The Ewing Green Team invites all Ewing residents to join our campaign for a greener Ewing through grasscycling. Grasscycling is the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing. Figures show that grass disposal may account for 10-20% of New Jersey’s municipal solid waste stream. With the high cost of waste disposal and limited space in landfills; we can no longer afford to dispose of grass clippings in the household trash and at the same time waste a critical natural resource. The simple solution is actually the best solution. Grow a healthy lawn just by leaving grass clippings as you mow your lawn. It’s simple, easy, saves time, money and energy.
When you leave your grass clippings on your lawn to decompose; it acts as a natural organic fertilizer supplying half of the nitrogen your lawn needs to thrive. Clippings, which are 80% water, settle between the blades of grass where they shelter the roots from the sun – conserving moisture. They also cool the roots and block weed growth. Your lawn will remain healthy and green because each time you mow; you will return valuable nutrients to the soil and ultimately need to water less frequently.
Grasscycling begins with proper mowing
To maintain your lawn properly, mow high and mow often, so that you never take off more than 1/3 of the length of the grass. This will result in an attractive, neatly trimmed lawn. Keep grass mowed to 2” in early spring, gradually raise the height to 3-4” by summer, then gradually reduce to 2” by late fall.
You don’t have to go out to buy a new mower. While most new mowers are mulching mowers; you can attach mulching equipment to your existing mower. Just remove the grass catcher. Ask your lawn mower dealer if you need a special safety plug or adapter kit to convert your mower into a ‘recycling’ mower; installing a mulching blade also is helpful.
There are times when grasscycling does not work. Prolonged wet weather, mower breakdowns, or infrequent mowing are situations where the large number of grass clippings should probably be collected. Add those clippings to your compost pile or use them as mulch around trees, flower beds, and shrubs. The addition of this organic matter will ultimately improve your soil; sandy soils will retain more water and heavy clay soils will become more productive.
So Why Grasscycle?
So grasscycle for a healthy green lawn; to save a lot of green; and to be environmentally green. Take advantage of the beneficial organic matter it adds to the soil making it greener and healthier, crowding out weeds and reducing the need for fertilizer. Save time and effort by eliminating the bagging, raking and disposing of grass clippings. And finally, help the environment by reducing water and fertilizer requirements and reducing toxic runoff entering storm drains and polluting creeks and rivers. It’s the ‘green’ thing to do.