The latest trend in lawn care is grasscycling – basically a way to recycle grass clippings as a natural fertiliser for your lawn, similar to top dressing.
It’s incredibly easy to do. When you mow your lawn, instead of collecting up the grass clippings and throwing them away, just let them form an even layer on the lawn and all those nutrients will find their way back into the soil.
Over time, this is a great way to keep your lawn healthy, as the nutrients taken up out of the soil by the grass as it grows will be returned instead of being taken away locked up in your grass clippings.
With our easy guide to grasscycling below, you can avoid the pitfalls (there aren’t many…) and make the best possible use of your freshly mown grass clippings as a source of free fertiliser.
That means your garden waste bin stays empty for longer, your lawn looks healthier, you save money on fertiliser and you avoid sending trimmed grass to the local landfill site.
There are a few problems with grasscycling – not with the process itself, but in terms of the challenges you might face when trying to mow your lawn in this way.
The first is that many modern lawnmowers automatically collect the grass clippings and bale them up for easy disposal.
If possible, use a lawnmower that drops the cut grass directly back on to the lawn, or one where you can safely disconnect the grass container (your instruction manual should tell you if this is an option or not).
Alternatively, you can redistribute the cut grass over the lawn after you take it out of the mower. This takes a bit more effort but is a good option if you want to target specific parts of the lawn that are in need of extra fertiliser.
You might only want to grasscycle at certain times of year, too. For example if you have kids or pets, you might want to leave the lawn free of clippings in the summer.
Finally if you suffer from hay fever, again you might want to bale up the clippings to avoid aggravating your allergies, and then sprinkle them on the lawn more carefully.
If you plan to grasscycle, first make sure your mower is suitable and install a retrofit safety plug if necessary after removing the baling container.
You might find grasscycling more effective if you cut the grass to a slightly longer length so the clippings are shorter and easier to decompose into the ground.
Alternatively if cutting long grass, mow back over the clippings to shred them into smaller pieces that will more easily mulch down.
You can rake off any excess grass clippings and add them to your compost heap or compost bin, or use them as mulch on empty flowerbeds so those nutrients are not lost.
And remember to scarify the lawn regularly – this removes any dead dry grass that has not fully rotted away, so that your lawn’s root system does not become clogged.