Lawn clippings and leaves: why they are allies of the garden

Lawn clippings and leaves: why they are allies of the garden
Lawn clippings and leaves: why they are allies of the garden

the essential
In 2025, it will be prohibited to take clippings and leaves to recycling centers in the Lot. Not always understood, the measure nevertheless allows everyone to have a useful resource for their garden.

“Would you fill your trailer with water and empty it at the recycling center? This is what happens when you bring in clippings that are 80% water.” The Syded information leaflet which is currently being distributed arouses reactions of astonishment. “It’s a subject that interests you,” observes Jean-Loup Oudin, in charge of communications at Syded. “Some tell us that it’s impossible, that they won’t be able to change their habits. Everyone talks about their particular case, the specificity of their garden.” Anne Simon-Picquet, vice-president of Syded, reassures: “These people thought that we were banning all green waste. This could have posed a problem but the Syded will still accommodate everything that involves trimming hedges, branches, trunks and wood.”

Clippings and leaves represent 30 to 40% of plants taken to recycling centers. “During the mowing period, there is a parade of trailers in front of the dumpster. This is the main reason for residents to go to the recycling center,” explains Anne Simon-Picquet. This results in an overcrowding of users who come to deposit their clippings and leaves in plastic bags. “It’s an ecological aberration” adds Jean-Loup Oudin. “Travel 20km round trip, at the cost of gasoline, to place clippings made up of 80% water in plastic bags. The astronomical quantities deposited prevent us from sorting this plastic which will decompose in the compost. The shortest way is what you can do at home by keeping your clippings and dead leaves at home. It’s common sense.”

So what should you do with the clippings and leaves in your garden?

“You have to leave the leaves on the ground and run the mower over them, there is no need to buy a shredder for this” explains Jean-Michel, waste prevention facilitator at Syded. “By grinding them, we reduce them and it takes less time to decompose. We also recommend no longer mowing the undergrowth. Under the trees, the leaves are intended to stay on the ground. Leave them ! »

The leaf trap made with a simple mesh allows you to provide the carbon necessary for the balance of your composter.
Syded du Lot

The leaf trap, made with a simple mesh cylinder, is another solution recommended by Syded. “We can do it proportional to the size of your land. I grow my potatoes in it without intervening,” says Jean-Michel. “It’s interesting to place it next to the domestic composter to feed it with brown matter. To properly optimize the operation of a composter, the inputs must be balanced. Kitchen waste is mainly nitrogen. If you only put nitrogen in your composter and you consume a lot of fresh, it ferments. To remedy this it is necessary to balance with carbon. Dead leaves and mowings are carbon. You have to balance 50/50 to get good compost.”

Leaves are a resource, not a waste

“You can also place clippings at the base of trees and hedges to retain water and protect the roots from frost. It’s useful for fruit trees and these mounds disappear very quickly,” explains Jean-Michel. “This also prevents weeds from growing back around the tree and no longer passing a line cut-off which can damage their trunk. This creates a useful shelter for biodiversity. Besides, I’m frightened by the number of people who bring their hedge trimmers at the moment. They have nests in their hedges, they kill the young. From March to July we do nothing. The best sizes are in September.”

Syded also contacted garden equipment sellers to advise people on the purchase of a mower. “You can remove the mower tray and adapt your mower by using a mulching kit available in gardening stores” adds Jean-Loup Oudin. “When the classic blade is worn out, we replace it with a mulching blade and we place a deflector which sends the cut grass to the side so as not to get it on the feet. We do not encourage people to buy equipment but to adapt their own. There are plenty of solutions for those who want to do well.”

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