If you take pride in your lawn, and want it to be as healthy as possible, we’ve got a great tip for you. You may not realize it, but using a grass catcher on your lawn mower is an extra step that adds time to your mowing and is completely unnecessary. Furthermore, you might actually be harming your grass unintentionally!
Leaving grass clippings on the lawn as you mow provides your grass with a natural “nutrient boost”, as the clippings break down and are absorbed by the soil. There’s even a name for the practice –it’s called “grasscycling”!
3 Reasons to Grasscycle
So what do the experts have to say about the great grass clipping debate? Here, based on the opinions of those who know lawns inside and out, are 3 good reasons to ditch the grass catcher bag on your lawn mower:
- Those “messy” grass clippings actually feed your lawn for you. Of course, if you’re not mowing your lawn to the right height and following a proper mowing schedule, you’ll probably end up with clumps of grass clippings that could smother your grass and encourage fungal diseases. The solution? Mow on the right schedule and to the right height, with a nice sharp mower blade, and leave those grass clippings where they fall!
- Leaving the clippings on the lawn means you’re working efficiently by saving yourself the time and hassle of emptying the mower bag every 5-10 minutes, breaking the momentum of the job and nearly doubling your mowing time and effort. Plus, carting bags of lawn clippings to the curb is no fun!
- Leaving grass clippings on your lawn does not cause a thatch problem. That’s a popular myth that causes many homeowners to do more work than need be! As long as you mow regularly to avoid overly-long grass that leaves clumps, and at the right height for your type of grass, your grass clippings will break down and quickly disappear! This is how lawn care professionals take advantage of the nutrients in grass clippings when caring for their own and their clients’ lawns!
Good Practice Mowing Tips
So that’s it? Just leave the clippings there and forget about it? Well, not exactly. Here are some guidelines you’ll need to follow:
- Always keep your mower blade sharp. A dull mower blade isn’t going to do you any good and is likely going to cause more problems down the road.
- You should never mow more than ⅓ the height of the grass at a time. If your grass has gotten too long to mow at the blade height you normally use, raise the blade on your mower and do a “double mow.”
- Mow the lawn again a few days later at the regular height. If you mow too much off at once, you can damage your grass and it could dry out and turn brown.