Presentation on theme: "Michael Patton June 21, 2012 OLLI Class – week 2."— Presentation transcript:
Michael Patton June 21, 2012 OLLI Class – week 2
All Things Composting
Infinity Press 1997
Dont Bag It! Grass clippings contain 80 to 85 percent water and decompose quickly when left on the lawn. Up to 25 percent of a lawn's total fertilizer needs can be met if grass cuttings are left on the lawn. Average lawn mowing time can be reduced by 30 percent when grass cuttings are not bagged. Contrary to myth, grass cuttings do not cause thatch problems.
Cut It High – Let It Lie! Mow the grass often enough so that no more than one-third (about 1 inch) of the vertical height of the grass is cut each time. If you have extra grass cuttings, spread them in thin layers in vegetable and flower beds or around the base of trees. Extra grass cuttings can also be mixed with leaves and used as mulch around shrubs in the fall. Use your neighbors grass clippings.
WE MUST STOP THINKING OF GRASS CLIPPINGS AS GARBAGE! Dr Norman Hummel Jr. Turfgrass Specialist at Cornel University
Why Compost? COMPOST can SAVE you MONEY: –Reduces trash –Provides free soil amendment –Retains soil moisture – saves on water bill COMPOST can HELP your GARDEN: –Feeds the soil –Prevents Soil erosion –Improves yields COMPOST IMPROVES our ENVIRONMENT: –Turns waste into a valuable resource –Saves limited landfill space –Recycles nutrients back into the soil
The Four Rs REDUCES your generation of trash REUSE the compost in your yard RECYCLE nutrients back into the soil RESTORE the health and beauty of our neighborhoods
How to Compost Basic Approach: –Collect leaves, grass, yard clippings –Place in a heap or bin –Sprinkle with water, maintain dampness Quicker composting (1-3 months): Alternate layers of greens and browns Aerate the pile by turning and poking Chop materials into smaller pieces and moisten. Slower composting (3-6 months): Keep adding material to your pile Keep it moist
Harvesting & Using Your Compost
Composting with Worms Considered to be Black Gold Requires very little work Produces no offensive odors Helps plants thrive Improves fertility of soil Again, your recycling and saving landfill space Most importantly its fun
Getting Started Worm Bins –8 to 14 deep –Lid –Ventilation & drainage Bedding Material –Shredded Newspaper –Leaves –Keep Moist (not wet) Worms Red Wigglers 55 and 75 degrees
Feeding Your Worms Gizzards –Coffee grounds & Filters –Egg shells Do Feed –Vegetable scraps –Fruit peelings –Bread –Tea bags Dont Feed –Meat or Bones –Dairy products –Citrus fruits (large amounts) –Garlic or Onions
Harvesting Your Worm Castings Within 3 to 6 months you should be able to harvest your worm castings. Harvesting and adding new bedding should be done at least twice a year. Method 1 –Remove a third to half of the contents add to your garden –Thats worms and all Method 2 –Spread plastic or paper under light or sun –Dump contents of worm bin and build cone shape piles –Wait ten minutes and scrap off top of cone –Wait ten minutes and repeat –Return worms to your bin