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Dispose of or recycle green waste? 4 ideas for what you can use leaves, lawn clippings and twigs in the garden!

In autumn, traditionally, a lot of pruning work is done. After the pruning of roses, the maintenance pruning of the garden hedge or fruit trees, after scarifying the lawn and still some work, a lot of green waste is produced. Of course, you can dispose of the green waste. But it can actually be recycled well in the garden. So you can save money and also do good for the environment.

Dispose of or recycle green waste? An overview of possible uses

Reuse green waste in the garden environmentally friendly

Instead of disposing of green waste, we can process and reuse it. Leaves and lawn clippings are great for making compost. The natural materials decompose quickly and provide useful nutrients when incorporated into the soil. You can also use lawn clippings in combination with bark for mulching, protecting plants in the garden from frost. The green cuttings are the perfect filler material for the Benjes hedge . If you separate the leaves from the twigs and branches, then you can chop the wood and have fuel for the fire bowl. So nothing stands in the way of pleasant evenings in the garden even at temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius!

In order to make compost, mulch or chaff, you also need certain equipment and tools. Always wear gloves and protective clothing when working with a shredder. Not everyone has the garden tool in their garage, but you can rent it.

Shredding is great for:

  • Branches from fruit and hedge bushes.
  • Thick branches from deciduous trees and conifers
  • Perennial shoots
  • Some tall growing ornamental grasses

Less suitable are:

  • Climbing plants
  • Foliage (moist)
  • Plants that contain milky sap in their stems (e.g., basket weeds, poppies, and spurges)

Composting leaves and lawn clippings

remove or recycle green cuttings possible uses

If you want to compost leaves and lawn clippings, you should first lay them out on a work surface and let them dry slightly for about 1 day. Then you can additionally shred the leaves. Mix lawn clippings and leaves in a 1 to 1 ratio and add some lime. Then add the mixture to the compost pile and water it generously. Now all that remains is to stir the compost pile every 2-3 days.

Improve the soil texture from a mix of shredded material and lawn clippings. For this, however, you need to be patient – because you can not work the compost into the soil until spring. The organic fertilizer will both improve the permeability of the garden soil and provide nitrogen to the soil.

Sealing Benjes hedge with green cuttings.

Benjes hedge with green cuttings to seal up Instructions.

You can also use green waste as a waterproofing material for the Benjes hedge. Grass clippings, leaves and shredded material are piled between the branches of the hedge and serve as gap fillers. Large twigs and branches can be used in building the structure.

The Benjes hedge is an environmentally friendly alternative to numerous hedge plants. Especially in autumn, it provides shelter and food for many insects and native birds. Hedgehogs, fence lizards and other small garden animals and reptiles also find shelter in the deadwood hedge.

Use lawn clippings and tree bark for mulching.

Bark mulch offers many benefits: It suppresses weeds, protects the soil from frost, and keeps it moist. In addition, the mulch layer can also provide beneficial nutrients. And perhaps best of all, you don’t have to spend anything on it. After all, anyone can make bark mulch themselves from lawn clippings and tree bark. Autumn is just the right time to do this. Proceed as follows:

1. first lay out a work surface (preferably in the greenhouse or garden shed) with newspaper. Then scatter the lawn clippings and leaves over it and let them dry. Then shred the fall leaves and mix them with the lawn clippings (you can add some additional woody debris if you wish).

Use shredded material to loosen soil


2.You can apply the mulch anywhere in the garden: it works well as a filler for raised beds, flower boxes and large potted plants. But it can also protect the bulb flowers in the flower bed from frost. Berry bushes also need mulching in the fall to get through the winter well. A thin layer of mulch, about 5 cm, loosens the soil and keeps it moist and weed-free. Especially for plants that belong to the group of shallow roots, this is very beneficial. For them, hoeing is out of the question – it could damage the delicate roots.

Dispose of or recycle green cuttings? Use chipped material to improve the soil

Use shredder in the garden useful tips

If there is wood waste after pruning in the garden, then you can shred the branches with a garden shredder and then use the shredded material to loosen the soil. For this purpose, however, you must first remove the leaves and only then can you start shredding. Allow the chaff to dry before incorporating it into the soil.

NB: The burning of shredded material and wood residues is prohibited and can only be authorized by local authorities in exceptional cases. It is best to ask locally what rules you should follow for an outdoor fire. In some cases, small twigs are allowed as fuel, but you must get a permit from the municipality.

If it should go sometimes faster, then you can chop the twigs and branches together with foliage, let them dry and then give them to a horse owner. Because especially in the horse stables the green cuttings are used as ground cover. Of course, this must be replaced more often.