What to do with garden waste?

What to do with garden waste?

Gardening is a popular activity that many people enjoy. Whether you grow fruits and vegetables, flowers, or herbs, maintaining a garden involves a lot of work, including pruning, trimming, and harvesting. This can quickly lead to a build-up of garden waste, raising the question of what to do with it. In this article, we discuss different ways to deal with garden waste and turn it into something useful.


Composting is a great way to recycle garden waste and turn it into nutrient-rich soil. Composting is a natural process by which organic matter such as leaves, grass clippings and food waste is broken down into compost. Composting helps reduce landfill, lower carbon emissions and improve soil quality. To start composting you will need a compost bin or pile, water and air. You can add green waste like grass clippings and brown waste like leaves and twigs to your compost pile. Mix up the waste materials, keep the compost moist and turn it over regularly. Within months you will have a rich, dark and crumbly soil amendment to use in your garden beds.

What to do with garden waste?


Mulching is another way to recycle garden waste and improve the quality of your soil. Mulching spreads organic materials like leaves, grass clippings and wood chips over your garden beds. Mulch helps retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. In addition, as the mulch decomposes, it releases nutrients into the soil, making it more fertile. To mulch your garden, spread a layer of organic matter over your soil and around your plants. Be careful not to cover the stems or trunks of the plants as this can cause rot.


If you have a large amount of garden waste and don’t have space to compost or mulch, consider recycling it. Many local councils offer a garden waste collection service where you can dispose of your garden waste in a designated bin or bag. The collected waste is then taken to a composting facility or biomass power plant, where it is converted into renewable energy.


If you have tree branches or other large garden debris, consider reusing them in your garden. For example, you can create trellis, garden edges or even a rustic garden bench from branches. Large branches can also be cut into smaller pieces and used as kindling for your fireplace or outdoor fire pit.

grass cycling

If you have a lawn, grasscycling is an excellent way to recycle your grass clippings and reduce your yard waste. Grasscycling is all about leaving the grass clippings on the lawn instead of bagging them up and disposing of them. Decomposing grass clippings releases valuable nutrients back into the soil, which can help reduce the need for fertilizer. Grass cycling can also help reduce water use by improving your lawn’s ability to retain moisture.

What to do with garden waste?

leaf shape

Leaves are common garden debris that can be turned into a valuable soil conditioner called leaf mold. Leaf mold occurs when leaves naturally decay over time. This creates a rich, crumbly substance that can be added to your soil to improve its structure and fertility. To make leaf mold, collect fallen leaves and pile them in a corner of your yard or in a container with good air circulation. Wet the leaves occasionally to keep them moist, and turn the pile regularly to speed up the decomposition process. Within a year or two you will have a rich, organic material that you can use to improve your garden soil.


If you have excess fruit or vegetables from your garden that you cannot consume or preserve, consider donating them to a local food bank or animal shelter. Many organizations accept donations of fresh produce and distribute them to those in need.

worm composting

Vermicomposting is a type of composting that uses worms to break down organic waste. This process results in a nutrient-rich soil amendment called vermicompost, which is similar to traditional compost but has a higher percentage of beneficial microorganisms. Vermicomposting is an excellent option for gardeners who have limited outdoor space or want to compost indoors. To start vermicomposting you will need a worm tray, bedding material, leftover food and a healthy population of worms. Red wigglers are the most commonly used worms for vermicomposting. Feed your worms scraps of food, such as vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells, and keep the bedding material moist. Over time, the worms will eat the leftover food and bedding, producing vermicompost that you can use in your garden.

DIY projects

Garden waste can be reused for a variety of DIY projects that add charm and functionality to your garden. For example, you can create a unique garden sculpture from old flower pots or broken garden tools. You can also turn tree branches into a natural trellis or fence, or use old pallets to build a raised bed. DIY projects are a great way to reuse materials that would otherwise go to landfill and add a personal touch to your garden.

Hire a professional

If you have a large amount of garden waste that you don’t have the time or resources to dispose of yourself, you might want to consider hiring a professional to do the disposal. Many landscaping and waste disposal companies offer garden waste disposal services that can take care of all of your garden waste disposal needs.


Burning yard waste is a method that should only be used as a last resort. In some areas, burning yard waste is illegal and can also contribute to air pollution. However, in some situations where there is an excessive amount of garden waste, it may be necessary to incinerate it. If you must burn yard waste, be sure to follow local regulations and always use caution to avoid starting a fire.

What to do with garden waste?

Municipal Composting Programs

Many municipalities offer composting programs that allow residents to dispose of their yard waste responsibly. These programs may include curbside pick-up or drop-off locations for yard waste. The collected garden waste is then processed into compost, which is available for residents to use in their gardens.


Biochar is a soil amendment made from organic waste that is burned at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. This process produces a char-like material that can be added to the soil to improve its fertility and water-holding capacity. Biochar also helps sequester carbon, making it a valuable tool in mitigating climate change. You can make biochar yourself by burning garden waste in a specially designed oven, or buy it from a supplier.

mulch mowing

Mulch mowing is a technique that uses a special mower to cut the grass into small pieces that can be left on the lawn as a natural mulch. Mulch mowing not only reduces garden waste, but also helps conserve water and improve soil health. The grass cuttings left over from mulching decompose quickly and return valuable nutrients to the soil.

In summary, there are many ways to dispose of garden waste, from composting and mulching to recycling and reusing. When deciding on the best method for disposing of your garden waste, consider the resources available and the benefits each method offers. With a little effort, you can turn your garden waste into a valuable resource that benefits both your garden and the environment.

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