just grass and leaves for compost????

flowersnhens(Maine 4)October 17, 2009

Hello everyone !! Well, today was a perfect fall day outdoors. I spent most of it getting the raised beds ready for next spring, raking, mowing and shredding leaves with the mower. I probably emptied the lawnmower bag 15 times into the compost bin. SOOOO, I was wondering,,,can you get good compost from only grass and leaves???? or do you need to add the other stuff like coffee grounds and kitchen scrapps to get a good balance???. I mean,,,grass is green and leaves are brown, so why cant that alone make a good compost??? Don't get me wrong,,I certainly add the UCG's, banana peels, kitchen scrapps, straw, chicken manure, etc BUT most of whats in all of my piles are grass and leaves (after today) because I have so much of it. I have 10 acres,,so the leaves and grass will be available until the snow falls. But, if someone used ONLY grass and leaves, would that make a good balanced, healthy compost??? Any comments on this are greatly appreciated. Thanks, flowersnhens

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Our compost pile is about 50% shredded maple leaves, and the rest is mostly garden refuse, like sunflower stalks, tomato vines, and raspberry canes. Its a slow pile, I build it up all summer, and let it sit over the winter. There is always plenty of finished compost when I dig out the pile, in April.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 9:01PM
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You bet! Leaves and grass makes an excellent compost with lots of the micronutrients. I've post the nutrient contents of leaves and grass from Rutgers in the past, I'm sure I could dig them up again if you like.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 10:59PM
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that's what I'm doing now too. (not 10 acres worth) I wish!
I see steam when I dig holes to add kitchen scraps so it's working. By your name, do you still have hens? add their manure and egg shells too. Good stuff.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 11:59PM
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I just filled two large bins with 95% grass clippings and chipped leaves that I scored this week in Brewer. I often fill those contractors' mil plastic bags with leaves and grass clippings, haul them out into the woods where I ignore them for a year or two. I've been harvesting some of that beautiful stuff this week.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 11:40AM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

auntyara: Yes, I do still have hens,,and I sometimes add the chicken manure. I don't add too much, because they are always mixed in the shavings and they seem to take a while to break down,,and they also seem to dry the soil out in the garden a bit.

Thank you for the quick replies,,,I am glad to hear that leaves and grass alone are fine to use,,Of course I will still add the other stuff, but most of my piles now consist of the leaves and grass.

Lloyd, That would be great if you can find them easily. I appreciate it.

You know I find myself driving down the road and looking at peoples lawns that are FULL OF FALLEN LEAVES,,and I think to myself, "oh my gosh,,they are going to waste".!!!
I am tempted to rake up peoples yards just so I can take the stuff home. lol

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 8:05PM
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I am raiding my dad's yard tomorrow for leaves and what ever else tall green grasses might be overgrown in the back of his house. I live in town not far.

Our city lot is small compared to his country lot. Lots of great trees, Oak preferably, so my compost on top of my gardem will be of brown leaves, green grasses. Organic matter is still organic despite of it's origin. It all becomes the same. I'm fortunate they are all coffee drinkers at his house! We have only one at ours!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 8:39PM
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    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 10:43PM
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curtludwig(New England)

I'd guess that my pile will be 50% or better leaves by volume but more like 20% by weight.

I'm always amazed the volume of leaves we put into our pile and the way they cook down...

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 2:51PM
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