ADVISORY: Yard Waste
The City is experiencing more than double the volume in yard waste that is normal for this time of year and that curbside yard waste collection will continue today. Please do not set out any additional yard waste if your area has already been serviced. Please understand that the excess amounts of yard waste and trash are putting a strain on already heavy collection due to the number of people at home, right now.
Yard waste is the organic waste generated by yard and lawn care and includes leaves, grass trimmings, brush, wood chips, and shrub and tree trimmings.
Yard waste does not include stumps, whole trees, large branches or limbs or clean-up from storm damage. Removal of trees that are trimmed or cut down by landscapers or tree services are the responsibility of the resident or property owner and will not be collected by the City.
Yard Waste in plastic bags or City carts and bins will not be collected.
For more information: Call the Trashline on (703) 257-8252
MYTH: If you cut your grass very short, you will not have to mow as often.
If you give your lawn a super-short haircut, you’re actually injuring it. Short blades of grass plants have a hard time producing the nutrients the plants need to survive. They can’t shade the soil properly, which leads to increased evaporation and eventually to brown patches of dead grass. Cutting the grass too short also makes your lawn vulnerable to opportunistic weeds.
The rule of thumb for mowing is to never cut off more than one-third of a blade of grass. Therefore, set your mower to 3 ½ inches when your grass is 5 inches long. You’ll definitely need to mow more frequently in the growing season, but your healthy lawn will resist weeds, tolerate drought, and look terrific.
Grasscycling is simply leaving grass clippings on your lawn so that the nutrients will be returned to the soil when the clippings decompose. The grass is organic matter that recycles back into the turf as part of a natural process. The nutrients in the grass “feed” the soil and encourage the growth of beneficial organisms – including earthworms, which are extremely valuable to the health of lawns and gardens. In addition to being lush and beautiful, healthy lawns are resistant to insects and disease.
During the growing season, a lawn of 1,000 square feet can produce as much as 200 to 500 pounds of clippings!
In the City of Manassas, we collect over 2,000 tons of yard waste in a year.
Grass clippings break down in anywhere from seven to 14 days. During this process, moisture and nutrients are re-released back to the soil. The clippings actually perform the role of a top-dressing fertilizer. All the beneficial microbes in the soil flourish because of the nutrient-rich cycle of decomposition. The soil structure is improved and root growth is optimized, thus leading to a healthy lawn. This in turn can keep your lawn green and resilient through a dry summer, while also encouraging a better lawn in the fall.
For best results, follow good mowing practices and mow the lawn frequently enough so that no more than one-third of the length of grass is removed in any one mowing. Your mower blades should always be sharp and the grass should ideally be cut when the surface is dry.
If there are times when the grass has grown too much or too quickly, then rake the clippings and spread the excess clippings around vegetables or flowers. This will help inhibit weed growth while also retaining moisture. You might also want to add extra clippings to your compost pile, but keep in mind that the composting pile should never contain more than one-third of grass clippings.
So … relax and grasscycle!