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Don't bag it lawn care plan

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Compost your kitchen scraps and yard waste to reduce yard debris in the landfill and recycle valuable nutrients into the landscape.  Start your own compost bin by layering organic materials. 

Layer 1:  3 to 4 inches of organic matter, leaves or dried grass

Layer 2:  3 to 4 inches of green materials like kitchen vegetable scraps, grass clippings or green plant materials. 

 Do not add pet waste, meat scraps or fat, diseased plants or noxious weeds to your compost bin. 

Your Guide to Composting for Water Conservation 

Recycling Yard Waste: Don't Bag It, Leaf Composting

 Alternatives to bagging your lawn waste

  • Use a mulching lawn mower and leave clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings return valuable nutrients like nitrogen to the lawn which keeps grass green and reduces the need for costly fertilizers. This also keeps organic waste out of the landfill and saves you valuable time. Sweep up any clippings that fall on the driveway or street, so they don’t end up in the storm drain.
  • Rake up grass clippings and compost them. If you’ve recently used an herbicide it’s best to leave them on the lawn.
  • Leaves on the lawn? Mow over them with a mulching mower and allow them to breakdown providing organic matter to your soil or compost them and add finished compost to flowerbeds.
  • Use a local composting service to pick up your organic landscape waste.

Do clippings build up a thatch layer?

Thatch is a layer of undecomposed organic matter that can build up and create thick layer restricting water and air movement. Grass clippings left on the lawn do not cause thatch buildup when the lawn is properly maintained. Mowing at the right height and before the lawn gets too tall will help lawn clippings quickly break down and return nutrients to the soil. Thatch typically develops from overfertilization and overwatering since the lawn grows faster than it can be decomposed.

More lawn tips to help you grow your best lawn

  • Go easy on the fertilizer. Always take a soil test before fertilizing the lawn. Quick growing grass means more mowing.
  • Mow high to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blades at a time. Mowing high allows grass to act as a natural mulch retaining moisture in the soil.
  • Keep your lawn mower blade sharp to avoid damaging the grass.

Oklahoma State University: Lawn Management in Oklahoma Factsheet