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Posted on 23 February 2013 by urbangardencasual.com

3 Ways of Using Fall Leaves in the Garden

Photo Credit: Fallen Leaves by Brian Richardson used under CC BY 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

I hate to waste anything and that includes leaves.

Every year around this time, I see bags of potential black gold sitting beside trashcans.

How sad this makes me when I know that all it takes is a little effort to change trash into treasure.

If you are faced with this dilemma this fall season, consider trying one of this alternative approaches when it comes to fall leaves.

1. Compost.
Chopped up leaves are great additions to any composting program. They add the much need carbon that many composting bins lack during the summer months. To utilize this technique, do not add the leaves all at one time. This will shock the delicate system. Instead, add a handful every time you add kitchen scrapes to the pile. Utilizing this approach will help to create a more balanced composting system, which in turn will speed up decomposition.

2. Bedding for worms. Red wigglers love dried up Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 03 September 2011 by urbangardencasual.com

A New Movement in Gardening-Healthy Diets Means Healthy Compost

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Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

The other day it occurred to me that as we eat healthier our compost should be healthier too and before you say you cannot compost I say shoo…not true.

Everyone can and should compost.

Those living in apartments, condos, high-rises, caves, houses, tents, and any other type of “home” or “house should compost without question or argument.

Living in a cast away society makes compost a hard sell at times. Grocery stores send their bad and unmarketable produce to the dump. Families teach their children to throw everything in the trashcan and then demand more trashcans to hold their growing organic and inorganic trash pile. A simple solution to this growing problem, no pun intended, is to encourage everyone to compost.

The process is pretty simple Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 07 August 2011 by urbangardencasual.com

Tea for Two, Two for Tea: How to Make Compost Tea

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Organic fertilizer is one of my favorite secret tools in my gardening tool belt.

Out of all the organic fertilizers out there, my favorite is compost tea.

This fertilizer is easy to make and can be made by anyone anywhere.

The equipment required when making compost tea is very simple. A food grade plastic bucket with lid or oak barrel, burlap, and compost is all that is needed.

If the gardener does not want to have to dip out the fertilizer tea, a spigot can be placed on the bottom of the bucket or barrel. The fertilizer will flow through the container using gravity.

Once the Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 22 May 2010 by urbangardencasual.com

Composting for Renters

compostBy Sonya Welter

I grew up composting, so when I rented apartments, it was always kind of heart-breaking to have to throw away perfectly good garbage because my landlord wouldn’t let me start a compost pile in the backyard.

Renting unfortunately means living by somebody else’s rules, and even landlords who are in favor of flower gardens or pots of tomatoes on the back steps may still nix composting, since they think it might smell bad, look untidy or attract pests.

You may be able to sweet talk your landlord into a traditional compost bin if you can convince him or her that you will maintain it religiously, but if not, there are still a few composting options for renters.

Compost Tumblers

If your landlord won’t approve an open compost bin or loose pile, he or she may be amendable to Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 08 December 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Mulch and Compost Your Garden With Fallen Leaves

By Vanessa Richins

You may have been throwing away one of the best sources for mulches and composts.

During the fall and winter, many yards become filled with fallen leaves.

Most people rake them up, put them in garbage bags, and throw them away.

However, this is an excellent free source of garden nutrients that also keeps more waste out of the landfills.

All you need to do is prepare a leaf mulch. Simply create a pile of leaves that is 2″ thick, set your lawn mower on high, and make a few passes to make sure the leaves are chopped well enough. Don’t do this when the leaves are very wet, and don’t pile them too thick.

If you want to add nutrients to your lawn, you can Read the rest of this entry »

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