that cut grass into small pieces and force them into the soil. However, you do not necessarily need to purchase a recycling mower to grasscycle. Almost any mower will work by raising the cutting height. If your mower has a collection bag, remove it to allow clippings to drop into the soil. However, if your mower does not have a safety flap covering the opening where the bag fits into the chute, or a plug for the chute, contact your local retailer to purchase a retrofit kit.

Most Common Misconceptions:

Grasscycling causes thatch build–up.
No! Studies have shown that grass roots are the primary cause of thatch, not grass clippings. And, a small amount of thatch is actually beneficial. It serves as a mulch, preventing water evaporation and soil compaction.

Grasscycling spreads lawn disease.
No! The primary cause of disease spread is improper watering and fertilizing. If a disease is present, infestation will occur whether you are grasscycling or not.

My lawn will look bad.
No! Grasscycling will give you a healthier looking lawn if it is mowed, watered, and fertilized properly.

Grasscycling is not new. Many parks and golf courses have been practicing grasscycling successfully for years.


Grass Clippings

Many homeowners remove grass clippings after mowing to prevent thatch buildup.  However, it has been shown that grass clippings do not contribute significantly to thatch buildup.  Clippings can remain on most lawns, and help to keep them healthy, as long as the grass is mowed often enough.






Source:

"Grasscycling," Recycle Works: A Program of San Mateo County:
http://www.recycleworks.org/compost/grasscycling.html [accessed on May 6, 2008].

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