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Composting woody plants over 20 months?

Hi Everyone.

I've just cut back some ivy, and next month I'll be cutting back my hedge quite hard.  I'm putting all the cuttings - for the time being - in my council garden waste bin.

The problem lies in the fact they want to charge £25 to have it emptied once a month from April to September.

I won't have nearly enough waste at that time of year (they don't empty it when I'll be pruning things hard, and in the summer anything that needs disposing of will likely be compostable, dandelions etc can be burned or just chucked in with normal household waste)  It seems a colossal waste of money.  I could bring it all to the tip, but that's a lot of effort.

My thought is that I could leave it all in the wheely bin until next November, giving it 10-11 months to start to break down.  Then, when I take out the compost from my dalek style bin (will only be emptied once a year - I don't have much stuff to compost) I can chuck the old trimmings in to start off next years pile, giving the whole lot nearly two years to degrade.


Will this work?  I don't mind lumps in my compost - it will just be dug in anyway - the garden was all graveled over when I bought the house so my soil is desperate for any goodies I can get.



  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    Hi Grabs39 if the stems are woody they won't break down to small bits, maybe invest in a shredder that will helpimage
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,093

    I agree, after shredding you can chuck it all back on the gardenimage

    Good for the more woody stems of perennials as well

  • Hi nut. Do you mean immediately or after composting?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,093

    Some people compost pp but much of the time I chuck it straight back, I sometimes point the shredder at areas under shrubs so I don't even have to move it.image

    It all rots down. 

  • Where were you when I was shredding into bigger and bigger vessels this Summer? I was scared to do it in case of mouldy fungal rot. Next time I won't be so scaredy cat and I'll save loads of room in my compost bins. WaHay!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,093

    I bet someone will turn up in a minute and threaten you with mouldy fungal rotimage

    I get very few disease problems in my garden, I treat 'em mean and they grow hard

  • If you've got space you can just pile up woody prunings and leave them to rot, maybe under/behind shrubs or somewhere else out of the way. Prunings can be compacted quite a lot if you cut them up to make them less 3-dimensional, rather than just jumbling them in a heap with a lot of air spaces. They don't decay very fast, especially if they're dry, but they will break down eventually. In the meantime, good habitat for insects etc.

  • I'm with Nutcutlet..........if it shreds OK, you don't really need to compost it in a bin as such.  image

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,797

    I got my shredder on freecycle and saw another offered recently. Worth a go.

  • I see shredders on Gumtree now and then - may need to take the plunge.  It's finding somewhere to keep it thats the issue!


    Thanks for the advice all.

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