Because I’m starting with plants I’ve had success with in the past I already know what I need for space and what I can actually grow with little problems. Unfortunately my space is limited because of trees in my back yard. So that means I am restricted to planting in the front yard, which is considerably smaller, exposed to neighbors walking dogs and other cats who love to “mark” my territory as their own.
So I have a big problem with leaves all over my yard. In fact this year I’m actually working on 2 years worth of leaves. I was sick last year and couldn’t get out and rake. So after watching some videos on composting I came across one that says to mix one can of beer, one can of soda and 8 ounces of ammonia into a sprayer bottle, (one you attach to the hose) and use that to water in between your composting layers.
This mixture makes the process go fast. Two weeks to usable compost. Yep that’s what I want.
Many commenting on the video, say to use urine instead of ammonia. Seriously, I’m not bottling it up to put on the compost, but it does bring to mind my cats wanting to scent everything. I’m just not sure if this is a safe way to go, since some cats do carry worms. I think I’ll find a way to deter the cats from my composting and just omit the ammonia. (I’ll let you know how that works in two weeks)
On Friday I began mowing with my bag to catch the clippings. Because there are still quite a few leaves embedded between the grass from over winter my mixture in the bag is about half green to half brown material, a perfect mixture for composting. I added the beer-soda mixture in between layers. I’ll keep you posted on how the composting is going. Here’s a few pictures. It’s very hard to distinguish where the pile is from the rest of the lawn since there are so many leaves.
Because I hate bagging leaves in plastic bags and or any bags for that matter I’ve decided composting is the way to handle my leaf problem. This is a great time to compost too since it’s summer and the grass is growing and so are the weeds. I have plenty of green material to work into the leaves.
A few years ago I bought a metal trash can with a lid for composting. The idea was to put everything in it and roll it every few days. I threw in my egg shells, veggie shavings and coffee grounds I got from my mom. A little water a few worms and roll it around every few days. So why didn’t it work? Well for one, no air! For two not enough brown stuff and three I just abandoned it. So I will be recycling that for something else. I’ll let you know what I decide.
Here’s a good video on when and how to mulch by Self Sufficient Me. What Happens When You Use Mulch in the Garden?
Remember when it’s freshly cut it’s called mulch, once it has decayed it becomes compost.
I think I’ll use that trash can ‘mulch’ in the flower gardens. 🙂