What is Grasscycling?
Grasscycling involves leaving grass clippings on your lawn after mowing, to fertilize the grass and return nutrients to the lawn. Grasscycling is an alternative to throwing away the valuable nutrients in grass.
Each year, the average lawn generates eight tons of grass clippings per acre. Your grass clippings can account for as much as 50% of your yard waste during the peak growing season. You can leave these clippings on the lawn to feed the soil. It enhances the health of your lawn by adding moisture and acting as a natural fertilizer. It also saves you time – no more bagging clippings and dragging them to the curb!
- Lawnmower outfitted with a mulching blade
How to Grasscycle
- Mow your lawn to between 2 and 2 ½ inches to hide clippings. Cut no more than 1/3 of grass height to keep clippings small. Leave the clippings on the lawn. They will break down quickly and not result in thatch. Mow the lawn when it's dry to avoid clumping.
- Water deeply, but infrequently. (If you have clay soil, it is better to water more frequently for a shorter period of time.)
- If you need a new mower, consider a rotary mower or an electric mulching lawn mower. The best mulching mowers can blow finely chopped clippings down into your lawn where they disappear from sight, decompose, and fertilize the lawn quickly. An electric mulching mower also cuts down on air pollution and a push mower eliminates it completely!
- Guide to Backyard Composting & Grass-Cycling - Download this 3-fold flyer on the basics of backyard composting and grass-cycling.
- Master Gardener help line at Virginia Cooperative Extension – Arlington/Alexandria (703) 228-6414
- Information about watering your lawn and water conservation - City of Alexandria Office of Environmental Quality website.