November 14, 2012
Once you get a few windy days in the fall, the leaves start raining down from the trees. You rake up those leaves and put them out by the curb for pick up by your city or town. You may even have to haul them to the compost facility. Compost? Maybe you should be making compost in your yard. One of the hardest things about making compost is that it tends to sit there and take forever to rot. When you are making compost, you need the bacteria to get the process going if you want the leaves to rot away. The same goes for those grass clippings you have tons of in the spring. Nothing like the smell of a pile of grass clippings molding all spring! What makes the process go quicker is a thing called the carbon nitrogen ratio. What this means in simple terms is that you need some green material and some brown material mixed together to get the process really going. The green material is the grass clippings and any household waste like lettuce leaves etc. The easiest brown material to get is all fallen leaves. Those leaves aren’t readily available come the spring. However you could save some of those leaves this fall and add them to your compost in the spring. Most of you put the leaves in those brown paper bags. If you put a few bags in the shed or garage this fall, then you would have them to use in the spring when you have all those green grass clippings. If you don’t have a place inside to store the paper bags, just put the paper bags in a large plastic bag and store the leaves outside. Come the spring, you have your source of brown material for making your compost.
If you have a ton of leaves that you want to stat composting this fall, there are compost activators you can add to the leaves to speed the process up. As you make your pile of leaves, you add some of the activator as you pile up the leaves. By adding the activator to the leaves, the decomposition process can be accelerated.
To switch topics for a bit, fall is an excellent time to lime your lawn. Once you get those leaves picked up, you should apply lime to your lawn. Lime removes the acidity from the soil. Acidity in the soil makes it harder for the grass to take up the fertilizer you apply to the lawn. Weeds also grow very well in acidic soil.
Your lawn isn’t the only area of your yard that can benefit from a fall application of lime. Your perennial gardens generally need an application of lime. You vegetable garden will benefit from lime too. Rose bushes and lilacs need an application of lime too.
Take some time this fall to apply some lime to your gardens.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.