emiwri wrote:Thanks Durgan! I loved seeing all the pictures of your garden area as it progressed! It looked like a lot of work!
Where did you get the free compost from? I'd like to see if they have something like that around where I live.
We found a chipper/shredder machine on clearance so we bought it, I'm real excited about it because I can use it to shred up garden wastes to compost quicker. I hadn't thought of using it to "sift" the dirt clumps.
The chipper shredder is a great addition. I break up sod using the machine. I tear it into about 9 inch chunks and throw it into the hopper. It works best if the clump is slightly damp. Too wet and it clogs the machine. Too dry and a lot of dust is created. Never has grass grown from the reduced pile since the roots are effectively destroyed.
The mini rototiller works best for destroying dirt chunks. The fast rotation simply claws away until reduced. A larger tiller simply kicks dirt chunks aside. I have both, but almost always use the little tiller now. The tiller will not break up sod sufficiently.
Our city allows two garbage cans full per day during the month of May. I go everyday with a box made to fit into the back of the van. I interpret two garbage cans as 45 gallon drums, so I get about half a yard per day. Over the last three years I got 45 yards. This is all vegetation compost and is excellent quality. If I had to buy it the cost from a greenhouse is about $40.00 per yard plus $35.00 delivery, so one pretty well has to buy a 9 yard truck load. This is about 72 wheelbarrels full. The measurement is about 7 or 8 wheelbarrows per cubic yard.
The wood chips are dumped in a local park for public use. I pick up some of these periodically and mix into the soil, also I use them for mulch. Thse chips are often partially composted and are mostly hardwood chips. I avoid evergreen as a general rule.
My compost area
Since composting is an integral part of gardening, my experiences are presented. I turned over the pile today, and will not disturb this until it is removed for putting on the garden beds, probably in the spring 2007.
All vegetable matter from the gardens is put through a yard machine to chop into small pieces. My neighbor adds grass cuttings from two large properties. I only get about three yards of compost from all this vegetation. It takes a great amount of garden waste to make any reasonable amount of compost.
24 July 2006
This ten horsepower machine is used to chop up all waste foliage. I make a pile of foliage, and when there is enough I wheel the machine out, and chop up the waste. It only takes a few minutes. I use to do this with a machete on a wooden block. It disposes of the branches and waste plants in a clean and quick manner.