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Grasscycling Close up photo of grass

What is grass cycling?

Grass cycling, also called mulching, is simply leaving the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing. The clippings quickly dry out, decompose and disappear, recycling nutrients back into the soil and your lawn.

Why should I grass cycle?

Grass cycling is good for your lawn because:

  • each clipped blade acts like a slow-release fertilizer, releasing valuable nutrients to the soil beneath the lawn
  • it provides almost all of the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium required by a lawn if it is already healthy
  • it reduces work because you don't have to rake or bag the clippings
  • it saves on the cost of paper yard waste bags
  • it benefits the environment because grass clippings are recycled naturally and don't take up precious landfill space
  • every time you throw away one bag of grass clippings, you are throwing away about 1/4 pound of fertilizer
How do I grass cycle?
  • You can use almost any mower (push, gas or electric). There are special mulching mowers that produce finer, less noticeable clippings. Kits are also available to convert most rotary mowers to mulching mowers.
  • Remove the collection bag from the mower.
  • Keep the lawn mower blades sharp.
  • Cut when the grass is dry.
  • Cut the grass when it is about 2-1/2 to 3 inches tall. Cut no more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade (or just under 1 inch).
Will grass cycling produce a healthy looking lawn?

Together with a good lawn care program, grass cycling can produce a green, healthy looking lawn. A good lawn care program includes:

  • a good raking of the lawn in the spring to remove dead grass and thatch
  • aerating the lawn periodically to allow nutrients, air and water to reach the grass roots
  • deep waterings of the lawn in the early morning or in the evening once or twice a week, which is more effective and wastes less water than many light surface waterings

Additional information

  • View our related composting information.
  • For more detailed information, contact Green Action Centre.
  • Loose or bagged yard waste, including leaves and branches less than 100 millimetres (4 inches) in diameter, can be dropped off year-round at Brady Road Resource Management Facility (Brady Road Landfill). Tipping fees will not apply. However, should any load contain other materials, then fees will be applied on the entire load. Please use lane one when entering the landfill and staff will direct you to the leaf it with us yard waste compost drop off area across the road from the scale.
  • Information is also available by contacting 311.
Last updated: June 24, 2019

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