So here is our dilemma, we just bought a house and have not had enough time to generate compost but we are putting in raised beds anyway. We did one last weekend and did a lasagna of red clay/wood chips/red clay which I then mixed up a bit because that is pretty much all we had. We have a small chipper, but it's design would make it slower to use at shredding leaves than it would be to simply crumble the leaves by hand. Is there anything else we can use that wont require us to buy anything from the store? It is more important to us that the raised beds be site input only than it is that they produce good yields their first year. Maybe a layer of crumbled leaves on top? Or would that provide too small of a benefit to make it worth it? We have learned that time is one of our most precious commodities on the homestead since we both work 40+ hours a week.
I would take a hand full of compost, mushroom heads you find outside and your used tea bags/coffee ground put them in a water vessel you happen you have laying around and let it set over night. Then the next day use the water in your beds. That should a least get some of that good composting bacteria/mycelium into your beds.
Also Jerusalem Artichokes are a super low maintenance plant.
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That is a great idea! We did use some Alaska fish fertilizer we had from years ago, but I hadn't thought on how to introduce mycelium into the bed. We started a compost pile with wood shavings from the chicks/ducks and the rat cage so I will put a few scoops of that in a 5 gallon bucket with whatever fungi I can find in the yard (bound to be some) and some water.