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Location: Arlington, WA
Posted: Apr/19/2009 4:30 PM PST
Bins and tumblers I think are ok for folks who live on city lots, have limited space and all. For folks like me who have bitten off more than they can chew in terms of garden space, such things are not sufficient. At a former property I had big maple trees which shed gobs of leaves. All I needed to do was pile it all up. So I made 3 bins out of wooden pallets. I just bolted them together to make large boxes, filled them up with leaves. In March I'd unbolt one side of the box and drag out the leafmulch and run the lawnmower over it to chop it up. It was wonderful stuff.
These days I have mostly lawn clippings and garden debris in my compost pile. Lawn clippings are dense when they rot, like an oily sludge. This is impossible to spread, of course, and needs help. So, I turn the pile over in December or January (Pacific NW weather allows this most of the time). My main tool is a small Honda tiller. While tilling it I add treebark and sand. This breaks up the sludge and makes it spreadable. I'd like to use something other than bark but there isn't anything comparable around here. By the time I'm finished mixing everything up I have 3+ yards of mulch. I let it sit and stew til the first part of March, then spread it around where needed.
And thats my compost routine. Its beautiful stuff.