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Leaves, compost, leaves...

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Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 10/21/2012, 7:50 pm

How is your compost heap coming along??
Central Ohio leaves are everywhere. Gathered about 75 bags of leaves the past 48 hours. Travel 20 minutes to the burbs to get all that fits into the van. My friend put the neighbors on notice that I'm coming and wow, what a welcome. Today a person I met for the first time even gave me a hug for taking her leaves! I was so surprised. Then invited me back next week to take the rest of the leaves. This is a strange thing to be doing in my middle age, but I have to laugh after all, it's for the sake of a nice garden right? People really appreciate having the bags taken away before smarty pants kids tear them up over night too.
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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  bnoles on 10/22/2012, 6:45 am

I'm sure that there are folks out there they think us composters are crazy cyclops

I am so lucky to have a grass cutter that has agreed to bring me all the leaves he gathers in his customer's yards. Talk about having it made! Very Happy

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/22/2012, 8:52 am

Wow! LM. I thought I was doing well with my 38 bags collected so far from my yard and my next door neighbour.
But I have been shredding them as I go along and adding them to my 4x4x4 compost heap along with dried grass cuttings and any greens I can acquire and that contain a couple of four feeet long worm towers.. I am now filling up another 4x4x4 box that house almost finished compost that has worms in it; trying to keep them alive through the winter.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/22/2012, 9:00 am

@bnoles wrote:I'm sure that there are folks out there they think us composters are crazy cyclops

I am so lucky to have a grass cutter that has agreed to bring me all the leaves he gathers in his customer's yards. Talk about having it made! Very Happy
I know that some people do not really get it, bnoles. My best friend's husband told me that he had been clearing his leaves and taken four bags to the city compost pile, and not putting them on his garden. (Sacrilige!). Any way, I got three bags off him yesterday and I will collect some more later today. He never puts anything on his garden, just piles the stuff around the place. No wonder his soil looks like dust. I looked at his so-called compost piles, and that looked so sad. I can see I have some educating to do. At least he should have been mulching his place. Over the years he and his wife have spent a lot of money on plants etc., but it could look so much better by returning the growth to the land instead of putting it in the trash.

My Bird Lady friend told me how some years ago she put in an advert asking for leaves, and got people to bring them to her by offering a free garbage bag for each bag of leaves. She did that for five years and each year she got an average of 500 bags.
She runs a bird sanctuary and is going to let me have all her bird-poop-soaked corrigated cardboard. A treasure trove, I'm thinking.

When getting your grass next year, please make sure he separates the grass that is pesticide treated.

It's great to meet with liked-minded people here, isn't it? Very Happy

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 10/22/2012, 9:13 am

Does anyone know if leaves are affected by lawn treatments?

My friend has about 20 bags of leaves but treats his lawn... I'd like to think I can take the leaves... right??

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 10/22/2012, 9:27 am

LM I suspect that if it is a recent treatment it could cause probs but once it's been down a few weeks and been rained in /on I doubt it would hurt unless there is cut grass or raked grass & their roots with it .

Personally I'd not chance my arm using any of it for I value my beds too much after the 18 months or so of hard slog getting them made up with extra deep MM throughout.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 10/22/2012, 9:40 am

Plantoid,
Thank you. He said it received the last treatment a month ago and I know it rained since then. But still...Ahh, I may pass it up. I am trying to avoid raking tons of leaves myself out of the nearby woods. I just want to pick up already filled bags because it's easier. Otherwise it's soo much exertion hauling and getting everything to the compost heap/piled up/chopped up/ and watered stage.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  sfgteachers on 10/22/2012, 10:41 am

Inspiring,Gina! Keep up the great work. I finally caved and bought a shredder. Its dreamy and almost like having ready made compost!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 10/22/2012, 10:54 am

Hi Belinda--

A shredder, Ooh how lovely! If we were neighbors, I'd try to bribe you with a couple of lethal buttercrust chocolate pecan pies, to borrow that shredder of yours! Razz

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  sfgteachers on 10/22/2012, 10:57 am

If only! sounds delicious

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/22/2012, 1:02 pm

@llama momma wrote:Plantoid,
Thank you. He said it received the last treatment a month ago and I know it rained since then. But still...Ahh, I may pass it up. I am trying to avoid raking tons of leaves myself out of the nearby woods. I just want to pick up already filled bags because it's easier. Otherwise it's soo much exertion hauling and getting everything to the compost heap/piled up/chopped up/ and watered stage.
I would not really want to take leaves out of the nearby woods as I believe that those leaves belong to the trees there. I even have a bit of guilt of raking up the leaves from my own trees as I wonder what it does to them, depriving them of the leaves that decay and nourish them. The "grass" under them has deteriorated since I have been there and I think that is the reason.
This year I am going to return some of it, enhanced with the actions of the worms that I have become interest in. I am hoping to produce much better compost than I have in the past, and I want to enhance the whole of my yard. It will take some time as this is the first year I have been aware of compost worms and the good they do.
But if anyone else is just clearing their yard and dumping the leaves, I will take them in a heartbeat.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  camprn on 10/22/2012, 1:21 pm

@llama momma wrote:Plantoid,
Thank you. He said it received the last treatment a month ago
when you say 'treatment' what do you mean?

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 10/22/2012, 1:27 pm

camprn
the fall treatment is usually fertilizer as I recall, perhaps I'll check again. I use to employ the same local service when I lived there years ago. (long before any gardening interest)

kelejan
Part of me wants to agree with you at first ; )
But then I think about the size of those trees and the size of the woods. The amount I may take along the wooded edges could also just as easily blow away. So yes I'm justifying my actions.... that the trees, myself, and my Creator will be ok with it Very Happy

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  toledobend on 10/22/2012, 2:59 pm

My leaves (in Louisiana) are just starting to drop. Looking forward to a big collection. Last years batch yielded about 16 cu ft of sifted compost. That was from one wire cage about 4 feet in diameter and about 3-4 feet tall which was mixed with grass, chicken manure and about 4 months worth of household scraps and usually turned over weekly. Last year, most of the leaves washed away (into the lake) in a big storm. This year I'm going to mow and bag a little earlier. I've got about 60 sweetgums and about 6 oaks. My wife and I just finshed building and planting one 4'x4' raised box using our own compost in the MM. We built another box yesterday but it was way too windy to mix the MM, so that will propably be next weekend's project

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 10/22/2012, 3:01 pm

Over here we often see weed & feed granules for the lawn this time of the year in the garden shops .

So it may be a good idea to ask if you can read rhthe label of what they are putting on their lawn and se if there are any stated precautiions to take before using cuttings / raking off materials .

We also see a hormone weed killer and liquid feed that is a watering can applied feed appear on the shelves in mid March .

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  quiltbea on 10/22/2012, 3:09 pm

I, too, feel concerned about the trees along our road and in the woods so when I rake leaves, its only the first big drop. I leave the rest that fall to Mother Nature. I don't want to deprive the trees of their annual compost.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/22/2012, 3:29 pm

I don't have many leaves on my front yard yet so when I mowed today they got mulched back into the yard with the grass cuttings. But the back yard looks a bit leafier. Those leaves and grass will be mowed/bagged shortly and mixed in with the 'greens' I've been piling up to start my new compost.

I don't need extra leaves as I get lots right here. What I really really need are the grass clippings thru the year, but I see the Scotts lawn truck all over the neighborhood and so I don't bother. I would even be afraid to take their leaves. I won't even put the dumps free compost on my pile as I have no idea what those leaves have been eating.

2 of my immediate neighbors don't use stuff on their lawn tho, so if I'm home when they come, I ask their mowing guys to dump the grass on my pile. The guys are so cute...one time I went out there after they'd left to start mixing, and there was a huge plastic flower sticking out of the top of the pile of grass they'd just dumped. I love you

OK, off to mow leaves...beeeeeauuuuutiful day today!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/22/2012, 5:37 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I, too, feel concerned about the trees along our road and in the woods so when I rake leaves, its only the first big drop. I leave the rest that fall to Mother Nature. I don't want to deprive the trees of their annual compost.
I think we can at least justify it because we are not destroying the leaves, only redistributing it.
I also am also a little concerned about collecting leaves along-side the roads, wondering what toxins they may have picked up from vehicular traffic. Perhaps it is OK after a good soaking rain, but not after six weeks of drought. I do know that after having no rain for weeks, we get warnings about driving in case of emergency braking due to the oil that the rain brings to the surface of the road.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/22/2012, 7:32 pm

@llama momma wrote:Hi Belinda--

A shredder, Ooh how lovely! If we were neighbors, I'd try to bribe you with a couple of lethal buttercrust chocolate pecan pies, to borrow that shredder of yours! Razz

Both of those sound wonderful! I live in Utah also but I sure haven't made buttercrust chocolate pecan pies! That pie sounds amazing!

I only got two bags of leaves so far. I am way behind. I will try the offering an empty bag for a filled one. That's a great idea!


Last edited by Triciasgarden on 10/22/2012, 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added stuff!)

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  quiltbea on 10/22/2012, 11:39 pm

Kelejan.....I don't have to worry about toxins in our roadside leaves, grasses. We live on a 3/4-mile plus private dead-end road and only one car ever comes past our house. No sprays or chemicals are used and no salt products in winter. The lots are all 6 to 8-acre wooded lots. The only lawns are around our houses.
I feel pretty darn safe using the first drop of tree leaves for my veggie gardens.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/23/2012, 12:56 am

That's great to hear, Quiltbee. Keep gathering. Very Happy

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  landarch on 10/23/2012, 8:28 pm

I have four mature bur oak trees in my yard that will give me more than I need...my yard tends to be the gathering place for the neighbor's maple and pin oak leaves as well. I'll mulch mow and bag the leaves over the next few days to add to my two pick-up loads of horse manure (almost already completely composted).

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/23/2012, 9:57 pm

In my forays here in Bend, I'm now on the look-out for leaves. Today, I spotted a wonderful cache near my doctor's office, and will go back there tomorrow to fetch at least a couple of bags. And today, I scooped up a garbage bag full of leaves + pine needles in my own neighborhood. (My bad back prohibits too much bending and stooping.)

One of my neighbors has a leaf shredder.... Perhaps I can bribe them with the offer of homemade pumpkin cookies!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  walshevak on 10/24/2012, 5:05 pm

I sifted and "harvested" 5 reused commercial compost bags and five 18 gal tote bins of good black compost when I rebuilt my piles last week. What is the best way to store this compost so it maintains its goodness while waiting for spring planting? Right now the bags are sitting open in the garage and the sealed tote bins are sitting in the yard.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/24/2012, 5:20 pm

@landarch wrote:I have four mature bur oak trees in my yard that will give me more than I need...my yard tends to be the gathering place for the neighbor's maple and pin oak leaves as well. I'll mulch mow and bag the leaves over the next few days

Me, too, landarch. I have leaves aplenty! Oak, forsythia & maple mostly.

I have always composted in a pile. It's just easier that way for me.

I've been building a 'greens' pile for a couple of months now, when I was moved to do so by Camps photo of hers in a different thread. It's built from food scraps, coffee/tea, gardening debris, seaweed, grass clippings, goose poo, aqua plants and such. The funny thing is it's composted so much that it's full of black beautiful 'gold' already.

This past Monday I mulcher mowed/bagged the beginnings of my falling leaves (mostly scrub oak) for 'browns' and started layering my new compost pile.

So on the left is my finished pile that I've been using this year, the middle in the back is the new pile and on the right side is my 'green' pile:


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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

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