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Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

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Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  plantoid on 8/17/2015, 6:22 pm

The old lady next door to me had her 65 foot long  hedge planted one every three feet 26 foot tall Leylandi fir trees that run 9 inches on her side of the property boundary line " trimmed " whilst we were away on a 6 day away day break .

The cowboys who did it left all the stuff that fell on my garden where it landed and scarpered off  saying to the old gal can you pay us now  before we finish as we need to go & get breakfast & some  gravel for your drive as agreed. 
They took the first load off her lawn and dropped three loads of gravel on her drive , raked it out and then took the last load of trimmings & disappeared from the face of the earth leaving loads still on her garden and as I've already said plenty on my side.
 Well I happen to have a decent chipping /shredding machine that can turn the stuff into compostable material.  46 cubic feet of chopped /mulched fir trees later I had a heart to heart with the lady and offered to take back the four trees that the cowboys failed to sort out.

 ( the garden does not know what's happened it's getting loads of sunshine from sunrise to  mid morning where as before it was usually shaded . ... the plants love ot and have now decided to grow like Billy'O )

 I now have about 65 cubic feet of mulched matter , have had to resort to putting it in real heavy duty PVC builders rubble sacks .

 Never having had this amount of evergreen mulched leaves & wood I'm now quite sure what the best way to get it to useable compost in about six months is .


Has anyone successfully composted similar amounts of the same sort of matter , if so what did you do ?

 Other folks thoughts of suitable composting methods for this amount are also welcome
 I do have 1 & 1/2 x  56 pound bales of damp wheat straw and about 2 cubic feet of part composted garden plants to play with .

 The local Starbucks  is trying to sell coffee grounds for £5 ( approx  $8.00) for a wet approx. five pound weight container . ( Which to my mind on cost alone puts it right off the menu ).

.
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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  sanderson on 8/18/2015, 1:47 am

Any horse or cow manure available to add to it?

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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  walshevak on 8/18/2015, 4:02 pm

plantoid wrote: The local Starbucks  is trying to sell coffee grounds for £5 ( approx  $8.00) for a wet approx. five pound weight container . ( Which to my mind on cost alone puts it right off the menu ).

.
 Unless there has been a sea change  selling the grounds is against Starbucks' corporate policy of supporting gardeners and the community.  I just sent an email to corporate hq to ask about this.

Kay

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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  plantoid on 8/18/2015, 5:53 pm

walshevak wrote:
plantoid wrote: The local Starbucks  is trying to sell coffee grounds for £5 ( approx  $8.00) for a wet approx. five pound weight container . ( Which to my mind on cost alone puts it right off the menu ).

.
 Unless there has been a sea change  selling the grounds is against Starbucks' corporate policy of supporting gardeners and the community.  I just sent an email to corporate hq to ask about this.

Kay
 Could be a local thing here in the UK ..,.. Wales is quite different to the rest of the world .. including their appreciation of British traffic law & sensible driving  Embarassed  Laughing

Remember Starbuck didn't pay any taxes for years on their UK businesses as they'd registered them in Luxumberg and only paid the lowest tax possible in Luxemberg.
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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/18/2015, 5:56 pm

I don't know if you have the heart or the back or the tractor for turning that much material regularly.

Perhaps using a lasagna method of sorts might be most practical? Layering your browns with greens and then just letting it settle over the winter?

I had more than a ton of cow poop a couple summers ago, and come next spring, it shrank down to practically nothing compared to what it was. Your browns will be less biologically active, but perhaps you'd be surprised how much they'll shrink on their own without your lifting a finger after piling them together.
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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  plantoid on 8/18/2015, 6:03 pm

sanderson wrote:Any horse or cow manure available to add to it?
  Not yet but Alison caught me looking longingly at the muck wheel barrow and a herd of cows that have been put into the grass field opposite us today .

 I've worked in hour sessions to day since 10.00 hrs and had an hours rest in between, finished at 21.20 hrs tonight .. all of the hedging and oak tree cuttings that is 40 mm in dia or less has now been shredded .

 Fortunately I've managed to slip all of Alison's weeding results of the last two days in with a few bits of the firs .
I managed to get two wheel barrows worth of soft green vegetation through with the firs doing it like this .


 Alison has just informed me Embarassed  That it was a COSTAS coffee shop selling the grounds and they weren't selling them... instead  they were suggesting an amount to their charitable cause of their year.

 I give a shed load of dosh to my own favoured charities elsewhere ,    so won't be donating for some .
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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  Zmoore on 8/18/2015, 6:58 pm

My 2 cents.  
Sanderson posted a compost calculator that you may find useful.  Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste the link AND I think I'm making errors just dealing with this simple reply.  Sorry if there are double posts.
Anyway, Wood chips are hot in carbon, you need to mix with greens to balance out.  65 c.f. is about 2.5 cubic yards and the general rule of thumb for a workable compost pile is about 3x3x3 or 1 c.y.  4x4x4 64 c.f. or about 2.4 c.y is general rule of thump for maximum manageable pile.  
O.k. compost material is generally broken down into "browns" and "greens" or "carbon" and "nitrogen".  You have "carbon" or "browns" covered.  You need "Greens" or "nitrogen".  You need to stay away from paper, leaves, hay, ash, cotton, woody material.  You need to look for manure, veggies, fruit, coffee, grass.  Generally speaking.  Also, quick check with the compost calculator above, you need about an equal part mix with your wood chips.  So, you're generally looking at 130 c.f. 4.8 cubic yard of material.  
Long story short, split your wood chips into about 3 equal piles (about 22 c.f. each) then start adding "greens" of equal volume to each pile with an emphasis on manure, horse manure being about the hottest for counter balance.  If you could get an equal balance of wood chips (hottest) to horse manure (hottest) you'd generally be within the range you're looking for.  Each of your piles would be about 44 c.f. or 1.6 c.y, which is in range of workable.  Potentially, you could split your wood chips in 4, still work with at least equal "greens" to balance, but be easier to work with.  
Anyway, last recommendation from a nobody, pine/evergreen tends to be high in Ph, I'd throw some lime into the mix.  I'm not talking cubic yard, maybe 1 c.f. or less, just some lime to knock down the Ph.
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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  sanderson on 8/19/2015, 3:04 am

Pines may be acidic but by the time they compost, they tend toward neutral.  The calculator is on my home computer or I would repost it.

http://www.klickitatcounty.org/solidwaste/fileshtml/organics/compostCalc.htm

http://www.norganics.com/applications/cnratio.pdf


Last edited by sanderson on 8/19/2015, 9:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added links)

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Re: Leylandi soft fir trees for compost material

Post  plantoid on 8/20/2015, 6:33 pm

I'd  constructed a reply pot when my server dropped out for 24 minutes ..

 
OK  I've pumped about 450 gallons of green pond water over  the contents of the bins of mulch .that should give it a bit of a bacterial kick start .
( I've now replaced the missing water as part of the end of the month routine .. it's just happened early )
 Come spring , if things have not composted much I should be able to drop a trailer or two of cow  manure from the farm that over winters his small herd on deep straw it will be a brown but as it will have cow muck and lots of urine in it so it should go down a treat & I'll have usable compost by the end of may .
If not all is not lost for I'll still have a couple of cubic yards of old well made compost to play with .
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