Each year the average homeowner will spend approximately 70 hours maintaining their lawns to achieve their ideal space. Time is spent apply fertilizer to make grass greener and thicker, then time is spent cutting and bagging clippings because the grass is too tall. Then water is added to make sure the grass stays green, which means it needs to be cut again. It is a tiring cycle many Americans have fallen prey to. One step that can reduce both the time and money spent maintaining the perfect yard is through grasscycling.
Grasscycling, or leaving grass clippings on the lawn, can provide up to 25% of nutrient needs for a lawn. Instead of raking, bagging, and throwing away clippings, let them stay where they fall, reducing fertilizer application in the future. Grasscyling can reduce mowing time by up to 40%, allowing for this chore to pass by quickly.
When grasscycling, chose a time when the grass is dry to touch and ensure the mower blade is sharp so that the grass isn’t torn. Try to cut off no more than 1/3 the length of the grass. The smaller pieces will biodegrade faster and help keep your lawn looking healthy. If poor weather or life events make it difficult to cut the grass at the ideal length, be sure to mow over the clippings to help disperse them and chop them into small pieces.
Grasscycling improves our local water quality by allowing fewer fertilizers to be used, and therefore less opportunity for excess nitrogen and phosphorus to find their way to our waterways. Additionally, this process helps promote healthy soil that is better equipped to absorb rainwater, which allows us to water our lawns less frequently.
So why wait to gain more free time back in your summer and start grasscycling to improve the water quality in your area!