Cyclone Rake Blog: composting tips
Showing posts with label composting tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label composting tips. Show all posts

Friday, January 6, 2017

Best Practices for Cleaning Up Leaf Debris in the South


Lawns and gardens grow longer in the South, where milder winters may mean more time to clean up leaves and yard debris. Here are some best practices for cleaning up leaves and lawn debris in the South - whether you’re catching up on raking, cleaning up debris from pruning or a winter storm, or just thinning out pine needles from under your trees.
            Large leaf rakes make cleaning up small and mid-sized yards easy. Raking is also a great way to get some winter exercise and enjoy being in the colder season. Many
Brilliantly colored tree in Alabama
homeowners shred small piles of leaves, using a lawnmower or chipper/shredder, to make mulch. Shredding also makes composting leaves easier. Composting is a great practice that can help make your yard neater, and shredded leaves are a useful ingredient for compost, when mixed with other organic wastes in the compost pile or compost bin.
            Large yards with more deciduous trees, as well as yards with mature pines and other evergreens, can see even more leaves and pine needles.
Long Needle Pine Tree in North Carolina 
Rakes and leaf blowers are useful for cleaning up larger yards. A Cyclone Rake leaf vacuum, which attaches to a riding lawnmower, makes cleaning up leaves and pine needles easier and less time-consuming. The Cyclone Rake and its attachments can also be used for year-round yard cleanup chores.
            Homeowners in the South can take a two-step approach when dealing with small tree branches, as well as disease-free shrub clippings and prunings. Branches and prunings can be first gathered into neat piles – or left just out of sight, behind the trees or shrubs where they are pruned. After some time has passed, leaves will fall off or can be easily shaken off, making it easier to move the stems and branches. The leaves can then be tidily raked into mulch around the plants, used as mulch elsewhere, or added to the compost pile. Branches can be shredded or added to a brush pile for birds and wildlife to enjoy the rest of winter.


Reviewed (mentions leaving branches behind pruned plants):



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Composting Made Easy


Composting is a simple way to improve the health of your garden or yard by adding nutrient-dense mixtures overtop. The best part is it’s 100% free to do and is excellent for the environment. Here’s how to get started composting.

What You Need…

First things first, gather your materials.
  • A container: Choose a 3’ x 3’ x 3’ container that is made of wood or even hard plastic. For small scale composting recycle an old, large garbage can and simply drill a hole in the bottom of the container for drainage. 
  • Find a shady spot: Compost thrives in a shaded environment. Choose an area in your yard that doesn’t get a ton of sun throughout the day. 
  • Browns and greens: Browns include leaves, wood chips, straw, branches, and the like. Greens are eggshells, grass, carrot tops and so forth. 
  • Manure: This is optional, but ideal if you want to get the most out of your compost.
  • Water hose: You’ll need to water your compost occasionally, so get a water hose if you don’t have one. 
  • Pitchfork: Trust us, you’ll want this tool if you’re mixing or moving compost. 

How to Do It…

  1. Compost requires a three to one ratio for browns and greens. Browns are carbon-rich and greens are nitrogen rich.
  2. Start by adding those carbon-rich browns to your barrel. Once those are good and packed in. You can start adding your greens. 
  3. When it’s time to add new material, use your pitchfork, to dig a hole and then add in the new stuff. Mix it thoroughly with the old compost.
  4. Finally, add water. You’ll want to do this occasionally to moisten the mixture to keep bacteria and microbes consuming the contents.

Tips for Composting

  • Include activators like chicken manure, earthworms, and comfrey leaves to help break down the greens and browns.
  • Steaming compost piles are a good sign that your hard work is paying off, so don’t panic if you see it coming from your pile!
  • Reduce odors by leaving out meat scraps and bones in your compost.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with your compost pile by using these helpful tips today!