I have an half acre, I sweep my lawn ever week and have a nice size mound of
grass. I will have alot of leaves this fall. I was wondering the best way to
compost these. We are building rasied beds for the garden we are going to
grow next year.
Mixing grass clippings (green matter) and autumn leaves (brown matter)
is excellent. Mix them thoroughly together. Find the best topsoil in
your garden and put a bucket of it on top of the pile. Water the pile.
Turn the pile over about once a month and make sure it stays moist (not
After about a year, you should be able to sift it. I made a sifter by
nailing four 2-ft lengths of 1x4 lumber to form a bottomless box. I
fastened 1/4-in wire mesh to the bottom and handles to the top. I sift
over a tarp. Whatever lands on the tarp goes into a barrel. Whatever
fails to go through the sifter goes back onto the pile.
Note that my pile is almost 100% leaves (brown matter). I'm getting
leafmold, not true compost. The acidic nature of leafmold works great
with my alkaline soil.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
I simply mix up the grass clippings and fallen leaves in multiple
large piles in a corner of my yard. My compost piles are mainly brown
leaves anyway. I sprinkle some fertilizer and top soil onto it.
I mix the content of the piles probably twice per year - or may be
three times if I have nothing else to do. My finished composts tend
to be a bit more chunky than stored bought version because I don't mix
them regularly (mixing composts can be physically exhausting and time
consuming that I want to avoid doing). Most are well composted after
one year anyway; therefore, I take the easy way out.
I only sift the composts if I need some of them for top dressing some
areas in my lawn (like some bare spots that I need to re-seed). I
don't sift if I use the finished compost in vegetable garden or flower
garden. Sifting cmoposts is a very exhausting work that I want to
Hope this helps.
Here, here! I second the motion of avoiding exhausting work! My compost
usually has plenty of stuff in it that isn't "done" yet when I dig it into
the veggie garden at the end of winter. The hauling and digging are
exhausting enough without adding sifting of the compost to my list of
back-breaking chores for tilling day. I pull out any unrotted item larger
than a bowling pin, but the rest is on its own. The veggies have been
perfectly happy with my half-assed job, so as long as they ain't
complainin', I ain't siftin'! :-)
Utopia in Decay
Time to buy a mulching blade for your mower and improve the soil of
your lawn while reducing the need for additional fertilizer and
If you pile damp organic material out in the weather it will rot. You
can get a nice hot compost with leaves and clippings.
Or you can just add them to the paths betweeen your raised beds and
when they rot away add the resulting compost to your beds.
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