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Composting Tips – Brown and Green: Twigs And Autumn Leaves

by admin on 24 September, 2012

As we add more and more recommendations for the compost heap we’re still not running out of ideas. There’s plenty more to come. Approaches and techniques, plus choice of equipment, will feature more strongly as we proceed but in the early month or two we’re stressing the basics. Fancy composting installations can be helpful but we do need to remind ourselves that gardeners have been making compost for generations without the mechanical gadgets that we so like today. So, to our new tips:

  • Not every gardener has a good balance of green and brown material for the compost pile. Possibly the most common challenge is a shortage of woody content. If that is your situation you could try talking to a tree surgeon; he may give you a few spare branches. Another option is to get some wood shavings from a local timber yard.
  • If your garden waste is short of greenery and has much more of brown woody material one old trick that you can try is to sprinkle your compost mix with ammonium sulphate followed by a spraying with water. The nitrogen in the ammonium sulphate then takes the place of the nitrogen that would normally be supplied from the grass clippings.
  • Are you systematic about how you do your composting? Do you regularly shred the prunings from your shrubbery and add them to the compost heap? What about the grass cuttings from your mower? And are your vegetable kitchen scraps collected in a composter pail? If these things are done in an orderly manner you should end up with a good supply of garden compost.
  • To collect your autumn leaves and store them until they decay to give a lovely soil conditioner why not construct a leaf cage. Leaf mold takes longer to produce than ordinary compost but it is a simple process taking little work apart from collecting the leaves and is well worth the space allocated to it.

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