"Don't Bag It" Lawn Care Plan
To help save valuable space in our city landfill, Grand Prairie does not pick up grass clippings from your curb or alley. Between March and September, the volume of residential solid waste increases 20-50 percent because of grass clippings.
By leaving your clippings on the lawn after you mow and allowing them to work back into the soil, you can have a naturally beautiful lawn. Grass clippings also make excellent compost for gardens.
Doing less to your lawn can improve the health of your grass. Here are eight easy steps to an easy lawn improvement program:
- Mow Less – Longer blades of grass allow the lawn to take in more sunlight and crowd out weeds.
- Stop Raking – If you cut off just a third of the blade, you can leave the clippings as free fertilizer.
- Stop Dethatching Too – Only dethatch on lawns that have been over fertilized. Thatch, a buildup of roots and leaves just above the soil, isn't a problem.
- Fertilize Less – Generally, researchers say, most grasses do just fine with a total of three pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in at least three carefully timed treatments over a season.
- Spray Less Herbicide – Healthy grass should crowd out weeds.
- Spray Less Insecticide – If you have bug problems, diagnose first. Call your extension agent if you need help identifying what bug is eating your grass.
- Water Less – A typical lawn can soak up 10,000 gallons of water a summer, which can increase your water bill by 50 percent. One solution: Wean your lawn from water. Wait until a footprint doesn't spring back, then water as little as 1/4 inch a week just to keep the roots alive. If it's very dry, protect your lawn by cutting down on traffic.
- Accept Imperfection – If the site gets fewer than four hours of sun or is otherwise unsuited for grass, try another ground cover.