Recycling is a perfect way to take care of garden debris especially those considered as waste (weeds that have just been uprooted, piled up leaves, fallen twigs, small branches and even grass clippings). Yard composting is the best by far. In fact, the best way to go about recycling garden debris is by yard composting. This process simply involves designating a small area of the garden (preferably behind the house next to the fence) as the recycling area.
In case you opt for yard composting, it is very important to make a point of ensuring that the location is secluded. Apart from this ensure that the compost is not too high above the ground level. This is very important as a reasonable height serves as a guarantee for free flow of air hence the garden debris will decompose faster. Animals such as snakes, bugs, and even rats will be deterred as a result of this. In the end, you will have free mulch and fertilizer materials free of chemicals for application on your garden to apply during the non-gardening season and to control weeds respectively.
Importance of recycling garden wastes
Most of the routine maintenance processes that are carried out in the garden such as lawn mowing, pruning and other plant care activities are responsible for the garden debris which piled up over time in the yard. Composting as already described is a perfect way to take care of such debris. Why is it so important? Here is why:
- Nutrients are recycled back into the yard plus landfill space is saved.
- The overall size of garden waste is significantly reduced in volume.
- The resulting compost is most suitable for garden use, especially in food gardens.
- The compost is able to serve you as mulch or even as a soil amendment.
- The resultant organic matter will improve soil aeration and drainage as well.
- Recycling of garden debris also speeds up the activities of soil microorganisms important for the growth of plant matter on the surface.
Requirements/conditions necessary for effective recycling of garden debris
The breaking down of yard waste is a biological process that mostly depends on the activity of microorganisms. Just like all other living things this microbe works best under certain favorable conditions. These include: –
- Temperature: – Microbes operate normally between 70 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The breakdown of garden debris is slow under low temperatures. However, under high temperatures of 120 and above their activities quicken. You should therefore closely monitor temperatures while carrying out the process of recycling garden debris.
- Oxygen and moisture: – These two factors are very essential and support microbial activity. It is very important to add moisture regularly to maintain the process of composting. The failure to do so means that part of the materials dry out and organisms might end up dying. The opposite is expected for a moisturized compost heap (microbes will multiply and the process will move much faster).
- Nutrients: – The microbes involved in breaking down plant matter also require food (nitrogen in particular). Take note that green plant matters have a high percentage of nitrogen. You should therefore mix green plant matter in the compost heap so that nitrogen is well balanced.
A properly mixed and well-maintained compost heap for recycling garden debris should be ready after 8 weeks but only when exposed to the above conditions and closely monitored as stated.