Where to put plant debris, or Not a single compost
Every fall, smoke rises above the garden plots. Despite the fact that making fires, even at your own site, is an administrative violation and entails a fine, many still get rid of all plant debris in huge fires. Everything is involved in the matter: cut branches, weeds, vegetable crop tops, remnants of repairs and old furniture ... What is it a sin to hide, at the same time, something of non-plant origin gets into such "cleaning" bonfires: plastic containers and other household garbage. But, if you don’t burn, then where is all this? Options for the practical use of plant debris on the site are not so few. And it's not just about compost.
On the dangers and futility of burning plant debris
You can list for a long time what and in what quantities it is released into the surrounding air and how it is harmful to health. Leave it to chemists and doctors. I would like to note another important aspect: each person is free to do anything and what he wants in his personal plot, but most importantly, this should not harm other people.
So, bonfires with their pungent smoke - a very clear example of complete neglect of their surroundings. Well, if this smoke rises up a pillar, and if not? If he suffocates in a suffocating wave towards neighboring houses? So in the evening, before going to bed, you want to open the windows and start fresh air, and in return - caustic burn. And after all, you can’t convince, in response to the evil: “And where do I need it?” Or even try to give "scientific" arguments about the benefits, they say:
- we destroy diseases (late blight);
- destroy weed seeds;
- and, in general, ash is an excellent fertilizer.
But all these arguments, to put it mildly, are not true. Firstly, the spores of plant diseases are not only on the tops, but also in the soil, by and large, they are everywhere. Moreover, pulling this tops to the burning site, you sow your plot with these spores.
Read more about this in the article Why can't we defeat late blight and other fungal diseases?
Weed seeds, like diseases, are ubiquitous. You can burn your entire plot, but next year weeds will sprout again, they are stored in the ground for many years. And how many of these seeds are brought in by the wind? Indeed, many, like fluffs, are light, or have wings. And they fly very long distances. And those that cannot fly will bring birds and animals.
Ash, of course, is fertilizer, but this is if you burn the wood of trees, and not all of them are rich in necessary elements. So where to get plant debris, if not burned?
What to do with grassy plant waste?
Let's start with the “soft”: foliage, grass, tops, hay and straw. A good traditional option is to put them in compost. It can be used as mulch in tree-trunk circles of shrubs, then the soil does not need to be regularly loosened. It can be laid out between rows of vegetables (of course, in this case, without seeds).
I make it simpler: what is torn out right there on the bed remains, but with its roots up - a great mulch, which is slowly processed and becomes part of this very bed. She is both loose and nutritious.
If your site has not yet been fully developed, a new one, then you can fill in irregularities (holes) with mowed grass. Gradually overheating, they will settle and level the relief of the site.
Such a filler is absolutely necessary when creating tall beds and when creating beds in greenhouses and greenhouses. By the way, in this case, weed don’t need to worry about seeds at all, because from above they will be covered with a thick layer (at least 30 cm) of good soil and they will not grow to the surface.
If there is a poultry, then you can throw all the green grass into the aviary, where the grass is processed even faster.
With foliage, it’s quite simple: we leave it directly under the trees, remove it only from the paths and fill the beds. Nutrition will not increase from the leaves themselves, but the soil structure will improve greatly, and they will attract worms, and they can fertilize them.
What to do with an extra crop of fruits and vegetables?
Sometimes the harvest of fruits and vegetables is excessive, do not eat, do not process, as they say, "nowhere to go." In the same group we include various vegetable cleanings from the kitchen, in general, everything is juicy. You can also throw it all in compost or immediately on the beds, so as not to wear twice. But there is one problem when the heat, above all this, juicy and sweet, will be a lot of flies and wasps, and in the cold period, in the late autumn, this may attract rodents we do not need. And the smell of this waste, to put it mildly, is not everyone likes. Therefore, it is worth it to immediately fill up with earth or thick layers of other organics (grass).
There is an old grandfather method (I had such an obligation in childhood), to collect the whole scum, dig a hole at the end of the garden, throw everything in it and fill it with earth. But why bury such valuable raw materials on the outskirts of the garden, because it can usefully work for the benefit of the trees themselves?
It’s worth digging trenches between trees or shrubs and dumping all this soft, juicy and decaying, but then also covering it with earth. You can throw it simply into the near-trunk circle, but, of course, covering it with mowed grass, weeds, hay or straw. Everything will be processed before spring and will provide nutrition to the plant.
Where to get branches from pruning trees and shrubs?
Branches from pruning trees and shrubs, rough stalks of corn, sunflower, Jerusalem artichoke - this is a real autumn problem. They occupy a lot of places, as simple as topping, they do not rot, and not so much goes to May kebabs. How to be
Owners of stoves do not have such a problem, and those who do not have a stove should consider buying an electric garden shredder. An excellent apparatus - it literally eats up wood, giving out small crumbs, which can perfectly mulch different plants. Useful, beautiful and functional. But it is in dreams. But really, what to do?
Smaller branches can be folded on the site as a separate heap. Trim her edges and bumps (preferably with a chainsaw), and on the outside cover them with thicker and larger ones. Such a pile can serve as the basis for creating relief on the site. You must admit that a flat, even area is good for vegetable beds, but bad from the point of view of the wind walking along it. Yes, and the eye even area is not so pleasant.
From above on this heap you can add soft vegetable waste and cover it with earth. Tamp well, stamp your feet, and by spring, when the heap settles a little, you can plant the first plants on it. The branches, although thick, will gradually decompose, giving food and the warmth of the greenery growing on them. As pioneers, it is better to plant ground cover plants, they have shallow roots and they perfectly keep the ground from slipping.
Any plant waste - in high or deep beds
If there is construction waste or parts of old furniture (and very thick branches and trunks fit), you can make a kind of box in which, again, put small branches, vegetable waste from the kitchen, grass, weeds, and more. Top up with earth. An excellent raised bed for planting many crops (cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin). Also heated, thanks to the processes going on inside. Not very aesthetic and the curve turned out? This can either be emphasized by making a frame of thick branches to look natural, or hoping that the summer foliage of the plants will hide everything.
There are 2 more options that may be useful to owners of plots in arid climates. There it is worth doing not raised ones that dry out quickly, but rather deepened beds. But, so that the earth does not slide down the paths, it is worth making a framing in the garden bed lowered below ground level. Here are old boards, boards and tree trunks that will do.
Read about the advantages of creating tall and deep beds in the material Correct beds - less work, more yield.
There is experience planting moisture-loving crops (raspberries) on logs. Logs need rotten, porous and well-holding water. They are buried to a depth of 40-50 cm, and from above they are covered with fertile soil, where plants are planted. When watering, saturated with moisture, they then gradually give it to plants. And over time, decomposing, are a source of additional nutrition.
As you probably already noticed, all the described methods for the disposal of plant waste on the site come down to their return to the ground. From the earth they grew into the earth and must return. Here is a garden philosophy. You can come up with such methods a lot, and for sure, you have your own. I try to apply several at the same time. Something in the fall goes into a compost heap, something into a bed immediately, and something into a large heap (until a heap), which will then be turned into a real picturesque mound, covering landings from the north.
What to do with walnut leaves?
Separately, about the use of walnut leaves. It is known that these leaves contain the substance yuglon, which negatively affects other plants (that’s why little grows under walnuts).
You can use these leaves for warming household buildings in the winter. I have a pit near the well insulated with a mountain of these leaves. You can leave them to rot for 1 year, right under the nut (in the heap). After a year, the harm from them is already minimal, and you can use them as a mulching material.
I have experience making such rotten walnut leaves under raspberries. True, another layer of mulch was added to the layer of an existing mulch, and from above, then during the season. So, in a “diluted” form, walnut leaves can also be disposed of using all the methods described, but only as a small additive, not more than 25% of all planted leaves.
To summarize - there is a use for all vegetable and, moreover, with benefit. And if there is a fire, then for barbecue or fish on the grill (you definitely will not throw plastic there).
I wish you success!