It’s no secret that the federal “Leave It On The Lawn” program has done great things in many municipalities nationwide. It has arrived here at home with the support of the City of Kingston in collaboration with the Kingston Land Trust’s garden committee to “help Kingston help itself” by asking Kingston citizens to consider managing their landscape waste this fall. The first scheduled leaf pick-up is October 15th which is only ten days from now. Come on Kingston Citizens! Click on the links below to help to get you started. Don’t believe this initiative can save you big bucks in tax dollars and make a major difference in the (and your) environment? Read on….
– Rebecca Martin and Wilbur Girl of KingstonCitizens.org’s blogspot
Leave It On The Lawn, Kingston!
The City of Kingston with the support of the garden committee through the Kingston Land Trust asks the citizens of Kingston to re-think bagging their leaves this season.
During the year, at least 20 percent of the solid waste generated by Kingstonians comes from grass clippings, tree leaves and other landscape wastes. Bagging these materials or placing them into the curbside collection system wastes an important natural amendment leading to poor soil quality and costs the people of Kingston more in increased taxes and service fees by the use of additional trucks, labor and fuel.
Approximately half of landscape waste is composed of tree leaves. The “Leave It On The Lawn, Kingston!” Leaf Management Plan is an environmentally sound program designed to significantly reduce the volume of leaves saving citizens tax dollars while improving their soil quality, naturally.
Options for Managing and Using Leaves
Leaves are truly a valuable natural resource. They contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season. Therefore, leaves should be managed and used rather than bagged and placed at curbside for collection.
Here’s what you can do to make some simple and important changes:
Mulching by Mowing (click on this link to learn detailed how to’s)
Leaf mowing is the most efficient way to manage your leaves and takes 1/4 of the time than traditional raking and bagging. For larger lawns, though not entirely necessary, this can be more effective when a mulching mower is used. To get started:
1. Mow over your dry leaves in the same manner you would if you were mowing the grass. If you have a great deal of leaves and a small parcel, rake the leaves out evenly before mowing.
2. Repeat if necessary.
3. Leave your shredded leaves on the lawn for a chemical-free fertilizer that will give beautiful results.
4. You can also rake and transport your shredded leaves to your gardens, shrubs, trees or composter.
Composting Landscape Waste (click on this link to learn detailed how to’s)
Kingston’s urban environment allows for many different methods of composting. There are a variety of composter styles and sizes to choose from, or, simply make your own.
1. TO COMPOST YOUR LEAVES: take the shredded leaves alone or with other yard waste materials and place in a wire bin or any type of composter of your choosing. Remember that the smaller the pieces, the faster they will break down into reusable organic matter. For a quicker result, turn your materials with a pitch fork or similar tool occasionally. In time, underneath your compost pile, you will have rich, dark soil for all of your gardening needs.
2. TO COMPOST SHREDDED LEAVES WITH KITCHEN WASTE: in an appropriate bin, add equal parts brown and green materials. “Brown” materials include leaves, straw, non-glossy paper, wood, bark chips, paper napkins and coffee grounds. “Green” materials include fruit and vegetable peelings, rinds, and eggshells.
3. NEVER add any animal products, oils or hazardous materials. Turn the pile occasionally to aerate it and make sure it’s moist but not soggy. The decomposition process can take anywhere from three months to a year.
By composting you’ll have RICH soil for FREE! It will save time, money and our city’s precious resources.
Get started today and lend a hand to help Kingston help itself!