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Recycle Your Yard
Posted November 3, 2017 | 4:10 PM

Take It Outside to Fight Waste

Gardeners, too, can celebrate "America Recycles Day" on Nov. 15

You don't need a green thumb to take advantage of the money-saving, time-sparing, and environmentally sound practices of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

In fact, many of the techniques make yardwork easier and more fun.

America Recycles Day, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, is a great time to commit to some of these landscaping approaches. The goal of the annual observance is to inspire people who haven't recycled previously, and to encourage occasional recyclers to make the practice part of their daily routines.

Recycling is one of nine Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles, so Hillsborough County Extension's Recycle Your Yard program fits nicely both with overall efforts to recycle and with the goal of maintaining an attractive landscape that uses less water, fertilizer, and pesticide.

Strawberries
The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden at the Extension building demonstrates various landscapes.

The local Extension office offers workshops from February through November. They include sessions on composting, a water-wise approach to tending landscapes, and how to harvest rainwater. Watch "Upcoming Events" listings on the Extension website to register for the next series of workshops.

One Recycle Your Yard principle is to reduce material flow into and out of your garden from 10 bags to 1. For example, many people place bags of raked pine needles and oak leaves by the curb for trash haulers, then buy bags of mulch to spread around landscape beds. Instead, try this: Use the needles and leaves as mulch.

To save money and give your landscape a personal touch:

  • Propagate plants from seeds or cuttings.
  • Move existing plants, or their offshoots, to places in your yard where they will thrive.
  • Use household items - bottles, bird baths, and even bath tubs, toilets, or old shoes ¬- as planters. Take steps to ensure you aren't creating habitat for mosquitoes.

For more landscaping and gardening tips and ideas, or for answers to your landscape recycling questions, contact the Hillsborough County Extension at hillsborough@ifas.ufl.edu, or a Master Gardener at (813) 744-5519, extension 4.

Meanwhile, Hillsborough County residents should review what items can or should not be placed in blue curbside recycling carts, and the types of items that can be recycled at other locations.

Photo information: At the Extension building in Seffner, agents show residents how to create compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment.