Not only is this frustrating and time consuming, it becomes quite costly and certainly reduces some of the cost advantages to home gardening. How to solve this problem? Composting, plain and simple. By taking lawn debris and kitchen scraps into a pile, nature will reward you with a rich material that will turn your soil into something much more friendly to your plant roots.
Composting is as simple as tossing your kitchen scraps and lawn trimmings away. Although one does need to be moderately selective about the materials used, keeping an acceptable blend of "green" and "brown" materials in balance is the key. Green materials are those that are fresh and moist such as citrus rinds, coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable and grass trimmings. Brown materials are dried leaves, pine needles, and newsprint. If you find your pile is attracting a lot of insects it simply means your balance is off, and you need to add more brown material. If your pile is not turning into rich, moist compost, then you have too much brown material and you need to add water and/or more green material. The smaller the pieces added to your pile, the faster the compost "cooking" process will be. Basically it takes approximately 3-5 months for your green and brown material to meld into the nutrient rich humus for your spring garden. You can speed the process up however, if you choose a composting system that involves the use of worms. Worm composting is very popular and easy to do. The worms live in the compost and it's their digestive process that creates rich compost fast.
So improve the health of your home garden while also bringing true meaning to the word recycling, and make your own compost to improve the quality of your home's soil.
For more information on compost bins and composting, refer to www.smithandhawken.com.