Don’t Bag It! Program

Most people like a beautiful lawn but often use more fertilizer and water than needed, causing more mowing, more bagging of grass clippings, and higher water bills. As a result, during the spring and summer, residential solid waste increases due to grass clippings. With the Don’t Bag It! program, clippings are left on the lawn and allowed to work their way back into the soil and produce a beautiful, green lawn. Grass clippings usually contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, as well as all the necessary minor elements that plants need.

Mowing Plan

Remove no more than one-third of the grass blade surface at any time. With this mowing schedule, grass clippings will not contribute to thatch.

Watering Plan

During the driest part of the summer, lawns require about one inch of water every five to six days. Most sprinklers apply 1/4 to 1/3 inch of water per hour. If the water runs off of the lawn before one-inch is applied, turn off the sprinkler, let water soak in, then continue watering. Too much watering develops shallow root systems, which may make the lawn more susceptible to grub damage. Early morning watering is best.

Fertilizing Plan

The fertilizing plan is designed to allow the lawn to grow at a moderate rate, with good color. Use organic fertilizers whenever possible, and for slow, even growth, use a fertilizer containing either sulfur-coated urea or urea formaldehyde as a nitrogen source rather than soluble forms.

Information provided by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, (972) 904-3050 and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Don’t Bag It! Benefits

  • Makes turf greener and tougher
  • Prevents common turf diseases
  • Reduces lawn fertilizer requirements
  • Does not cause thatch; in fact, helps prevent it
  • Reduces total time spent mowing and maintaining your lawn
  • Cuts down on watering needs and costs
  • Eliminates disposal of grass clippings (and sometimes leaves too)

Recommended Mowing Heights

Type of GrassWhen to CutHeight to Set Cutting
Centipede1½ to 2 inches1 to 1½ inches
Common Bermuda1½ to 3 inches1 to 2 inches
Hybrid Bermuda3/4 to 2¼ inches½ to 1½ inches
Tall Fescue3 to 4½ inches2 to 3 inches
St. Augustine3 to 4½ inches2 to 3 inches
Zoysia3 to 2¼ inches½ to 1½ inches