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How to find or create green material for the compost heap when everything is brown

mmjgriffithsmmjgriffiths South of the South DownsPosts: 4
I am new to my allotment and have only cultivated about half of it.

In the recent dry weather spell, all the grass and weeds on my (only partially controlled at the moment) allotment are completely desiccated. I have been digging them up and adding the innocuous parts to a new compost heap, but as I understand it, dry grass counts as a brown material for the compost heap.  If this is correct, then my compost heap is entirely made of brown material.

How can I get or create some green material for the compost heap in this drought (I'm not going to start watering the weeds!)?

I understand there are some green manures that might be appropriate; is that a good idea, or will it end up depleting the soil that I will end up adding the compost back onto (is this a zero sum game)? Maybe I don't need to worry so much about the balance anyway? I want to make a balanced heap, but nothing that can be composted is green! Any suggestions most welcome.
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  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,058
    Can you take a trip to the seaside and get some seaweed? Or ask a friendly farmer for some manure (better if it's been rotted for a while already).
    Some people bring joy wherever they go. Others, whenever they go. - Mark Twain.
  • mmjgriffithsmmjgriffiths South of the South DownsPosts: 4
    I hadn't thought of seaweed! Yes, I live near the sea - that's definitely doable. Everyone in the neighbouring allotments has warned me that manure (it's all horse manure around here) can contain herbicides and e-coli... maybe seaweed will cause less controversy than manure, even if their fears are unfounded! Thanks for the suggestion! Should I wash the salt off first?
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,724
    Do you friends who need their hedging hacked back? Privet? I have more green stuff than I can shake a stick at. And nowhere to put it.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,058
     Should I wash the salt off first?
    I never bother but it couldn't hurt I suppose. If you have an open heap the rain will take care of it (as long as we get some) but for the dalek style ones it might be a good idea.
    Some people bring joy wherever they go. Others, whenever they go. - Mark Twain.
  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,850
    If you take seaweed you'll get the conservationists after you instead of being warned against the evil of horse poo. :D
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,724
    "Everyone in the neighbouring allotments has warned me that manure (it's all horse manure around here) can contain herbicides and e-coli."

    From what I read, no, horse manure does not contain significant levels of e-coli. It's been used for improving soil since the world was young. You can get organic horse manure.

  • mmjgriffithsmmjgriffiths South of the South DownsPosts: 4
    You never what you’re getting with horse manure free by the roadside...!
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    edited July 2018
    Any waste ground where you can cut nettles?  Greengrocer with trimmings to get rid of?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,172
    I am going to cut down a lot of stuff like raspberry canes etc and shred. That will give a pile of brown dry stuff. I will keep it separate until the grass starts growing again and I can mix it all up.  i get a lot of brown at certain times of year, and green at others. I keep the dry stuff back so I can mix it when necessary and not get a slimy mess from the greens.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • mmjgriffithsmmjgriffiths South of the South DownsPosts: 4
    The nettles are all looking brown as well. I think Holding some back is a good simple idea - I wonder now why I didn’t think of it!
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