When we first moved into this house, the yard was very neglected. I spent weeks filling up the two green waste bins and it felt like I would never catch up with getting rid of all the piles I had around the yard. I started researching other ways that I could start reusing some of the waste from our yard instead of sending it to the city. I have now found a use for everything I was throwing away in the green bins previously!
1. This is something I have always done anyway, but grass clippings go into the compost bin.
2. I have always heard that pine needles do not make good mulch for vegetable beds because they are acidic. I spent so much time filling up those bins with pine needles. I then read a recent study at a university testing the actual impact pine needles have on the pH of soil. The study found that pine needles that have been sitting out for at least 3 weeks have no impact on the soil pH. Now, instead of throwing all the pine needles out, I gather them into a pile and let them age into good mulch for my vegetable beds. While I am waiting for them to be ready to use in the vegetable beds, I use them as mulch under the pine tree in our backyard. Now I have enough to keep all of my vegetable beds nicely mulched!
3. Instead of throwing out branches, twigs, and some dried ivy leaves from the trees and vines I have pruned, we decided to pile it up for making more mulch. I let it all dry out, and then I chipped it up to make more mulch.
4. Instead of tossing out the weeds from the garden beds and grass, I am using the weeds to make a type of compost tea (original post here). Everything has really been flourishing since I started feeding them with this as an added supplement!