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Alternative to black bags

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,583
    @DJA2 - sugar cane bags from our supermarket.  100litre size.  Just need to check composition on the wrapping.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • StevedaylillyStevedaylilly Posts: 1,073
    edited November 2019
    I would cut up the leafs to aid the composting process. I use the petrol lawnmower in dry weather and a manual chopping in not so dry weather. For this I place the leafs in a plastic trug and use hedging shears. The hedging shears option is a good workout for the arm muscles but takes about a couple of minutes to do 
    I also finely chop up all material going in to my compost bins as well and that definitely speeds up the composting process  
  • DJA2DJA2 Posts: 7
    Thanks. That’s a good idea. :-)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,100
    It certainly helps if you can chop the leaves up @DJA2. If you have a lot, you can gather them into one spot and run a mower over them. 
    Keeping them damp is important. Lots of people use those builders' bags if they have them. They're quite good, because they are porous, keeping enough air flowing around the contents, but keeping enough moisture in as well.  :)
    The wire cage is definitely the best method [again, keeping them moist if you're in a dry area] - you'll just have to train hubby and the kids  ;)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DJA2DJA2 Posts: 7
    Thanks ! I am going to try recycling my chicken feed bags. Will also ask Hubby to bring home builders bags. Hadn’t thought of that. Cheers :-)
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 851
    We leave the leaves in a heap alongside the compost heap, they rot down fairly well, will be ready to use end of next year.
  • DJA2DJA2 Posts: 7
    Thanks. One of the things about using bags besides rotting down is the portability - so easy to take the whole bag and dump where you need it. I will definitely be taking up the suggestions posted. We have lots of trees including 3 mature oaks and our chickens live scrabbling around in the leaves we don’t get round to picking up. 
  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 628
    Obelixx said:
    Too hot and dry here @Lyn and a lot of them are walnut leaves.  Need a lot of moisture to break those down as OH discovered at the weekend - under gardener not following instructions.   Last year's lot have hardly broken down at all but the ones I watered and sealed the year before are lovely.
    We never put walnut leaves in the compost as they have a growth inhibitor in them which has an allelopathic effect.    They go in their own spot where they just get left for wildlife. 

    But I do “rake up” leaves using the mower with the box on.  Get finely shredded leaves that compost quickly, as put them in a wire cage. 
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,578
    edited December 2019
    You can buy builders dumpy sacks online very cheaply. Even better if you can get them for free and save them going to landfill. Mine are at least 5 years old and I use them to store different things for composting. 

    At the moment I have one with chopped up leaves collected over the last few weeks.

    In the new year I’ll start another one with (chopped up) brown, twiggy stuff as there is always a surplus of that over winter. In summer I can layer up the stored brown stuff with grass clippings and other ‘greens’ in the compost bins.

    Once all the brown stuff has been used I’ll have a surplus of grass clippings so then I store the grass in the dumpy sacks waiting for the autumn when there is, again, more brown stuff than green. This way I keep the right ratios of brown and green throughout the year.

    Some grass clippings mixed through chopped leaves speeds up the breakdown process and by next summer I’ll be able to start adding the partially decomposed leaves into the main compost bins.

    What a nerdy post.... Love making compost.😁


    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,583
    @Helix - I know, but the under-gardener is the leaf sweeper upper and bagger and doesn't follow instructions.  Still in training after nearly 40 years!
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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