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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Waxahachie,TX
How small should I cut down materials that I put in the compost bin? I go to a lot of trouble to cut up old flower stems, branches, etc. and I wonder if I am wasting my time by doing so much cutting.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:33 am
Posts: 764
Location: Plano & land at Dodd City,TEXAS
Flowers, stems, grass shouldn't be a problem but I have not been able to turn mine for several months b/c I added sticks that formed a 'mesh' (or mess!) and have not yet broken down.

Patty

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Dallas,TEXAS
If you have a couple hundred dollars burning a hole in your wallet, you can purchase a leaf shredder. I have an old Sears 'Leafwhacker' that I use. It's basically a high powered weed whacker located in a barrel/funnel type thing and mounted on a stand. It works great. I recently shredded around 80 bags of leaves etc into finely shredded brown gold. It's almost composted already !
I bought mine over 15 years ago for around $100. I looked up Sears.com and couldn't find it anymore, but found similiar models from other companies for under $200.
Otherwise a mulching mower might be better than waiting for it to naturally break down ?
Putting anything hard like branches or semi-hard plant stalks will take a long time to break down naturally. I would keep them in a separate pile if you want to still keep them. My pile of shredded bark mulch finally broke down, but it took well over a year.
Oxygen and moisture (i.e turning) in your compost pile, of course, are key components to breaking stuff down.
As long as the material is not on the hard side, it should break down ok.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 6:00 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Waxahachie,TX
Thanks for the responses. I did get a pair of my sharp shears and cut up some of the material and will be more diligent with keeping it moist and turning the pile. I would love to get a shredder some day. However, the money that burns a hole in my pocket usually goes to my daughters.

Thanks again


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