I’ve kind of learweeds for compostned the rhythm of the garden. In the winter time, when things aren’t growing you build stuff and start planning for the next season. At the same time, leaves are on the ground, so you pick those up for composting. Rain falls, so you collect that too as it will be needed for both your summer season and the compost.

The nice thing is after a rainstorm, I have a nice crop of weeds in my yard, but I’ve never really used them until today…

leaf pile with weedsSo, I started digging up weeds (above). They are compostable as long as they haven’t gone to seed. I noticed that the rootball often has grass in it. I was more worried about getting grass seeds in my compost than the weeds themselves. So I cleaned the weed first, tore it up and then put it on my leaf pile (right). I also added grass clippings.

I started using my El Toro leaf blower to just shred leaves, but then I thought I would be super smart by mixing the weeds into the leaves and letting the shredder mix them in. Turns out, I found two new ways to clog the leaf blower: first, a layer of mud had collected around the interior of the blower, causing it to do nothing. I had to manually remove it with my finger before it started working again. Now I have come to equate the mechanical clanging sound with leaves being shredded, and a smooth sounds with things being clogged.

I also discovered that the leaf blower is not made for wet things – they tend to clog and needed to be unclogged with a stick. I had to do this every few minutes and it became hard work.

compost leaves wateringOnce my leaves were shredded, I put them in a trash can (left) to be wet with rainwater. Rainwater is full of protozoans which are chemically removed from tap-water, but are beneficial to the composting process, so I’m told (and believe). I put a lid on the trash can too keep it dark so that the leaves get saturated with water and start composting. If I leave it long enough, worms will move in.

After a few days, I’ll move it to the compost bin.

Composter