Tips for Successful Grasscycling
Many people treat their lawns like a "crop:" they (over) water and (over) fertilize their lawns to encourage excessive growth. The "harvested crop" (grass clippings) is then bagged and disposed. Proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing practices result in more moderate turf growth, yet still produce a healthy, green lawn.
Grasscycling can be practiced on any healthy lawn as long as the following turf management guidelines are followed:
Use Mower with a mulching system. Friendly Robotics RoboMower® was designed specifically for mulching, it has a well-designed mulching deck and blades designed to lift up the grass and keep it suspended for repeated cutting (up to 10 times) before allowing it to fall back down to the ground as a natural fertilizer. It cuts grass into smaller clippings — for faster decomposition into the soil — and then moves them down as rapidly as possible.
One of the most important keys to Grasscycling is to mow more and cut less. Most lawn jockeys favor mowing once every week, usually on an otherwise quiet Saturday. With grasscycling, lawns are mowed when the grass needs cutting, rather than sticking to an artificially imposed schedule. With Friendly Robotics RoboMower® it’s easy as RoboMower® does all the work itself, schedule your RoboMower® to automatically depart from the Charging Station whenever you like and as often as you like. During the active growing season the mowing frequency should be increased to once every 5 days, before the grass is too long. If the grass is long, cut off short amounts in several mowing rather than all at once. More frequent and proper cutting will also yield smaller grass clippings, which can readily filter down to the soil surface and decompose within days.
Follow the "1/3 rule:" mow the lawn often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blade is removed in any one mowing. Proper mowing will produce short clippings that will not cover up the grass surface. You may have to cut the lawn more frequently, or double cut, when the lawn is growing fast, such as in the spring.
Any time the lawn is mowed, the plant's ability to photosynthesize and to produce carbohydrates essential for root growth is decreased. To maximize photosynthesis and reduce turf stress, remove no more than one-third of the leaf at one time. If more than one-third of the leaf area is removed, root growth is temporarily slowed by the plant's inability to produce sufficient carbohydrates. If the lawn has been severely cut, the plant uses stored carbohydrates to produce new leaf growth. If the lawn is repeatedly cut too short, carbohydrate reserves will be depleted, weakening roots and predisposing the grass to weeds, diseases, insects, and drought injury.
Two common mowing mistakes are:
Many people mow their lawns too short
It's a bad habit, one that promotes all kinds of problems, from excessive weed growth to pest and disease problems to rapid browning during periods of drought. Taller grasses produce healthier root systems and require less water because the longer-leaf blades serve as shade from the sun. A grass's root system grows about as deep as the leaf blades are tall.
Letting the grass grow too tall before it is mowed
Don't wait until the grass is too high before mowing because the very act of mowing creates considerable stress on the grass, and it may take days for the grass to recover from the shock. If the grass gets too high, raise the cutting height, mow, then gradually lower it over several mowings. This will also reduce shock to the plants from cutting too much at once. When cutting more than third of the grass height, let RoboMower® to run for more time than normally used to mow over the clippings a few times. This will further shred the clippings.
When to mow?
Mow your lawn when the grass is dry. You have probably already noticed that wet grass cuts poorly. Damp clippings will cling to the blade causing ragged cuts; the mower deck (the blade housing) will become clogged, interfering with overall mowing; grass clippings will form unsightly clumps; and clippings won’t be able to filter down to the soil surface. Mow your lawn late in the day rather than during the heat of the day. It's far less stressful on the grass. This will prevent the newly cut grass from burning as well as give the clippings a chance to settle overnight.
Vary the mowing direction. Grass tends to grow in the direction it is mowed. To prevent your lawn from appearing to lean one way or the other, vary your mowing direction each time you mow. This will keep your grass looking straighter. Friendly Robotics RoboMower® doing sets of triangles in different directions so every point in the lawn is mowed few times from different directions.
Keep your mower blades sharp. Sharp blades provide a clean, safe and efficient cut. Dull mower blades will tear and shred the tips of the grass, which can provide an entry point for disease organisms and weaken the grass plant. If your lawn looks dull after mowing, or perhaps turns straw-brown a day or two later, your mower blade is likely dull and causing damage.