How to make super fast compost


 

How to make the world's fastest compost
Here's your solution to all those grass clippings!

By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul


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One day, my husband, the local harbormaster, called from the office. "The guys are mowing the lawns around the harbor building and they want to know if you want the grass clippings."

Does a duck like water? I told him yes.

That evening he arrived with 10 bags of clippings. Uh oh, even too much of a good thing can mean trouble. I didn't have enough leaves to mix with the clippings. Without something to fluff up grass clippings, they'll turn to green goo or an impermeable" felt" within days, eventually becoming an stinky mess. You know what I'm talking about.

What's a desperate gardener to do?

Well, I had several bags of dry, brown peat moss laying around. (You can also use "cleanings" from local horse stables that contains straw or sawdust, cow manure--you get the picture), so after dinner, I put them to work.

compost materialscompost materials
Grass clippings (left) and peat moss (right)


The ideal mix for a compost pile is 1 part nitrogen (N) materials like grass clippings to 3 parts carbon (C) brown stuff like leaves, straw or--you guessed it--peat moss. In this case I mixed them in equal portions, sprinkling the materials with water as I went. In just 3 days the temperature reached 160 degrees (F)! Over the next 10 days, I turned the pile a couple times. Soon afterwards, the pile had cooked down enough to add it to the garden as a mulch.

Yes, necessity IS the mother of invention. For many Americans, a lush green lawn is a matter of pride (and a weekend chore), which generates tons of grass clippings. Composting the grass clippings provides a quick solution to an abundance of grass clippings and remember, it is a healthy mulch for your garden. [To learn how to use compost and make it year-round, read my Compost Happens! article.]

Wait, there's more! Meet the EcoLawn...

Another solution, of course, is to not have so much space devoted to lawns in the first place. And... there is the EcoLawn, a line of seed mixes developed by Oregon State University and Hobbs and Hopkins in Portland, Oregon.

The company’s flagship product is called Fleur de Lawn. Fleur, French for flower, is a blend of frilly-leafed yarrow, multi-colored English daisies, and strawberry clover. The clover naturally replenishes nitrogen in the soil so you don’t need to add fertilizers. And you don't have to mow as often! For more info about alternative lawns, visit this web site: www.protimelawnseed.com.

Want a challenge? Add to the list of 163 Things You Can Compost!




Thanks for visiting and please stop by again. I'll put the coffee on!


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