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Get into Grass Cycling

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

Relax. Grass cycling is not a cardio-intensive activity and you won't need to wear a safety helmet. Grass cycling is the process of leaving your clippings on your lawn when you mow, allowing precious nutrients to recycle back into the soil. If you do it right, grass cycling can reduce both your mowing time and your lawn's need for fertilizer.

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It’s an old, erroneous belief that leaving your mulched clippings on the lawn only builds up thatch and blocks nutrients from the roots on up -- as well as blocking water from seeping down into the soils. The truth is, clippings encourage the natural aeration of soils and thatch by earthworms, and help hold precious moisture on your lawn during the hotter days of summer.

How to Recycle Your Lawn Properly, Efficiently

Grass cycling should be done when you mow, and you should only mow when your lawn is dry. Keep your lawnmower blades sharp, and never slice off more than 1/3 of the grass blades.

A hundred foot by forty foot lawn can yield as many as fifty bags of mulch a year. That's a lot of time you'd spend working the lawn, raking up clippings, and paying to have them hauled away (trash bags, garbage service, dump fees).

If you use a self-mulching lawnmower, so much the better. If not, just remove the grass catcher from your regular mower. Plus, you can always mow across your spent grass clippings if you've let the lawn grow too high. Either way, it saves bagging and hauling. Grass cycling can also lead to lowered costs for water, fertilizer, trash collection -- and less physical effort on your part. And you don't need to buy fancy athletic wear!

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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