To make your lawn look attractive and healthy, it is important to increase the organic matter of your lawn soil. With the right amount of organic matter, the soil’s capacity to hold water and nutrients increases. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around 50% of the total landfill waste consists of yard waste that can be recycled and used as compost. Making use of these organic wastes not only feeds the soil and improves its quality, but also is an environment- friendly approach.
Full of nutrients, yard grass, and leaves are essential for soil rejuvenation and can be used by homeowners without coughing up a single penny. These natural yard wastes make a great alternative to fertilizers and come with a number of benefits. Let’s check them out.
Reduces Landfill Wastes
There are areas where yard wastes are not allowed in landfills. For such areas, recycling of leaves and grass is undoubtedly a great idea. So, if you are not permitted to put your organic wastes in landfills, worry not. Use those wastes as composts and reuse them to improve the quality of your lawn soil. This is also a great way to reduce the difficulty and expense of finding an alternative disposal site.
Improves Quality of the Soil
In temperate regions, over 2 tons of leaves are deposited each autumn. The organisms in the soil break down these littering leaves and dried grass to return the nutrients back to the soil. Apart from enriching the soil, the recycling process also enhances the water holding capacity of the soil and reduces the chances of plant diseases. Littering leaves and plant residues encourage the production of good bacteria and fungi in the soil, thus creating humus, a nitrogen-rich material in the soil.
Reduces the Use of Chemical Fertilizers
With leaves and dry grass littering around your lawn or garden, you hardly need chemical fertilizers to feed the soil. The natural bacteria and fungi present in the soil break these plant residues and turn them into nutrient-rich humus. Reducing the fertilizer usage not only saves you money but also lowers your carbon footprint.
Creates a Garden Ecosystem
Apart from friendly bacteria and fungi, many other creatures like squirrels, toads, turtles, insects, etc. love littered leaves. These organic yard residues provide habitat to many small mammals as well. So, if you want to create a small wildlife garden in your backyard, the recycling of plant residues is truly a great idea.
Recycling of grass and leaves can conserve landfill spaces while reducing economic and environmental impacts. There are plenty of ways to recycle these plant remnants. Some of the common ways to recycle the leaves are as follows:
Mowing– Mowing not only helps to maintain the height of your grass but also to recycle the littered leaves. If the thickness of the residual leaves is less than one inch, let them dry out. Once done, mow them with a lawnmower. This technique is very effective as it allows small leaf particles to decompose quickly without hurting the underneath grassroots.
Mulching– Mulching is yet another effective way to recycle the leaves. With this technique, you can keep the soil cooler during summer. It shields the soil and protects it from moisture loss. During winters, mulches act as insulators and reduce the effects of fluctuating temperature. Mulching your plants and grass with mulches also keeps weeds at bay and suppresses the spread of plant diseases.
There are still many ways to recycle the plant residues to benefit your lawn or garden. However, it is very important that you consult a landscaper for better ideas. By turning the organic residues into composts or mulches, you can definitely move a step ahead towards organic living.