Did you know that grass clippings and tree leaves are considered
a source of pollution when washed directly into storm drains?
Any material swept or blown into neighborhood streets and curb
inlets along our city streets enter storm drains. The storm drains
carry that waste material to one of our creeks here in Arlington.
Too many grass clippings and leaves cloud the water and block the
sunlight that is essential to aquatic life. And, as they decompose,
can lower the oxygen content of the water which can also harm fish
and other living things.
FEED YOUR LANDSCAPE... NOT THE LANDFILL
An estimated 20% of waste generated by Texans comes from grass
clippings, tree leaves and other landscape wastes. Bagging these
materials and placing them into the curbside garbage collection
system uses valuable landfill space, removes nutrients from the
environment, and costs cities and the people of Texas more in
increased taxes and service fees.
leaves represent a valuable natural resource that can be used to
provide a good source of organic matter and nutrients for use in a
landscape. Leaves contain 50-80% of the nutrients a plant extracts
from the soil and air during the growing season.
In forests, pastures, and other natural settings, tree leaves and
other organic wastes form a natural carpet over the soil surface
which conserves moisture, moderates temperatures, and prevents soil
erosion and crusting. In time, bacteria, fungi, and other natural
occurring organisms, supply the existing soil with a natural, slow
release form of nutrients.
Compost is a dark, crumbly and earthy - smelling form of organic
matter that has gone through a natural decomposition process.
light covering of leaves can be mowed without the catch-bag, leaving
shredded leaves in place on the lawn. This technique is most
effective when a mulching mower is used. During times of light leaf
drop, or if there are only a few small trees in your landscape, this
technique is the most efficient and easiest way to manage leaf
Mulching is a simple and effective way to recycle leaves and
improve your landscape. As organic mulch decomposes, valuable
nutrients are released for use by landscape plants.
Leaves can be used as mulch in vegetable gardens, flowerbeds, and
around shrubs and trees. As an option to raking, a lawnmower, with
the catch-bag, provides a fast and easy way to shred and collect the
leaves. Leaves that have been mowed or run through a shredder, will
decompose faster and are more likely to remain in place than
Around the base of trees and shrubs apply a 3-6 inch layer of
In annual or perennial flowerbeds apply a 2-3 inch mulch of
For vegetable gardens a thick layer of leaves between the rows
functions as a mulch and as an all-weather walkway.
Leaves may be collected and worked directly into garden and
flowerbed soils. A 6-8 inch layer of leaves tilled into a heavy,
clay soil will improve aeration and drainage. The same amount tilled
into a light, sandy soil will improve water and nutrient holding
capacity. In vegetable gardens and annual planting beds, collect and
work leaves into the soil during the Fall. This allows sufficient
time for the leaves to decompose prior to Spring planting.