I was reading the "what to do with wood chips..." posting and it
brought to mind some questions I have about composting.
The village where I live makes no arrangements for yard waste. There
is no pick-up day, no drop-off location, and the trash collectors
refuse to take it if they can see what it is (i.e., if one puts it out
in paper yard waste sacks as opposed to disguising it in black garbage
Last fall, I left most (okay--all, LOL!) of the fallen leaves on the
garden beds and raked them off in spring. I constructed a rudimentary
composter by making a 3-foot circle with some 4-foot tall field fence
out behind my garage, and these partially broken-down leaves became the
first layer. Since then, I have added grass clippings, small brush
clippings, and lots of weeds and ivy (someone before me r-e-a-l-l-y
loved ivy). I'll probably be adding lots more bushy stuff now that
I've got a new hedge trimmer.
I plan to turn the compost occasionally with a pitchfork. Other than
that, I've done nothing. Since the pile is completely open and
exposed, I don't add any foodstuffs (vegetable peels, etc.), since I'm
concerned that would draw animals and flies.
Is there more I should do to hasten the breakdown of the yard waste I
put in the pile? About how long should I expect to wait before I can
remove compost and put it on my flower beds? Other tips?
Thanks in advance!