FarmerFritz
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Dublin, VA

Shred Materials for Composting

This time of year, we have access to large amounts of leaves & grass for composting, and pick up the raw materials using a lawn tractor with grass catcher. The mix is fairly coarse, with many leaves almost completely intact.

We've read that finer pieces of material compost faster, and want to know if anyone has experience with using a shredder to grind leaves & grass before adding them to the compost bin. Are there types/brands of shredders that work better for this purpose?

We've also got some very moist material that hasn't completely composted, although it's quite dark-colored. It is pretty chunky. Can it be ground/shredded, or should it be added to the garden as is?
Thanks so much.

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Well..... both.

If you shred the leaves,they will break down much faster and you won't run the risk of them matting (maple leaves will matt together which further impedes their break down).

However, leaving the leaves unmulched will create spaces and pockets for air to accumulate which will add health to your soil Also, various animals will shelter in the pockets formed in the leaves.

Leaving leaves unmulched will provide a much longer period of time for them to degrade into soil. This is not necessarily a bad thing though.



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