Recycling grass clippings refers to the practice of not bagging or raking up your lawn clippings. This practice offers many benefits, both practical and environmental. First, you will not need to stop to empty your mower bag every time it fills. Also, you are not filling up local landfills with green waste from your yard. If you are interested in decreasing your waste and providing natural nutrients and moisture to your yard, you should consider starting to recycle grass clippings. Read on for seven steps that help you perfect this practice.
Cut Your Grass to the Proper Height
You should always avoid cutting your lawn too short (lower than 3”). With longer grass, more of the leaf surface is exposed to the sun, and the long grass blades shade the soil beneath. A good rule of thumb is to cut no more than a third of the grass’s length, and let your grass grow up to four inches or more before mowing.
Make Sure Your Mower Blades Are Sharp
Dull mower blades will tear rather than cut the grass, which creates brown scars at the leaf tip. These scars then make the lawn more susceptible to disease. If you do not have the proper tools to sharpen your blades yourself, have it done professionally. It may be wise to have an extra set of blades that fit your mower to be able to change them out whenever you need to.
Let Grass Clippings Settle Naturally
After you mow your lawn, you can recycle your grass clippings by letting them settle onto the soil. It may take hours, or into the next day, but the clippings on the top of your lawn will sink into the soil where they will decompose. If you have exceptionally long clippings that are bunched together atop the remaining grass, use a rake to spread them across your lawn.
Water Thoroughly and Infrequently
You can encourage your grass to grow deep root systems by watering them thoroughly. You want to avoid overwatering your grass, so just make sure your lawn is dry before watering.
Adjust the Soil to Keep Your Grass Healthy
When you recycle your grass clippings, this returns some nitrogen, minerals, and nutrients into the soil. This can, in turn, reduce your fertilizer needs by up to 25%. Additionally, screened compost spread on your lawn in fall and spring can provide beneficial soil microbes that speed up the decomposition of your recycled grass clippings.
Use a Mulch Mower
A mulch mower trims cut grass into smaller, more readily mulchable lengths. This can be useful if you have a large bag of recycled grass clippings that you find difficult to spread on your lawn. These mulch mowers can also mulch leaves directly onto your lawn during the fall.
Reduce Emissions with a Reel Mower
If you are interested in furthering your environmentally-minded lawn care, you can switch to a reel mower instead of a gas-powered mower. A reel mower helps you get more exercise while reducing the amount of gas and oil you use and emit. Additionally, a reel mower more efficiently clips your grass and deposits your grass clippings back onto your lawn.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!