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Color your garden spring green

Tue., March 27, 2007

It’s amazing what a little bit of sunshine can do for gardeners with cabin fever. A few warm, dry days and we are back out there playing in the detritus of winter. Piles of raked leaves, pine needles and garden trimmings are everywhere. Now what do we do with them?

The Spokane Regional Solid Waste System has several options to handle your “clean green” yard debris, which can include leaves, weeds, brush, grass clippings, pine needles and pine cones, prunings (woody material up to 3 inches in diameter and 6 feet in length), and sod (under 3 inches thick without rocks).

First, compost what you can in your own yard by mixing two parts brown garden debris with one part green material (spring grass trimmings) and build a 3-by-3-foot pile in an out-of-the-way corner of the yard. Moisten it to the consistency of a damp sponge. You can turn the pile to get compost quickly or let it sit and have compost in the fall.

If home composting isn’t for you, sign up for weekly curbside pick-up of your clean green. The service runs from late February until around the end of October depending on your garbage pick-up service. Call your hauler for exact dates.

Have a few bottle or sacks of old pesticides and fertilizers lying around in the garage? When you take your clean green in, drop these environmental hazards off at the recycling centers at each transfer station for free. Be sure to place the bottles and bags in a box and secure them in your vehicle for safe transport.

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