What is Grass-Cycling?

Grass-cycling simply refers to the process of leaving your grass clippings in place on your lawn as you mow. Since your mower is left in its "mulching" configuration, mowing both grass and fall leaves provides a 3-season solution to lawn care, while yielding all of the benefits discussed on this site (e.g.; time savings, cost savings, green house gas reductions, soil enhancement).

The average lawn produces 1,500 pounds of grass clippings - clippings from a 1,000 square foot lawn contribute 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen back into the soil. Clippings can provide up to 1/3 of the annual feeding requirements of your lawn. Clippings left in place can also help block weed germination.*

Note that according to Cornell recommendations, for best effect, grass should be mowed no lower than 3" to 3.5" and your mower blades should be kept sharp. If the grass is wet, several passes may be required to effectively (finely) mulch the cut blades. Done properly, grass-cycling will not create a buildup of thatch.

* From presentation on Backyard Conservation - Lawn Care Practices developed by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. (Summary taken from slides 10 & 11. See also slides 12-14 for more discussion of leaf mulching.)  Read the entire presentation with speaker's notes (.pdf) on grass-cycling, leaf mulching, and water management in turf care. Also, be sure to get their 4 Simple Steps to Lawn Care.

1 comment:

Lea Cullen Boyer said...

Thanks for the comprehensive information. We are reducing our lawn mowing by planting perennial flower and herb beds. They take less work than our lawn and are beautiful!