Why Should You Grasscycle?
“What is this strange witchcraft?”
“Isn’t it just yard waste?”
Fair questions to ask! But this is so simple and time-saving – you will wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner.
Grasscycling is simply leaving grass clippings on your lawn so that the nutrients will be returned to the soil when the clippings decompose. The grass is organic matter that recycles back into the turf as part of a natural process. The nutrients in the grass “feed” the soil and encourage the growth of beneficial organisms – including earthworms, which are extremely valuable to the health of lawns and gardens. In addition to being lush and beautiful, healthy lawns are resistant to insects and disease.
During the growing season, a lawn of 1,000 square feet can produce as much as 200 to 500 pounds of clippings!
In the City of Manassas, we collect over 2,000 tons of yard waste in a year.
Your grass clippings break down anywhere from seven to 14 days. During this process, moisture and nutrients are re-released back to the soil. The clippings actually perform the role of a top-dressing fertilizer. All the beneficial microbes in the soil flourish because of the nutrient-rich cycle of decomposition. The soil structure is improved and root growth is optimized, thus leading to a healthy lawn. This in turn can keep your lawn green and resilient through a dry summer, while also encouraging a better lawn in the fall.
For best results, follow good mowing practices and mow the lawn frequently enough so that no more than one-third of the length of the grass is removed in any one mowing. Your mower blades should always be sharp and the grass should ideally be cut when the surface is dry.
If there are times when the grass has grown too much or too quickly, then rake the clippings and spread the excess clippings around vegetables or flowers. This will help inhibit weed growth while also retaining moisture. You might also want to add extra clippings to your compost pile, but keep in mind that the composting pile should never contain more than one-third of grass clippings.
So … relax and grasscycle!
Good for the environment and the City of Manassas