Grass cycling - Mulching

Grass cycling, or mulch-mowing, means leaving clippings on the lawn to feed the soil. Grass cycling saves you time (no more bagging clippings and dragging them to the curb!), saves waste, and makes your lawn greener and healthier.

You can grass cycle with a conventional power lawn mower, but when it's time to shop for a new mower, it might make sense to buy a "mulching" lawn mower. The best mulch-mowers can blow the finely chopped clippings down into your lawn where they disappear from sight, decompose and fertilize the lawn quickly, and won't be tracked into the house.

The best mulchers will leave a clean lawn year-round, as long as you mow every five to seven days during the spring and slow down in overgrown patches. But if your lawn often gets away from you in the spring, you may want to add a bagging kit, or just plan on raking a few times in the spring.

This guide will help you find a grass cycling mower that's right for you. 

  • Mow when the grass is dry, to avoid clumping.
  • Set cutting height up to 2" to 2.5" to hide clippings better, and make a healthier lawn.
  • Remove only one-third of grass length, or 1 inch maximum, per mowing.
  • If the grass is very overgrown, mow twice: first at a high setting, then lower.
  • Mow every five to seven days in the spring. (Every two weeks may be enough in the summer.) You'll still save time over bagging and dragging clippings to the curb.
  • Water and fertilize less. Remember, every time you Grass cycle, you add free fertilizer to your lawn.
  • Don't allow lawn to build up too much thatch - If there is excessive thatch build up streaking and poor cut quality may result - De thatch lawn and scarify root system at least once a year
  • Sharpen mower blades twice a year.