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lawnmowerGrasscycling: What Are You Waiting For?

What is grasscycling and why should I do it?
As you might guess from the name, grasscycling is the natural process of leaving your grass clippings on your lawn after you mow, as opposed to bagging them and sending them off to the landfill with the rest of your waste. Grasscycling serves several important purposes:

    ◦    It reduces your annual output of yard waste by as much as half.

    ◦    It returns your lawn's own nutrients back to the soil. In fact, the amount of nitrogen contained in the

    ◦    clippings from an average yard is approximately equal to the recommended dosage. This means you

    ◦    can save the hard-earned money you would have spent on costly turf-builiders and fertilizers.

    ◦    You save your back the stress of lifting 8 tons of grass per year, per acre! This can amount to a real

    ◦    savings, especially for lawn maintenance contractors with many employees.

But won't my yard look unkempt or trashy?
The key to effective grasscycling is the frequency of mowing. Most people mow their lawns entirely too infrequently, causing unsightly mounds of clippings to accrue. This, in turn, can "suffocate" your lawn. By following the simple, step-by-step guide below, you can ensure a healthier lawn, and a healthier earth!

grass thirdsThree, Easy Steps

1. Follow the Rule of Thirds

When mowing your lawn, never cut off more the one third (1/3) of the grass's pre-mowing length. Doing so will most certainly create those unsightly mounds that suffocate your growing lawn. If you're like the average homeowner, this will mean you need to decrease the amount of time between mowings. A little extra work, but a small price to pay for the tremendous environmental savings.

2. Sharpen Your Mower's Blade Regularly

Sharpen the blade? What blade? For many homeowners, proper care of a lawnmower's blade is little more than an afterthought. A dull blade means your mower has to work harder, leaving rough-cut clippings that are dispersed from the mower in clumps. By sharpening your blade, you can ensure the clippings are spread out uniformly, for optimum nutrient return.

3. Look out the Window!

Believe it or not, lawnmowing is a spectator sport. If you're serious about grasscycling, the old once-a-week mowing schedule simply won't cut it. Grass growth rates vary widely with weather and season. If you really want to know when to mow the lawn, you have to watch it. If you don't mind getting strange looks from your neighbor, we'd even suggesting dragging the good old ruler out to measure it.

A Few Helpful Tips

    ◦    For best results, mow when the grass is dry to the touch. Wet grass means clumping.
    ◦    You've waited too long to mow if you can see the clippings when you're done.
    ◦    Most manufacturers offer mulching or "recycling" mowers, which chop the grass into tiny pieces
    ◦    before forcing them back into the lawn.
    ◦    If you know you've waited too long between mowings, consider double-cutting.
    ◦    More frequent mowing can actually take less time, on average; shorter grass can be mowed much
    ◦    more easily than long or damp grass.