It's in the Bag - Easy Ways to Clean Up Weeds and Yard Waste

by Marty Ross

Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to round up the mess. Having a bag handy for all the debris makes it easy to clean up as you go.

You could drag a lawn and leaf bag around the garden with you, but these heavy brown paper bags (required in many areas for lawn-waste pick-up services) aren't especially versatile. They don't stay open, they blow over in a puff of wind, and they'll tear if a twig gets snagged in them. You need a bag or tub big enough for the job, something that stands up, stays open, and withstands wear and tear in the garden — which is what Fiskars Kangaroo® garden bags are designed to do.

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A small Kangaroo® bag is big enough for weeding in a flowerbed, where grass, dandelions, purslane, and other weeds have crept in among the plants. Fiskars small Kangaroo® Gardening Container stands just 18 inches tall but holds 10 gallons of debris, and you can pull it right along as you weed your way through the phlox or the daisies.

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The best time to weed a garden is whenever you're out there — and doing a little bit every day hardly seems like work. But weeding is especially satisfying the day after a rain. When the soil is moist, weeds pull up without much effort, so you'll get the roots, not just the tops. Pulling out clumps of violets and other weeds that have established themselves doesn't just make a flowerbed look better.Weeds compete with flowers for moisture and nutrients in the soil. Also, taking weeds out simply makes more room for the flowers you planted.

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Twigs, pinecones, and heavier debris may require a larger bag with a durable bottom, like Fiskars HardShell® Bottom Kangaroo® Bag. A bigger bag is also useful for raking leaves from the curb or the front porch. The rigid plastic bottom glides easily across paved driveways and sidewalks and skitters over gravel surfaces all the way to the compost heap. The handles are well placed and very sturdy.

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Most yard waste can be composted in a corner of the garden, even without a bin. A pile of autumn leaves, left to sit for a year behind a few shrubs, becomes humus-rich leafmold for flowerbeds. To speed up the decomposition process, you can bag lawn clippings when you mow. Turn the clippings into the autumn leaves a time or two in early fall or in the spring. That said, even without grass clippings, leaves will break down to make formidable mulch, full of nutrients and micronutrients.

Mulching with your own organic leafmold is one of the best things you can do for your garden.

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Tidying up the garden shed sometimes seems as challenging as cleaning up the garden. Tools, buckets, flowerpots, and supplies accumulate on the shelves, hooks, and brackets of a shed, and suddenly there's no room for anything else. Kangaroo® bags will not crowd the tool shed, however. When you're finished working, they collapse to a fraction of their size. Folding the bag up is like playing an accordion: just push the ends together.

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Then stand with the bag between your legs, holding it closed,and thread the toggle through the loop on one side.

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Rotate the bag and fasten the toggle on the opposite side.

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In the tool shed, even a big Kangaroo® bag only needs one hook. The next time you need it, it pops right back into shape.