Green Tip – Grasscycling

by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Start grasscycling. When you mow let your grass clippings remain on the lawn instead of bagging them, you’ll keep your lawn healthy and save yourself some time.

Grasscycling is recycling grass clippings by leaving them on your lawn instead of collecting them for disposal. Grasscycling is a practice that can help produce a healthy lawn while at the same time benefit you, your community and the environment.

We recently moved… again. This time to a more permanent location in Fargo Moorhead. Since we still own a home in the Minneapolis area and left all of our lawn equipment there, we needed to purchase a few items for our new home.

First, a lawn mower. We found an Easun Push Reel Lawn Mowerat a locally owned hardware store. It’s fantastic. It’s quiet, runs on people power and is easy to use. Reel mowers are perfect for grasscycling because they send the clippings flying off the reel in a fine spray of short clippings which are virtually invisible on the lawn.

To grasscycle properly:

  • Cut your grass when it’s dry.
  • Cut your grass regularly. A good rule is to cut no more than one-third of the grass height at any one mowing. Cutting off more than one-third at a time can stop roots from growing and require frequent watering during dry summers to keep the grass alive. In addition, the one-third rule produces smaller clippings that disappear quickly by filtering down to the soil surface.
  • Cut your grass with a sharp blade. Sharp blades cut the grass cleanly and that helps ensure rapid healing and regrowth. Dull blades tear and bruise the grass. The wounded grass becomes weakened and is less able to prevent invading weeds and recover from disease.

Grasscycling improves lawn quality when grass clippings are allowed to decay naturally on the lawn.

  • They are returning nitrogen and nutrients to your soil.
  • Since the clippings are 80 – 85 percent water, they act as a water-saving mulch.
  • They encourage natural soil aeration by earthworms.
  • Your mowing time is reduced because there’s no nee to bag your clippings.

Thanks to Kathryn Grace for the idea for this week’s Green Tip.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

CNN Health
CNN special on Toxic America – Is enough being done to protect us from chemicals that could harm us? Watch “Toxic America,” a special two-night investigative report with Sanjay Gupta M.D., June 2 & 3 2010 at 8 p.m. ET on CNN

Wednesday night highlights “Toxic Towns” and will delve into the environmental health and justice problems plaguing the community of Mossville, Louisiana. Mossville is not an isolated example, but instead a poster child for a broken chemical safety system.

Thursday night highlights the “Toxic Childhood” and features Healthy Child founders, Jim and Nancy Chuda; Scientific Advisor, Dr. Phil Landrigan; and our “A Wake-Up Story” video. This second part of the series reveals the effect toxics have on unborn babies.

Take Action to help prevent these tragedies by emailing your members of Congress and asking them to support a strong Safe Chemicals Act.

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.

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  1. graceonline’s avatar

    Perfect timing to get the word out about grasscycling, one of the most economical green-savers I know! Thank you so much for the mention.

  2. graceonline’s avatar

    Followup: Every spring I run a little post about grasscycling. I posted it a couple of weeks ago, and you can find it here: http://buildingordinary.blogspot.com/2010/06/water-wednesday-3-ways-to-lush-lawn.html.

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