Set your lawn blade to its highest setting. A high cut (3”) encourages deeper roots. Increasing the grass height only 1/8 inch results in about 300 square feet more of leaf surface for each 100 square feet of lawn. More leaf surface enables grass to generate more energy for healthy growth, especially of roots. Taller grass shades out weeds, limits moisture evaporation from soil and harbors beneficial insects which control pests. Cut the lawn often enough so that you remove no more than 1/3 of the blade at one time. This means more frequent mowings in the spring, fewer in the heat of summer.
Leave your grass clippings as you mow. Clippings provide nutrition for your lawn. They are comprised of water, organic matter, nitrogen, and a small amount of phosphorous – all things your grass needs. Because clippings supply up to 50% of a lawn’s nitrogen needs over the season, you will not need as much fertilizer. Clippings from regular mowings will NOT cause thatch build up and will not hurt the grass.
Do not dump yard waste (clippings, branches or leaves) in the street where it can wash into storm drains, or in parks, along streams, or piled at the base of trees (and, as the Township Roadmaster notes, do not dump into any township outfalls: discharge storm water pipes).
Source: Penn State Cooperative Extension; compiled by Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association
KEEP OUR CREEKS CLEAN!
Yard Maintenance Can Impact Water Quality
Lawn care, landscaping, and pest control practices are major contributors to storm water pollution. Rain flows across yards, rooftops, paved areas, and picks up dirt, leaves, grass clippings, garden chemicals, and anything else in its path. Then this polluted water flows directly into the storm drain system.
utrients and other chemicals from yard waste can cause excessive algae growth and toxin production. Algae can rob the organisms that live in our streams from the oxygen they need to survive, not to mention killing fish along the way. You can make a difference!
Mow your lawn so no more than one-third of the length of the grass is removed.
Leave the grass blades on the lawn or compost.
Sweep grass on all paved areas back on the lawn.
Only spot treat for weeds or not at all.
Compost yard waste or participate in municipal collection or drop-off.
Do not over water. Excessive runoff wastes both water and chemicals you may have added to your yard.
Direct downspouts to a depressed area or a garden bed so the water soaks into your yard instead of rushing out to the street.