Cranbury Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey

Cut It and Leave It/Grasscycling


Grasscycling is the natural way you can have a green, healthy lawn while spending less time and money!  You can be the envy of your neighbors with a beautiful lawn with much less work and expense.  Wouldn't you rather be sipping an ice cold summertime drink in the shade, rather than spending time emptying the collected grass clippings?  A typical lawn of 5,000 square feet generates about 75 pounds of clippings per mowing.  Lawn experts at Rutgers University and other research centers have found that that by mowing frequently (5-6 times a month) and not bagging those clippings can save lawn owners up to 35% of the time spent on routine lawn care!

Simple Steps for Grasscycling

  • Cut only the top 1/3 of the grass blade and leave the clippings on the lawn.
  • Mow when the grass is dry to avoid tracking and clumping.
  • Keep your mower blade sharp.
  • No special equipment is necessary. While mulching mowers are available (and do an excellent job), any conventional mower can grasscycle - just remove the bag! (In the case of rear discharge mowers, the exhaust chute must be shut off. Adapter kits or retro-fit kits are available for your conventional mower for about $15
  • Don’t over-fertilize.  Grasscycled lawns need fertilizer only once or twice a year.

Water and Fertilize Less

  • When grasscycling is properly done, clippings settle quickly between the growing blades of grass, where they shelter the roots from the sun - conserving moisture. As they break down, they release more moisture as well as nutrients into the soil. This means that the grass needs to be watered less frequently.
  • Believe it or not, clippings left on the lawn act as a natural fertilizer.  They add almost two pounds of valuable nitrogen to every 1,000 square feet of lawn, keeping your lawn green and healthy. Don't throw away free fertilizer with your clippings - grasscycle!

What about thatch?

Thatch is an accumulation of dead roots, stems, and rhizomes which are parts of the grass plant that decompose slowly.  Clippings, which are 95% water, are leaves of the grass plant, decomposes too quickly to contribute to thatch.  The clippings help to create a thicker, healthier lawn that is more resistant to weeds and certain lawn diseases.  Clippings will also shelter the tender grass roots from the sun and help to conserve moisture.


Other Uses for Grass Clippings

  • Use them as much.  Put clippings on the soil around plantings to reduce weed growth, moderate soil temperature and conserve moisture.
  • Mix them into garden soil.  They add valuable nutrients and organic matter.
  • Add them to your compost pile.  Make sure the compost pile consists of 1/3 grass clippings or less, or it may emit odors.
  • NOTE:  for all the above uses, avoid grass that has recently been treated with an herbicide.  Wait until the second moving after treatment to use these clippings.