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Composting leaves and grass clippings

 
Susan Wakeman
Posts: 35
Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Europe
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Hi,

I am starting a commuity garden in a residential area that produces lots of grass clippings and leaves which are carted off. For our no-dig approach, we need lots of compost, so I'dlike to have your opinion on:

how to compost leaves and lawn clippings in large quantities
- ideally in less than a year
- NO SMELL!
- looks neat
- little work
- smallish footprint

I'll probably post about it when fall comes round.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1424
Location: Central New Jersey
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When you say "large quantities" how large ar eyou talking about? Because there's sort of an inherent conflict between "large quantity" and "smallish footprint".

I don't think that leaves and grass are going to produce a problem with odor. That tends to come up more when you start putting kitchen scraps in there too.

Frames made with pallets can give a pretty neat/tidy compost bin. Can even paint them as preferred for a better look.

I tie my pallets together, then when I want compost out, I can just untie, or cut, remove one, or more, pallets for access to the pile and start digging it out.

Depending on how you wanted to do things, you could just remove the pallets from around the pile and set them up again in a new location, distribute the compost from the old pile and use the area that had been under the pile as a planting bed.

I am sure others will have more suggestions.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Susan, welcome to permies. Do you all use any chemicals on the grass over there? Like weed killers etc? Some of that stuff will still be in there when you have it all composted so it could effect the future gardens that you put it on.
If you are sure to keep the grass turned so that air gets to it , it will not smell. Mixing it with leaves will make a difference.
If your garden area is big enough, you could just sheet mulch the grass and leaves.
 
Susan Wakeman
Posts: 35
Location: Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Europe
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Sheet mulching - do you mean mixing leaves and grass together, then placing it on the vegetable beds?

How much will be composted by the spring?

Won't this increase the slug population?
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3766
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Yes , I dump all of my grass clippings and leaves right on to the garden. In the fall I sometimes have a foot thick of material .
It is mostly compost by spring and if you have fungi working for you it is even better.
I do not have a problem with slugs but your area may be different from mine.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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