As fall is fast approaching and people are cutting their grass for the last time and raking leaves up, please do not place the yard waste in the trash.  The yard debris does not need to be dumped in landfills or processed at a resource recovery facility.  Below are some helpful hints to preparing for the fall.

Please practice the 3R’s when completing the yard tasks:

Reduce - Use the grass clippings as a fertilizer to help your lawn stay green and healthy.  This also provides nutrients as grass goes dormant.

Reuse – reuse the leaves by mulching, which also acts as a fertilizer and to control weed growth.  Place the mulch around existing plants but not to close about 1 inch from the stem of the plant.

Recycle – If you must collect yard waste, please use for **composting to produce a valuable soil. 

 

**How to Compost:

Create an area in your back yard to dump materials out of the sunlight, whatever size you would like.  Once created dump your grass, leaves, black and white newspapers, and vegetable scraps, add water as needed so that the materials feel like a moist sponge. Please do not use manure, weeds (as they may come back), color newspaper, and food scraps with animal products (fats and oils – can attract raccoons, squirrels, rats, and possums). 

The compost pile should be turned after a few weeks so that the outside layers are exchanged with the center of the pile. Turn compost piles about once a month, except in cold winter conditions. Water can be added during turning, if necessary.

As decomposition takes place a very nutritional soil is produced.  Compost is ready to be used when it looks dark and crumbly and none of the starting ingredients are recognizable. One way to test if your compost is finished is to seal a small sample in a plastic bag for 24 to 48 hours. If no strong odors are released when you open the bag, the compost is done.

Compost can be applied directly around the base of trees and shrubs to serve as mulch. It also can be worked into the top six to eight inches of the soil to provide increased water retention and valuable nutrients.