The latest concept in organic landscaping, grasscycling is letting the clippings fall where they’re cut. At one time, thatching was considered the bane of the healthy green lawn. And it’s true that if the grass is cut too short and the grass clippings are too long, the clippings will clump, turn brown and ruin the look of the lawn. But for a properly cared-for lawn that’s never cut more than a third of the length of the grass blade, the best place for the clippings is back on the lawn where it was cut.

The cut clippings protect the soil from insects, preserve the balance of moisture on the roots and return valuable nutrients to the soil.

Never cut more than a 1/3 of the length of the grass blade during mowing. More than that damages the growing grass plant. Another reason to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the blade: small clippings sift down to the base of the grass plants and decompose more quickly.

Avoid mowing when your lawn is wet.

A sharp mower blade minimizes damage to the grass plant, while a dull blade shreds the blades of grass.

Aerate your lawn each fall to enhance root growth and improve the movement of water and other nutrients through the root structure.

If your clippings get too long to grasscycle, you can still compost them. Grass clippings are an excellent source of green nitrogen and help balance the leafy composition of a compost pile. The clippings can also be mixed with leaves to make a well-balanced mulch for your flower or vegetable garden.