Friday, May 1, 2020

Tell One Friend: Leave those Browns on the Ground

Spring has sprung. The snow melts away to reveal leaves and dead grass on lawns and yards. Yes, some folks will gather up these dead and dry plants. These are good "browns" for home composting. But it's also okay to leave browns on the ground.

Leave it on the Lawn

Lawns and landscapes like a layer of mulch. Autumn leaves and dead grass are also a good source of carbon for the soil. These browns break down slowly over the entire growing season. They provide free food for your lawn while protecting soil from sun and wind.

Invite friends and neighbours to keep some leaves and dry grass on the lawn. Be thoughtful about it. Choose parts of the landscape to look trim and tidy, while leaving other parts more natural. Remember, Mother Nature isn't a clean freak.

Residents can also mow over dry leaves. This breaks up leaves into smaller bits for the mulch layer. A mulching mower is nice, but it's not needed.

Help keep grass and leaves out of landfills by leaving clippings and leaves on the lawn this spring and summer. Alternatively, you can compost these items at home. If you need to bag and remove grass, leaves and yard waste from your property, please drop them off at an Eco Station for free or set out in clear or coloured bags (not black, blue or paper). This will help staff at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre easily distinguish yard waste from garbage and send it for composting. 

Share Your Message Effectively

Try these tips to connect with friends, family, neighbours, and co-workers.

Model the Behaviour
Show friends and family how you use leaves and dry grass on your landscape. Talk up the benefits to your soil and plant health.

Make it Normal
Post a photo of mulch on social media.

Offer Timely Prompts
While friends and neighbours are doing spring clean up, mention how Browns are a valuable for both lawn and landscape.

Give Positive Feedback
"Your natural lawn with your mulched browns looks great!"

Highlight the Benefits
Change the narrative. Aesthetically-pleasing lawns and plants are healthy and not necessarily perfect. Healthy, natural lawns and plants, nourished with compost, contribute to a healthy urban eco-system. Insects, birds and animals will thank you.

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