Person mowing a lawn with a ride on mower

Grasscycling is leaving grass clippings on your lawn to fertilize the grass and return nutrients to the lawn. Grasscycling is an alternative to throwing away valuable nutrients in your grass.

Why Should I Grasscycle?

Grasscycling is the most efficient way to manage grass clippings. Grasscycling is good for your lawn and it reduces the amount of trash that must be collected and disposed of at the energy-from-waste facility. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that yard waste accounts for 18 percent of the trash we’ve historically dumped in landfills, and rises as high as 50 percent during the growing season. Typical yard waste is about 25 percent tree leaves and limbs, and 75 percent grass clippings.

Grasscycling Guidelines

If grass clippings are left in place, they must be cut small enough to filter through the turf grass canopy and down into the soil region. Once this occurs, the clippings can decompose and become part of the continuing turf-soil nutrient cycle. An on-site grasscycling system directly depends on mowing techniques:

  • Mow when the grass needs it. Mow often enough that only one-third of the leaf height is removed (about every five to six days during the active growing season).
  • Keep mower blades sharp. Dull blades rip and tear the turf grass, which promotes disease, causes the shredded leaves to appear tan and ragged, and results in weakened plants.
  • Mow when the grass is dry. Wet grass clings to the mower and clumps on turf. In addition, wet clippings don’t filter through the turf canopy to add nitrogen as easily as dry clippings.

Learn more about eco-friendly lawn care and green gardening.