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Do Not Bag Grass Clippings

This is a lawn care plan that can save a homeowner time, energy and lots of money.

The clippings you produce from mulching provide 50% of your lawns nutrient supplements. As it decomposes it produces nitrogen. Also, a thin layer of thatch holds in moisture and provides safe harbor for those ecologically friendly or beneficial insects (ground beetles, rove beetles, ants, worms).

When we build such a creative way to eliminate a habitual task we can also reduce an amount of waste placed in our local landfills.

This is a simple idea in helping a beautful lawn maintain an artistic surface for grass.

When we leave grass clippings on the lawn and allow them to work their way back into our soil, we realize these benefits and we still maintain a beautiful, green lawn.

Grass clippings contain valuable nutrients that can generate up to 25 percent of your lawn's total fertilizer needs. A hundred pounds of grass clippings can generate and recycle as much as three to four pounds of nitrogen, one-half to one pound of phosphorus, and two to three pounds of potassium back to the lawn. These are the three most important nutrients needed by lawns and commonly supplied in lawn fertilizers.

The other good news is that grass clippings do not contribute to thatch (an organic debris layer between the soil and live grass) since grass clippings are 75-85 percent water and decompose readily.

So why do many homeowners bag grass clippings? It is mostly a personal preference and a habit most homeowners have developed. Another reason is that bagging grass makes it possible that no clippings remain on the lawn to take away lawn quality and aesthetics.

Proper lawn care practices will usually eliminate surface clipping debris and ensure a successful Do Not Bag Grass Clipping program.

Information we've published comes from Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.





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