We have already talked about choosing a fertilizer. For an ecologically responsible gardener, compost is the clear winner. Not only is it better for your plants and the soil, it also has the advantage of transforming the organic waste materials from food and plants that we produce every day.
Reducing our waste
- In Québec, compostable kitchen and garden waste materials represent 44% of the average volume of a garbage bag.
- A family of four produces an average of 672 kg of putrescible waste each year.
- Managing this waste at landfill sites generates greenhouse biogases and leads to the acidification of the environment.
- Practise grasscyling. When you mow the lawn, leave the clippings on the ground. As they decompose, they release nutrients, fulfilling up to 30% of your lawn’s nitrogen needs.
- Practise leaf mulching. In the fall, shred the dead leaves on your lawn regularly and use the excess leaves as mulch on your flowerbeds.
- Practise mulching. Leave fallen leaves, twigs and wilted flowers from your plants decompose on your flowerbeds. They will form a nourishing carpet for the plants and micro-organisms in the soil.
- Make your own compost. In addition to reducing the pollutant load of landfill sites, composting organic materials creates a useful product with many horticultural benefits, including improved soil quality and reduced use of fertilizers and other gardening products.
By practising various forms of organic recycling, you are taking concrete steps towards reducing greenhouse gases and the amount of waste you produce while providing the soil in your garden with more nourishment. Your flowers and plants will be resplendent!
To learn more
- Two videos on grasscycling and leaf mulching techniques
- Renaud, Michel, spring 2010, L’autocompostage, écologique et sans effort. La Maison du 21e siècle.
- Recyc-Québec. Le compostage facilité.
Do you have questions about this blog?
Visit our Green Pages Or, go to the Horticultural information counter at the Jardin botanique for personalized service. One of our experts will be happy to give you more information.