Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
Can I recycle garden waste without composting?
Rate This FAQ
Most garden waste is useful without composting it. Think of it as precomposting. Using garden waste can reduce the flow of green material sent to the landfills, improve the soil and increase the health of most plants. Here are some ideas to try before sending yard waste to the dump or the compost bin.
* Grass-cycling. The easiest way to reduce yard waste is to leave the grass clippings on the grass and not bag them. It is a great way to return nutrients and organic material to the soil. It reduces the water requirements of the lawn and cuts mowing time significantly. Grass-cycling does not increase the thatch layer and can be beneficial to the soil.
* Use grass clippings as a mulch. Save grass clippings for your vegetable or flower garden. Later, the clippings can be worked into the soil, which improves tilth and workability. However, they should be dried before being used as a mulch. Do not pile wet, fresh clippings more than an inch deep at a time or they will turn into a stinky, sticky mess.
* Shred leaves. Shredded leaves in the fall can be used as a mulch around the trees, shrubs and perennials. By spring, the leaves decompose and add precious organic matter to the soil. Leaves can be shredded by running over them with a lawn mower. This is usually easier that raking them up, even though it makes a lousy leaf pile for jumping.
* Work leaves into growing areas. If the leaves are shredded first they are easier to rototill, but shredding is not required. Adding some nitrogen into the area will speed decomposition.
* Use evergreen needles for mulch or a soil amendment. They will acidify Utah's alkali soils while increasing the organic content. Conifer needles break down slowly but still improve the soil over the long haul.
* Shred all dead annual plants. After they are shredded, they can be worked into the garden or flower beds. The lawn mower works well for this, too. Be careful of annuals that reseed themselves, though. They can become weeds in a garden. These include marigolds, snapdragons, cosmos, calendula and alyssum.
* As a last resort, compost. The most productive method is to build a compost pile and compost all garden, yard and kitchen waste. Composting is a lot easier than most people believe and, if done correctly, has no unpleasant odor. Compost is the best soil amendment, improving the tilth, workability, drainage and nutrient holding capacity.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- When do I pick my watermelon?
- I would like to plant red seedless grapes. What time of the year and what variety work in Utah.
- This is my first year planting carrots. Should I try to germinate them indoors before planting outside? Also, is it too soon to plant them outside?
- How do I get rid of morning glory?
- I have some pumpkins that are still green (October 9th). Is there any way they will become ripe?
- You might be a gardener if...
- They sell blueberry bushes at Costco. Can they grow in Utah and if so what kind of soil prep is needed?
- I am wrapping up my garden for the year. I have been looking at adding horse manure to my garden soil to boost the organic matter in it. This year I added NutriMulch (turkey manure blend) and that worked out well, but was expensive. I'm concerned about the soil quality. I notice that it's pretty hard when in big dry clods. Would I be hurting my garden to add green horse manure now, and tilling it in? I've read a little about deficiencies in the soil because of too much horse manure, so if it's safe or even a good idea to add to a garden, how much is the right amount?