Skip to content

Grasscycling

Grasscycling is recycling grass clippings by leaving them on your lawn instead of collecting them for disposal. Grasscycling is a practice that can help produce a healthy lawn while at the same time benefit you, your community and the environment. Grasscycling works.

You may not have thought of it, but bagging and placing yard trimmings at the curb is a wasteful behavior in many ways. It can be an expensive practice with the cost of the bags as well as transportation to pick up the clippings. It also robs your lawn of natural fertilizer.

Consider changing that behavior. Consider grasscycling.

Benefits

Proper grasscycling:

  • Saves time and is less work (no more bagging, less time maintaining lawn)
  • Saves money (less water and fertilizer are needed)
  • Encourages a healthier lawn (clippings contain valuable nutrients).

Grasscycling is simple

  • Cut your grass when it’s dry.
  • Cut your grass regularly. A good rule is to cut no more than one-third of the grass height at any one mowing. Cutting off more than one-third at a time can stop roots from growing and require frequent watering during dry summers to keep the grass alive. In addition, the one-third rule produces smaller clippings that disappear quickly by filtering down to the soil surface. Also, if the lawn is not cut frequently enough and long clippings are left on the lawn, it may produce a “hay-like” look that can be unsightly.
  • Cut your grass with a sharp blade. Sharp blades cut the grass cleanly and that helps ensure rapid healing and regrowth. Dull blades tear and bruise the grass.The wounded grass becomes weakened and is less able to prevent invading weeds and recover from disease.
  • To maximize the benefits of grasscycling, aerate your lawn. In the spring, rent an aerator, which removes small cores of soil from the lawn. This opens the soil and permits greater movement of water, fertilizer and air – which speeds decomposition of the grass clippings and improves deep root growth. Water thoroughly when needed. Make sure you follow proper lawn care for your type of grass.
  • Many people believe that grass clippings left on a lawn will smother the grass underneath or cause thatch. Forget it, it’s not true. Thatch is not made up of grass clippings, but is a layer of roots, leaf sheaths and rhizomes. This layer stops water and fertilizer from penetrating into the soil where the roots are found.

Grasscycling does not spread lawn disease. Improper watering and fertilizing are the primary causes of the spread of lawn disease.

Grasscycling Fact Sheet (pdf)