• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

more greens than browns for compost, lasgna garden  RSS feed

 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What can I do with all of these fresh tree trimmings?
I have a lot of trimmings from trees right now. Some are browns, however most of them are greens. I never seem to have enough browns to compost with as there is always an abundance of greens in my area.

Im not too familiar with using green leaves/brush in composting as I usually use food scraps and brown leaves. How quick will the leaves turn into browns? Is there some sort've acception to the rule of C:N ratio when this is being used?

Can i use this in lasagna beds without having to add a surplus of browns to the pile. The main sort of leaves I have in this area at this moment is jamaican walnut, and I am a little apprehensive about using them since I know that they produce juglone; I'm just not sure how much juglone they produce.

Detail about intentions on this property:
I recently moved here and have been allowed to turn this into a large garden/food forest from my landlord. I am starting to plant it all out, and I just recently trimmed some large fruit, leguminous, and palm tree's back for more sunlight on paths so I can plant vegetables for now. I have an almost unlimited supply of greens as food scraps, and a limited supply of browns. Mainly this is because I do not want to spend $7.50 on a bale of hay that I am not sure is not GMO, and most of the fallen leaves in my area are jamaican walnuts as mentioned above.

I do not have large access to soil, and plus we are all aware where the nutrients come from in the tropics. I am starting to plant pigeon pea, sun hemp, and comfrey to use as nitrogen fixers and the latters as chop n drops.

At this moment, I need to get some beds in here and I plan to go with the sheet mulching. Any ideas that can help me with the information I provided would be extremely helpful. I appreciate it
 
                                  
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you have a surplus of green material you can always use newspaper, computer paper, junk mail, and cardboard to supplement your carbon supply. Those things can always be found for free.

Are you trying to compost sticks or just green leaves? Wood is very high in carbon even if it is a little green when it goes into a pile so if your composting sticks you might not need as much carbon as you think.

If you do have sticks as well why not try a Hugelkultur bed?
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If im not mistaken the walnuts will be a problem when they are fresh, Ive heard letting it sit anywhere from 4 months to 2 years. Depending on what you want to grow in there it might not be a big deal since the alleopathic danger is mostly from the roots.

As far as the ratio, Toby is specific in his book about the ratio as a target, however I think you have a lot of flexibility and I wouldnt get too caught up in it. I will say that by having excess nitrogen it can cause some plants to just produce leaves and grow tall without fruit production.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just about anything can serve the function of surface mulch - I prefer not to scatter branches where I am planning some other kind of site management as they can get in the way, making more work latter.

I make brush piles where I am planning on planting a tree in around a year, and cover up the brush with other junk to maintain high humidity.

I am not sure that tree leaves... even when green, are less that 25 or 30:1 C to N, which is you target for nitrogen neutrality.  "Green" just means a lower C to N ratio, not necessarily the color of the material (sorry if this is obvious).

It is easier to hack up branches with a machette when they are green.

No advice about your species and Juglone.
 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for the replies everyone.

I do know why I didn't mention the hugel bed in my post, as that was something I was considering. I did mention it in the hugelkulture thread though.

Thats good to hear about the C:N ratio of green leaves, I was unaware. I know that you don't have to hit 30:1 exactly, its more a target. I just want to make sure it doesn't take for ever to use the bed, and that it is not too much carbon or nitrogen while plants are growing.

Never thought about using my recycles/ reusables. Do you shred your cardboard?
 
                                  
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We shred all of our paper and cardboard by hand on a small scale it is not too difficult but if your trying to do alot it can get a little time consuming. I try to use as much of this stuff as I can because I have more nitrogen than carbon sources for my piles. I also use both as a sheet mulch beneath straw to cut back on the amount of straw I have to buy. The cardboard can be ripped into 6x6 pieces and will break down fairly quickly. It also helps to use these materials in your piles because of the different size/shape of the material, when I only used leaves in the past they would mat alot of times and only compost on the outside or not at all.
 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Has anyone grown from direct seeding into a lasagna bed?

How did this work out?
 
                  
Posts: 9
Location: Zone 9a
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would treat the tree trimmings/leaves/wood as browns.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason wrote:
Has anyone grown from direct seeding into a lasagna bed?

How did this work out?


I've planted just about every type of annual vegetable from seed into first year lasagne beds. It works out great as long as you have enough of a nitrogen source, and make 1-2 inch wide trenches/furrows right down to the existing soil level, and filling those in with soil, compost, manure, or a mix of each. Root crops such as carrots can be a bit tricky in the first year but they can be successful if you have sandy soil, or loosen the existing soil with a hay fork before sheet mulching, and/or build your sheet mulch up high enough (eg. at least 1 foot high)
 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What I did:

Previously, I put swales in where the garden is so they were already forked, cardboarded, and mulched with hay. After deciding thats where the garden was best I quickly learned the greatest lesson as to design first and then implement.

I spread a very light amount of turkey manure and some fire ash on top of the mulch. Then, I gathered rotting/ fresh logs from neighbors yard and "trash" piles and used these as a base. I didn't have a ton of logs so it's not a full on hugelkulture bed, however there are logs covering most of the earth and in same cases are over 18" high.

Afterward, I spread a 5" layer of fresh trimmed (still green) avocado brush on top of the logs and area. I stopped here because I had to go to work

I will build up the layers with brown/green trimmings around the yard and 30gallons of vegetable waste. I imagine the more nitrogen (to a point) the better since I am constantly hearing that the logs suck it up, which is why I will be spreading so much food matter.

I plan to build this about four feet high, as I know this will shrink down to 6-12" as it did on my own property. I have started lots of veggies that will be transplanted in. I plan to grow comfrey, pigeon pea and sunn hemp directly around the bed for chop n drop.


 
I am going down to the lab. Do NOT let anyone in. Not even this tiny ad:
Mike Oehler's Low-Cost Underground House Workshop & Survival Shelter Seminar - 3 DVD+2 Books Deal
https://permies.com/wiki/48625/Mike-Oehler-Cost-Underground-House
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!