How To Use Winter's Leftover Yard Debris To Benefit Your Yard This Year

When the snow melts in the spring, your yard can be a mess with old leaves, dead lawn thatch, and rotting plants from last fall. Cleaning up the debris from your yard will help your yard look more manicured and the debris can help benefit your garden as compost. Here are instructions for you to put to good use the old winter leftovers in your yard.

Collect Debris for a Garden Compost 

Any organic materials scattered across your yard in the spring are perfect for mixing into your garden soil or even starting a compost pile. Save your garbage bags for filling with trash from your home because you don't want to put this organic debris into your city's landfill. Any leaves, pine needles, and remnants of the plants from last year's flower beds and vegetable garden can be added into your yard's soil to increase its nutrients. Get out a lawn rake and use it to scrape all the leaves, dead plants, and other matter from around your lawn and toss them into a compost pile or right into your garden.

As you rake leaves up from your lawn, you can also use the rake to pull up the layer of thatch in your lawn. Over the winter, all the old dead grass compacts down into a layer of thatch at the roots of your lawn. Thatch more than 1/2 inch thick in your lawn is not good because it can allow fungus to grow, and provide a place for pests to live. A thick layer of lawn thatch can also prevent water, air, and fertilizers from getting to your lawn's roots. So, scrape up and add this thatch from your lawn to your composting pile.

Make Your Compost

Once you have your compost pile started, you can scatter it around on your garden and till it into the soil with a rototiller. Or, you can start a composting pile in your garden that you can add to all year. Add grass clippings, vegetable peelings and other plant-based scraps from your kitchen, or some manure, then mix the pile every three weeks. Cover your compost pile with a tarp to help heat up and speed up the composting process.

After you have added to and mixed your compost pile for three to four months, you will have some nutrient-rich compost you can add to your garden soil. This compost will give nutrients to your plants to help them grow better. 

Make sure to use all the organic debris left in your yard after winter and put it to good use in your garden. You could also have a company like Atlas Tree Service Inc get rid of any larger debris, such as felled branches.