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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Grasscycling — what to do with the grass clippings

If you mow your lawn at the right frequency, cut at the proper height for your species, and remove no more than one-third of the leaf blade each time you mow, you can let your grass clippings remain on the lawn. Grasscycling, as this process is called, may also be done with a recycling (mulching) mower, which cuts the clippings into small pieces and returns them to the lawn where they decompose quickly, return nutrients to the lawn, and save costs for bagging, removal, and landfill operations.

Grasscycling will only be beneficial if you are removing small clippings at a time, so proper mowing and equipment is essential. Grasscycling may slightly increase thatch buildup, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages in most situations. Grasscycling should not be done when the grass is too wet or when it has not been regularly mowed and is too tall. This could lead to excessive build up of thatch.

Photo of a mulching mower
Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Photo of 2 mulching blades

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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