Recycling your yard waste is a hallmark of a responsible citizen. And reducing the amount of waste that your commercial garden produces by various methods is an even better option. Reducing garden waste would decrease the loads on the local landfills. It would improve the quality of the air you breathe. And it would be a time and money saver. Reducing garden waste is not too difficult, either.
You can go for artificial hedges for the outdoors of your commercial space. That would almost eliminate waste generation. But if you insist on going natural, then read on to know more about waste reduction.
- Choose the Plants Carefully
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” You might want to follow this principle. Get the landscape design done in a professional manner. Opt for the plants that need less of the key inputs like fertilizer and water. There are plants like the deciduous variety that shed copious amounts of leaves in autumn. So, you may want to avoid them.
Plants not native to the country might wither away and have an untimely death. This again increases the amount of plant waste. You can avoid this scenario by going for more plants that are native to the US. They would require much less watering and zero to minimum additional fertilizers. If you favor potted plants, then go for bromeliads, grass trees, etc. They are effective alternatives to plants that shed more leaves.
- Make Compost
This is among the most effective ways of managing your garden waste. You don’t need to transfer the waste to any recycling center. All you need to do is to place the organic materials like fallen leaves and old plants in layers, add some soil, and a splash of water. The resultant humus would be the perfect ingredient to boost the garden soil.
- Care for Your Lawn
This is kind of a no-brainer. Of course, you would need to be thorough with the plant species that your lawn has. Because, the mowing, watering, and fertilizing needs would vary from one plant species to the other. Caring for your lawn will significantly reduce the waste your garden produces. You would need to select the grass for the lawn with care. The right kind of grass would beautify your lawn and would also be easier to maintain.
Ensure that you use an effective lawn mower regularly to keep your lawn in proper shape. Ideally, you would need to mow about the top one-third of the grass. More intrusive mowing can damage the root systems. The plants would be more vulnerable to weeds, insects, or any disease. But if you cut only the desired amount, it strengthens the root systems and makes them go deeper. This would reduce the water use and also the need for trimmings.
- Consider Mulching
Mulching is a much tried and tested method of protecting the roots of a plant. You would need to spread a layer of material on the ground around the plants. The materials can be organic (like sawdust, compost, straw, etc.) or inorganic (like rocks, plastic, etc.). Mulching works wonders in reducing the growth of weeds around the plants. Thus, much lesser amounts of waste plant materials are generated. Effective mulching also reduces the plant’s need for water.
Recycle the grass clippings on your lawn. That’s what grasscycling is all about. It effectively manages the green waste that your garden produces. It also reduces water evaporation and your dependence on fertilizers.
Use the lawnmower properly to cut only the top one-third portion, as already suggested earlier. A mulching mower would do the job better. The small and finely-cut grass clippings would decompose quickly. This would act as a fertilizer for your garden. Grasscycling on a regular basis ensures that the plants get a decent supply of their annual nitrogen requirement. This reduces the dependence on fertilizers.
However, avoid grasscycling if the lawn is wet or already overgrown.
- Timely Pruning
It’s not just the act of pruning; the when and how of it are also important. Pruning less ensures that lesser plant waste is generated. Go for pruning right after a major growth has occurred in the plants. Trim the plants in a light manner instead of a robust clipping. This will allow the plants to grow in a more controlled manner. The plants would regulate their growth. This would reduce the need for trimming. And consequently, you will face lesser garden waste generation.
The thumb rule is to go for pruning only when it is unavoidable. More so when you have hedges and ornamental plants. This would bring down the garden waste generation to a minimum.
- Controlled Watering
The outdoor gardens do consume a substantial quantity of water. But many people become over-zealous when it comes to watering the plants. And the result is over-watering of the plants. Over-watering leads to a more-than-normal growth of the plants. This is not only harmful to their health but also requires you to prune more often. And this additional pruning creates more garden waste. So, be cautious when you are watering the plants. It should be the right quantity, not any more or less.
So, as you can see, all it takes to reduce the garden waste is some meticulous planning and its timely execution. Not only would you be keeping your garden clean. You would also play a role as someone who is responsible for the environment.