Needles up the wha-zoo!!

How can I use this stuff?
The needles are falling from the redwoods, cedar, Grand Fir, Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine that grow in an island in my yard. The oak leaves are starting to fall too. There is just too much to leave it all under the trees. It will bury everything growing beneath! I'd like to leave some under, but what can I do with the rest? We were blowing it all out and tossing it, but that seems a waste of good material. I could mow it up with the mulching blades and spread it around the other beds. Or should I stack it all in a pile and compost it? Suggestions?
Karen
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Boy, you *are* a long ways from home, darlin.'
Tom Bodett did a radio piece about yard care, when he moved from Homer, AK to Whidbey Island a few years ago. As *you* know, all you need in Alaska for yard care is a chainsaw and a weed whacker with a skil-saw blade on it. Tom had to learn about lawn mowers and stuff when he moved down there.
Compost it. Hit the compost site that'll help you figure out how to balance the greens & browns, so the compost will cook. (If I can do it, anyone can. But I lost that website address when my good computer died. I think one of the Pat's here knows the website.)
Jan
PS: We have snow in the forecast here on sat. night, Karen. I'm not ready.
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You got that right, Jan. Back home my yardwork consisted of shoving leaves aside in the fall. Those were the days. ;-)
karen

for
Tom
balance
can.
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Wow, that could hurt at BM time.
Find a corner and build a bin and let this material compost down. I take it from Jan's post, your up in the colder areas. If true, chop up into smaller pieces, build a big pile and let it be for a long time and it will cold compost. May take up to a year but will be totally worth it.
http://www.barc.usda.gov/anri/sasl/compost.html
JK
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Well, so far all the replies say "compost." Easy enough. I've got compost bins set up for my other green material, so I'll just have to incorporate this stuff. But I'm wondering if I should compost this separately since I'm thinking it will be awfully acidic when it breaks down. I could use it for mulching the rhodies and acid loving plants. Any thoughts on that?
I'm near Portland, OR, so it's not too cold. Jan lives up in Alaska, where I used to live, and that's what she was referring to.
karen
Wow, that could hurt at BM time.
Find a corner and build a bin and let this material compost down. I take it from Jan's post, your up in the colder areas. If true, chop up into smaller pieces, build a big pile and let it be for a long time and it will cold compost. May take up to a year but will be totally worth it.
http://www.barc.usda.gov/anri/sasl/compost.html
JK
AnonnyMoose wrote:

and
with
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AnonnyMoose wrote:

The composting process should produce a fairly neutral product. It might be somewhat on the acid side if the compost is incomplete, but not enough to be a problem. If you worry about it, most states have extension services which can do tests on compost similar to soil tests. Also, the pH test is probably the most accurate one in the home soil test kits, so that should give you some information.
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I would think they might really mean to say, "Throw the stuff in a pile and let it sit". Or" grind it up and pile in a bin" The material will compost fairly well in the temperate area you're in. As it breaks down, it'll have a tendency to tend towards neutral ph. If you have avid lovers and rhodies, you should be in good shape.
JK
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Thanks all. I've started the pile. karen

stack
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If you get your "greens and browns" right, compost will get good and hot, even up here in the Frozen North(tm). I was doing start to finished compost in 3 weeks this spring. (Spring weather up here runs ~40F. more or less.)
Marion Owen on Kodiak Island, AK has a website (and newsletter) that talks about compost in colder climates. (Alaskans don't think of this as a cold climate, since so many Alaskans work at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. *That* is a cold climate. So is working on a crew that's drilling ice cores for climate studies on the ice cap in Greenland.) Our area is downright tropical in comparison (!)
Jan

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