free compost, ready for the pickin, already done for ya!

hostahillbilly(4)September 22, 2013

before we started our own leaf pile, years ago we found out where a local town pick up leaves pile was out behind one of the municipal buildings, and if you dig into the end that's been there for a few years - voila, free ready made dirt, yeehaw!

hh the cheap free dirt thief

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The city here has a thing after Christmas when they mulch all the Christmas trees recycled. Then that is given freely.

But, we had to volunteer (Keep Mobile Beautiful project) to remove any nails from the tree bases, the light strings, ornaments, such like that. Those foreign objects would screw up the shredders.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Funny you should mention leaf pile. My DH dug into one of ours with his tractor's front end loader today for me. Five baby snakes squirmed out of the pile. eesh! They moved on quickly as we watched, then he scooped up some leaf compost and took it to my new hosta bed. I have been developing this bed for a while now and needed more "dirt" to bring the level up a bit. I turned over the lovely stuff into what I had already amended and will leave it to sit over winter. There will be settling, but those leaf piles aren't going anywhere soon and will be available as needed. Also, when the 'war wagon' (yard vac) comes out, DH will be adding plenty more to the leaf pile during the coming months.

Composted leaves makes great soil amendment, but watch out for snakes!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 7:05PM
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We have city and county composting. We bring our garden refuse in and take compost out. I think it operates on property taxes, so not really free but already paid for. We use it every year. Our compost bin is mostly for kitchen scraps. Ours is full now so we will have to empty it next year and start again.

Happy digging,

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 7:08PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

I love our county recycling program. You pay a couple bucks to drop off brush, they grind it up turn it into mulch ($3.00 a scoop) or compost ($5.00 a scoop). True, you do get big sticks mixed in, but it's so cheap!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:49PM
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bernd ny zone5

We leave yard waste in big paper bags and brush in tied bundles at the curb, and a company in contract with the town brings it to the town's composting station. But I would need to buy an annual ticket from the town to pick up any compost, so I do my own compost. Bernd

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:32AM
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A bit of hosta lore with respect to this forum;

My mother the late Pauline Banyai was trying hard back in the late 1950's to build up our home garden soil, which was quite sandy loam with a clay layer about 1-2 ft underneath (southeast Michigan typical soil). Not good for perennials!

Living in the city, we were fortunate to have an undeveloped lot next door which my mother knew the owner of.

She convinced the city of Madison Heights to dump their leaves gathered in the Fall on that lot - it was many dump truck loads, leaving a pile about 5-7 ft tall as the leaves were not compacted.

Her 4 boys and the neighborhood kids proceeded to tromp the leaves down, leaving a 2-3 ft playing field over the winter.

The next Spring the heavy winter snow had helped it drop another 1-2 ft as it composted down, while us kids continued to play on it. That summer my father began hand tilling that composted leaves into the garden, which took him a couple of years to complete.

Then they started it all over again. Those who visited Mom's garden always wondered how the soil was so rich and soft; just work composted leaves in for a couple of years!

Peter Ruh pushed that concept further and build his new hosta beds in compost piles which he built for purpose. I moved to Delaware and built my hosta beds in mushroom soil, which was dreamland!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 9:17AM
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