Grasscycling and Leafcycling

Practice these techniques, which provide your lawn with a natural fertilizer, free of charge, and also help it to maintain its moisture.

Grasscycling

Grass clippings are a very valuable organic material for fertilizing your lawn. Instead of throwing your grass clippings into the compost bin, why not practice grasscycling?

Grasscycling or the art of letting nature do her thing!

Grasscycling means to simply leave your grass clippings on the ground when you mow the lawn.

Grass clippings decompose quickly (2 to 3 days). Since grass is made up of 80% water, grasscycling helps retain soil moisture and protects your lawn from drought. The decaying clippings will strengthen your grass by improving the quality of the soil (micro-organism diversification).

Here are a few tips for easier grasscycling:

  • Choose a mulching blade.  Or, you can mow over the same place twice to make sure that the clippings are well shredded;
  • Keep your blade sharp, to avoid damaging the blades of grass;
  • Mow your grass to the right length:  for the first and last cut of the season, mow your lawn to 5 cm (2 in), otherwise cut it to 7.5 cm (3 in.). This encourages more vigorous and deeper routing, prevents  the spread of weeds and helps to retain soil moisture;
  • Do not cut more than one third the length of your grass, otherwise there will be too many clippings for an effective decomposition;
  • Make sure that the clippings are spread out evenly across your lawn;
  • Do not cut wet grass.  This causes clogging of the mower and is a source of blade corrosion;
  • Do not mow your lawn during a drought.  The grass enters a dormant phase and will revive with the next rainfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information:

Recyc-Québec

Nature Action : L’herbicyclage, un avantage!

 

Leafcycling

Rather than picking them up, this practice involves using autumn leaves as natural compost.

How to Leafcycle:

Mulching the leaves with your lawnmower and leaving them on the spot during the winter so, that in the spring, they will have decomposed and turned into natural fertilizer for your lawn and flower beds.

Once shredded, the leaves can be:

  • Left on the spot where they will decompose;
  • Added to the compost, to enrich it with carbon;
  • Used, alone or mixed with some other organic matter, as garden mulch;
  • Mixed in with the ground.

 

The following are a few tips to make leafcycling easier:

  • As with grasscycling, use a mulching blade (a whole leaf will take too much time to decompose, which will make leafcycling less efficient);
  • Run the lawn mower as the leaves fall;
  • Shred the leaves when they are dry;
  • Make sure that the mulched leaves are evenly spread out over your property and flower beds and do not choke the grass (grass tips should stick out from under the shredded leaves).

The surplus can be placed in your brown bin.

Why practice leafcycling?

Leafcycling is good for the environment in a multitude of ways:

  • By leaving the leaves in place, we reduce the transportation of green waste (reduction of greenhouse gases);
  • The nutrients released by the decaying leaves enrich your lawn in a natural way, as opposed to chemical fertilizers that release a concentration of nutrients that is too high.  The chemical fertilizers are not completely absorbed by plants and, consequently, find their way into our waterways and groundwater;
  • Lastly, leafcycling will save you time:  running your lawnmower, even a few times in the fall, is still less exhausting than raking all of your leaves.

For more information:

Le jardinier paresseux