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Leaves, compost, leaves...

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/26/2012, 7:56 pm

What about the pumpkin seeds? Do they survive the heat of the compost, only to sprout the following year?

Meanwhile, I've become a "leaf thief," usually driving around with a pair of gloves and one or more garbage bags, looking for easy-to-scoop caches of leaves and/or pine needles. Of course, without a rake or other tool, I'm forced to scoop them up with my hands.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/26/2012, 9:16 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:
@Triciasgarden wrote:... My daughter is a dog groomer and she brought me several bags of dog hair. I think one will last me years. From what I have been told, a little goes a long way. ...



If you have some critter problems in your garden, you might try putting some of that hair in some little bags (maybe the toe of some old pantyhose or a thin sock) to hang or set around the outside edges of your garden next season. Concentrated dog scent may scare off some of the rabbits or deer.

GG

Great idea, I should try it for the cats! It would be a good experiment!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  quiltbea on 10/26/2012, 10:25 pm

Hey Josh, I love that blower/mulcher. That's something I need to buy. It sure would be nice to have my leaves broken down a bit before adding to the composters. It would save months in getting a finished mulch. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/27/2012, 12:32 am

donnainzone10 wrote:

Meanwhile, I've become a "leaf thief," usually driving around with a pair of gloves and one or more garbage bags, looking for easy-to-scoop caches of leaves and/or pine needles. Of course, without a rake or other tool, I'm forced to scoop them up with my hands.

Look for an old rake or similar tool and cut off the long handle, so much easier to scoop up the leaves. Or try using a small plastic tray; much larger than one's hand.

Josh, I have a similar leaf mulcher, only a sucker, not a sucker/blower.

Today my next-door neighbour gave me three bags of leaves. I could hardly lift them, as they had been crammed with finely mulched leaves so I had to drag them, one by one, across my lawn to my work compost area. Best of all they were not birch leaves.
It looks as though I have them trained; I am going to give them a small bag of my finished compost in appreciation.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  floyd1440 on 10/27/2012, 6:14 am

donnainzone10 wrote:What about the pumpkin seeds? Do they survive the heat of the compost, only to sprout the following year?

Meanwhile, I've become a "leaf thief," usually driving around with a pair of gloves and one or more garbage bags, looking for easy-to-scoop caches of leaves and/or pine needles. Of course, without a rake or other tool, I'm forced to scoop them up with my hands.

I have become a leaf thief as well; starting last spring. My neighbor has a big yard and dumps leaves and grass clipping into a wooded area and after talking to him he said I could have as much as I want. Last weekend I got about 60cu ft of leaves and grass and hope to get about 20-30 more today; weather providing and that should do me till spring.


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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Goosegirl on 10/27/2012, 10:40 am

donnainzone10 wrote:...Of course, without a rake or other tool, I'm forced to scoop them up with my hands.

I was going to suggest a trunk-sized emergency snow shovel (easily obtained here) when I realized you are ZONE 10 and they just would not be for sale in your area! The suggestion to cut a handle will be much simpler for you - or buy a 3-4' replacement handle and switch it.

GG in Zone 4 (trunk snow shovels in every convenience store)

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/27/2012, 11:12 am

GG,

I USED to be in Zone 10, now it's supposedly Zone 6 here in Bend, OR (more like Zone 5).

And yes, I was just looking at trunk-sized snow shovels the other day!

I've tried unsuccessfully to change my user name; can anyone tell me how?

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  walshevak on 10/27/2012, 12:55 pm

A child's rake fits nicely in a car.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  floyd1440 on 10/27/2012, 3:18 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:GG,

I USED to be in Zone 10, now it's supposedly Zone 6 here in Bend, OR (more like Zone 5).

And yes, I was just looking at trunk-sized snow shovels the other day!

I've tried unsuccessfully to change my user name; can anyone tell me how?

On the user name, I went to the help tab and they dirrected me to the profile tab. However I can change my password but am at a loss on how to change the user name....should be a way

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Goosegirl on 10/27/2012, 6:13 pm

I believe that is something that the Administrator has to set up. Last year we had a 1-Week Change Your User Name time-frame but it still had to be done with Administrator assistance.

GG

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/27/2012, 6:30 pm

Floyd and GG,

I did the same thing: went to profile, but there was no option to change my username.

I guess I'll PM RoOsTer, et al.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  CWJones on 10/27/2012, 10:18 pm

Question, at what point does those collected greens (grass clippings) that are allowed to dry become browns? Am I over thinking this composting thing?

CWJ

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  yolos on 10/27/2012, 10:47 pm

Here is part of a discussion from the gardenweb forum concerning whether dried grass is a green or brown.


RE: Dried vs. fresh grass clippings
•Posted by bpgreen 5UT (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 12, 09 at 3:11

"At what point do they (cut grass clippings) become a brown?"
They don't.
Grasses will become a brown if you let them grow, produce seed and die, then cut what is left. But that's not what you're doing. You're cutting green grass and drying it.
Drying it removes the water but doesn't affect the C:N ratio. Some nitrogen will be lost to the atmosphere, but not much, so it remains a green. Anything that is lower than 30:1 C:N is a green. Anything that is higher than 30:1 is a brown. Removing water removes H2O so it doesn't change the ratio of Carbon to Nitrogen."

I rememeber researching this same question when I first started composting and I found that if the grass is cut while it is still green, even if it is later dried, it is still a green. I use the cut grass while it is still green. Just dump it in the bin along with shredded leaves.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Triciasgarden on 10/28/2012, 12:01 am

Yolos that makes perfect sense! Strange how so many gardening sites say drying the grass turns it into a brown. But does brown automatically make it a carbon and does green automatically make it a nitrogen? Hummm?

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  yolos on 10/28/2012, 12:16 am

Coffee grounds are brown but they are a green. It all depends on the carbon nitrogen ratio. But when in doubt, I go by the "if it is green" it is a green. But that is not always true.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/28/2012, 3:37 am

@Triciasgarden wrote:Yolos that makes perfect sense! Strange how so many gardening sites say drying the grass turns it into a brown. But does brown automatically make it a carbon and does green automatically make it a nitrogen? Hummm?
I feel that if grass is dried when it is green and stays green, it is a green.
When I add it to my compost it heats up. It still has chlorophyll in it. When the grass is dead, it no longer has it. That is what I think but I am willing to listen to another opinion.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  camprn on 10/28/2012, 8:50 am

The bottom line is not if it's a green or brown color, but is the stuff a higher source of nitrogen (green) or carbon (brown).
This is one of the best composting sites I have ever read. FULL of info.
http://compost.css.cornell.edu/chemistry.html
click the composting link at the bottom of the page for more info.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 10/28/2012, 11:40 am

Wow! Newspaper or corrugated cardboard, 560:1.
Very useful if you have too many greens.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  CWJones on 10/29/2012, 11:24 pm

Thanks for the answer, cleared that up. Now, if I understand the Cornell link the C/N ratio is determined by weight of the components, not by volumn. Now I know I'm thinking too much.

CWJ

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  plantoid on 11/1/2012, 4:53 am

Santa Claus will get elves stop off early some time today and leave behind a 2800 watt 240 volt electric leaf clearer that sucks them up , mulches them or can be set to blow leaves at the change of a switch .

Because Einstein said time is relative , can I think it is Christmas Day and use the machine to clear up masses of leaves out the garden before they go rotten on the paths etc.??? I ask this for I have lots of space in two compost bins where the leaves can go Wink .

I just love internet shopping .....click & get without having to go out and get wet, cold or blown inside out it's now cheaper to get online delivery in most cases than it is for me to waste fuel , time & money on a car journey to go shopping Laughing

I checked all compost bins yesterday ..Luvelly Jubbley , some of the finest compost on this earth lies within. The hot composting has been hard work for me this last 8 months or so but the results are definitely worth the effort expended .
I also have two experimental Dalek bins running for this last five months or so which are pure garden plant ( no earth what so ever and uncooked raw kitchen vegetable waste .

So far every time I get a bin cram full to the top & put the lid back on it , it only taked two or three days for the contents to start dropping down to give me plenty of space again .
Neither of the bins are anywhere near half full of the composting materials two weeks later .

They reached hottie heights after I plunged the pointed copper tube through them (that I use for the temperature probe wire ) & slipped a teaspoon of compost activator down each hole, giving it a couple of pints of water down each hole after from the hose pipe . I've also poked a few new holes down into them about once every three weeks , taking care not to go down an existing hole wherever possible but did not put in any extra compost activator.

I've not turned the contents of these two bins over because I hoping to try my own version of hottie without the heavy labour usually associated with it as I'm not quite so fit & healthy as I would like to be.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 11/1/2012, 6:45 am

[quote="plantoid"]Santa Claus will get elves stop off early some time today and leave behind a 2800 watt 240 volt electric leaf clearer that sucks them up , mulches...
quote]

Plantoid - the elves were busy helping you so I went myself yesterday and got an electric blower/vac/mulcher. 12 amps, maximum air speed 235mph or 378km/h. Directions say it will grind 16 bags of leaves down to 1. Want so badly to get started but it's still very wet and rainy from hurricane remnants. Currently @ 133 bags of leaves but there are 2 more people who promised me their leaves... affraid Oh well, make hay while the sun shines...
Have empty garbage cans waiting to store the extra mulched goodies.
As for hottie status, look forward to getting these compost piles started already!

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 11/1/2012, 11:00 am

[quote="llama momma"][quote="plantoid"]Santa Claus will get elves stop off early some time today and leave behind a 2800 watt 240 volt electric leaf clearer that sucks them up , mulches...
quote]

Plantoid - the elves were busy helping you so I went myself yesterday and got an electric blower/vac/mulcher. 12 amps, maximum air speed 235mph or 378km/h. Directions say it will grind 16 bags of leaves down to 1. . . . unquote]

16 to 1? that's fabulous. I must get me one next year as I think I have finished for this year.
What brand and model, LL? How much? An enquiring mind wants to know so that I can put it on my wish list.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/1/2012, 11:14 am

@plantoid wrote:
I've not turned the contents of these two bins over because I hoping to try my own version of hottie without the heavy labour usually associated with it as I'm not quite so fit & healthy as I would like to be.

Plantoid, please let us know the results of your experiment in the Dalek bins. No labor is right up my alley! What a Face

CC
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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  llama momma on 11/1/2012, 2:53 pm

Kelejan -
The leaf blower, vacc, and mulcher brand name is Toro Ultra
Purchased from Home Depot
Model 51609
Sale Price $69.97
What I love about this thing is it only weighs 7 pounds, also includes the zippered bag and shoulder strap.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

Post  Kelejan on 11/1/2012, 3:15 pm

@llama momma wrote:Kelejan -
The leaf blower, vacc, and mulcher brand name is Toro Ultra
Purchased from Home Depot
Model 51609
Sale Price $69.97
What I love about this thing is it only weighs 7 pounds, also includes the zippered bag and shoulder strap.

My Canadian Tire Leaf Vacuum I believe cost more than that and is rather awkward to handle and it only shreds as much as 8 bags into five. A vast improvement on putting leaves straight in the bag, I know, and I am thankful for it as I did not realise I had it in th shed until I was clearing out. It must have been there for about 12 years at least. It takes me about an hour to shred four bags of damp, collected leaves that have squashed down into the bag. that was why I was so happy to have ny neighbour's two HUGE bags already shredded that equal about four or five of my bags.
Let's see what next year brings, I cannot really afford to spend too much at the late date in the season. There is alway eBay, of course.

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Re: Leaves, compost, leaves...

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