Recycle Yard Waste

Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings are recycled rather than thrown away. By recycling yard debris, we gain free mulch and return valuable nutrients to the soil. Turn plant and kitchen scraps into rich soil for your indoor and outdoor plants.  

Making Use of Fallen Leaves

Deciduous trees provide cooling shade through the summer and let sunlight warm your home in the winter. But if you have large trees adorning your property, you may consider yourself cursed in the fall, when all those leaves need to be raked and carted away. This year, try a different strategy. Instead of turning leaves into garbage, turn them into beneficial compost for next year’s flower and vegetable beds. A compost pile need not take up a large area. Nor does a properly maintained compost pile produce offensive odors.

Mulch the leaves directly into the turf.   Using a mulching mower is best, but most rotary mowers will do.  See publication 430-521 below for best practices.  And always remember safety first by removing rocks or sticks prior to making a pass. 

Spotlight: Recycling Leaves Video from Carolina Yards

My Backyard measures for scorecard:

  • Mulch leaves with mower into turf or garden beds.  Credit = 3 inches.
  • Create and maintain a compost pile with kitchen scraps and yard waste. No animal products please. Credit = 2 inches
  • Create worm compost by using the digestive power of worms to recycle kitchen scraps and organic material. Credit = 2 inches
  • Use your composted materials in your yard. Credit = 2 inches
  • Use appropriate bags to contribute lawn clippings (if you don’t use them) to local composting efforts. Place bags outside of ditches and away from storm drains. Credit = 2 inches

Resources:

VCE Publication 430-521: “Leave” them alone: Leaf Management

VCE Publication 452-231: What is Compost and What’s it to YOU

VCE Publication 426-703: Making Compost from Yard Waste

VCE Publication Hort 49: Backyard Composting

VCE Publication 430-402: Mowing to Recycle Grass Clippings