GARDENING: "Lazy Gardener" Fall Composting Part 2
Now, the science here is that the black bags, sitting in the sun, will heat up and basically "cook" the organic material until it is a lovely black compost come spring. You do need to shake it occasionally, throughout the winter and early spring, so that it all breaks down evenly.
Mine took a year.
But here's why. I set the bags against the side of the garage which had sun, but mostly ambient. I was afraid what my neighbors would say if they had to look at filled black garbage bags for half the year if they sat near the sunnier side of the garage. And, well, not to mention my husband. He puts up with all my "urban domestic diva schemes", but he doesn't like my projects "in the way" or under foot. So my composting bags needed to be tucked away and far from direct sun.
Well, hubby may change his tune after today. Because once we opened up the bags to use the compost for bedding our gardens for winter, it was pretty amazing. Yes, there were still some leaves on top that didn't get completely decomposed, but underneath the top layer was black-gold.
|lay it in your beds for happy plants!|
1: If you wish to use the compost in late spring/early summer, put the bags in direct sun. Otherwise, the process takes longer. Ignore the scared looks and comments from your neighbors like, "What do you have over there, dead bodies?" and just know they will be jealous of your verdant garden come summer.
2: It's important to turn and shake them, especially when things are really cooking and it warms up. If I would have been diligent about this, I would have had the leaves I found on top to be just as decomposed as the rest.
3: It works. It really works.
SO now that it's fall and you are out doing yard clean up and mulching leaves, give this approach a try. Come spring (or next fall) you'll be glad you did!