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FOLLOW 1/3 RULE TO AVOID GRASS CLIPPING DISPOSAL HEADACHE

 FOLLOW 1/3 RULE TO AVOID GRASS CLIPPING DISPOSAL HEADACHE
 KANSAS CITY, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Although 14 states already have passed legislation restricting the disposal of grass clippings in landfills, many communities are not waiting for state action. They're creating lawn waste ordinances now to relieve pressure on landfills. As a result, homeowners are finding it more difficult or expensive to get rid of grass clippings. Luckily, making just one adjustment in mowing technique can take care of the problem and improve the health of a lawn at the same time.
 "Homeowners should follow the 1/3 rule and mow often enough to remove only one-third of the grass blade," said Master Gardener Bob Tracinski, consumer information manager for John Deere, a leading manufacturer of mowing equipment. The short clippings produced can be left on the lawn to decompose and return nutrients to the soil without promoting thatch. "Studies show that grass clippings don't add to thatch, because thatch is mostly dead grass roots caused partly by mowing the grass too short," Tracinski said.
 Improved lawn health is a benefit of cutting only 1/3 of the grass blade. Tracinski explained: "Most grass roots grow about as deep as the blades grow high. Removing more than one-third of the grass blade in any one mowing causes some of the roots to die back, creating a shallow root system." A deep root system is desirable because it allows the lawn to find water and soil nutrients more easily, which is especially important during hot weather. And a deeper, stronger root system provides a thicker, healthier lawn that can compete more successfully with weeds, and better withstand pests and diseases.
 Every variety of grass has a best mowing height. In general, cool- season grasses are cut at 2 to 3 inches; warm-season grasses are cut at 1 to 2 inches (except St. Augustine -- 3 inches). "Mow on the high side of the recommended range of cutting heights, and mow often enough to cut only 1/3 of the grass blade," Tracinski said.
 -0- 2/21/92
 /CONTACT: Julie K. Deyoung of Fleishman-Hillard, 816-474/9407, or fax, 816-474-9456, for Deere/ CO: John Deere ST: Missouri IN: SU:


KD -- NYFNS1 -- 1220 02/21/92 07:30 EST
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Date:Feb 21, 1992
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