Make Your Yard Waste Work for You

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If you’re pulling out an old tree, or cutting it down, don’t have it hauled away. Instead, have a wood chipper grind it up into small pieces and decorate your yard with it. Wood chippings make excellent ground cover, and they look amazing when done properly.

Place the chippings around plants, trees, and other places where you want to give your yard a fresh, “finished” look. The wood is biodegradable so you’ll eventually have to put down more covering, but this will take a while. In the meantime, it will nourish your ground and provide a nice aesthetic look.

composting lawn clippings and leavesGround Cover

Leaves, grass, and other yard material can be combined to create a mulch suitable for just about any kind of ground cover you can imagine. Like chipping, this is mostly for aesthetics. You can put the ground cover around trees, shrubs, and even inside in potted plants.

Ground cover is usually finer, whereas chipping is more coarse so it will be integrated into your lawn and break down more easily than chipping. Because of this, you may need to put down more mulch than you would chipping – that’s fine though since you’ll presumably be cutting your lawn every week. That gives you a fresh yard (and fresh mulch) that looks great all through the spring, summer, and fall.


A great organic fertilizer can be made out of old grass clippings. Instead of raking up the grass after you’ve mowed the lawn, leave them where they sit. You can move over the grass several times to break up the clippings a bit, and this will create an amazing food source for the lawn. If you do this, consider aerating your lawn in the spring, and use a vertical mower to mix the cut grass into the soil where it can be used as food for the young grass.

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Ben West

Ben is a lawn care expert and consultant. He enjoys using natural techniques to great effect and passing on his ideas and insights through blogging. Visit for more tips and ideas.