Grass cycling is the practice of leaving grass clippings on the lawn. Use a mulching blade or lawnmower to breakdown grass clippings and leaves then leave them on the ground. It is a simple natural approach to yard care. Grass clippings are 75 to 85 percent water. When done properly, clippings quickly decompose and return the nutrients to the soil. Leaving clippings on the lawn also slows water loss through evaporation and reduces the needs for fertilization. Not only does it make caring for your lawn easier, but it can also reduce your mowing time by 50%.
Yard trimmings make up a large component of municipal waste. It is estimated that grass clippings make up about half of all yard trimmings over the course of the year. Make sure you mow when the lawn is dry and always use a sharp mower blade. Follow the 1/3 rule: mow the lawn often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade is removed in any one mowing. Proper mowing will produce short clippings that will not cover up the grass surface. You may have to cut the lawn more frequently, or double cut, when the lawn is growing fast, such as in the spring, but much less when the turf is growing slowly.
You can grass cycle with most mowers. The mower collection bag can be removed to allow clippings to drop on the lawn. 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. A bit of experimentation might be needed to keep clippings from clumping when using a conventional mower.
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