While many people are finished gardening come fall, experienced gardeners take advantage of autumn by seizing the moment and gathering materials for composting. They know the raked leaves and spent garden clippings they compost this fall will create rich soil for next year’s garden.
Why compost in fall? It’s simple. There is an abundance of ‘brown’ material, like leaves and garden waste that are the key ingredient in balanced compost. And since you need 30 times as much “brown” material than “green” waste, such as kitchen scraps and grass clippings, fall is the best time to keep the waste out of the landfills and start a compost pile. Fall is the time of year when both nitrogen from cool season lawn mowing and carbon from fallen leaves are readily available.
To speed up the process and get faster results, experienced composters shred green kitchen scraps into smaller pieces instead of just dumping them into the pile whole. Shredding organic waste speeds the composting process by 1,000%, and, according to UC Berkeley, is “the key to successful composting.”
Small is better!
“The smaller, the better” is the rule for compost ingredients. Organic Gardening magazine agrees that shredding and chopping is the number one step to successful composting.
“Just like chewing starts the digestion process in humans, chopping your kitchen scraps actually speeds the composting process,” explains Gail Loos, inventor of the Green Cycler, a new breed of kitchen appliance that easily shreds kitchen scraps.
“If you don’t shred your composting ingredients, especially in climates with short summers, you will re-visit your late-season watermelon rind and find it mostly intact months later. Throw a fully intact apple into the pile during the fall and you’ll still recognize its form come spring,” says Loos, who designed this new appliance with gardeners in mind.
To make the job of chopping and shredding easier and cleaner, and more fun for her children, Loos invented this new kitchen appliance to “pre-compost” kitchen scraps. It shreds everything from tomatoes to pumpkins, even avocado pits, into perfect, compost-ready pieces in mere seconds.
According to Jeff Lowenfels, author of Teeming with Microbes: The Organic Guide to the Food Soil Web, “Every yard should have a compost pile. Organic matter is too valuable to send to the landfill.”
While you will have an abundance of ‘green’ waste throughout the year, fall is the time to put the balance back in your compost to assure you have the best compost ratio for early spring gardening.
Good compost is really all that’s needed to have a healthy vegetable or flower garden and healthy shrubs and trees. In fact – creating healthy soil is the single most important thing to do to assure gardening success!