Composting and Winterizing Demo on Nov 3rd Canceled

The Composting and Winterizing Your Garden Demonstration that was to be held this coming Saturday, November 3rd from 10 – noon has been canceled because of the impact of Sandy.

The composting session will be rescheduled.

Leaf Your Leaves in Your Yard – Composting and Winterizing Your Garden Demonstration to Be Held on Saturday, Nov 3rd

raking autumn leavesLearn the best ways to dispose of Fall leaves and how to winterize your garden on Saturday, November 3rd from 10 – 12 at the future site of the Ewing Senior Center Demonstration Garden.  The Ewing Green Team Community Gardens Committee will be demonstrating how to create a compost pile and how to use your Fall leaves layered lasagna style to set up a gardening bed now that will be ready to go in the spring.

This is a prime opportunity to discuss the best way to handle your leaf cleanup at the end of the gardening season.  Every year you see homeowners all across the Township disposing of their leaves either in brown bags or in piles at the curb for the Township to pick up.  This is such a waste of natural materials that could benefit your yard!  There are a number of really simple environmentally friendly ways to handle your leaf drop that don’t starve your yard and also decrease your impact on municipal services to save $$$.

The first method is the lazy man’s way (my favorite) and involves very little raking and effort on your part.  Simply run your lawn mower over the leaves where they lie and chop them up into small pieces.  The chopped leaves can stay on your lawn and decompose there.  This is an excellent way to help build up the soil.  This works best with a mulching mower which is meant to chop materials (you do grass cycle, don’t you?) into fairly small pieces.    Do this as needed until the end of the season and the leaves will break down over the winter providing your soil with valuable nutrients.  You won’t have to rake a single leaf, and your lawn will thank you for it with improved performance next year.

Another method is not quite so effortless, but you can take those chopped up leaves and mulch your garden beds with them.  This will protect your plants from the vagaries of the winter weather and also provide your beds with nutrients when the leaves break down.

You can also add your leaves to your compost pile.  No matter how small your yard there is always room for a small one tucked away in some out of the way place.  The leaves will decompose more quickly if you chop them with your lawn mower as recommended above. Then gather them up (it’s amazing how a large pile of leaves reduces in size) and add them to the pile.  If your pile is composed only of chopped leaves, you can make leaf mold for use at a later time.  If you have green debris from your garden you can mix the two in layers and let it sit over the winter.  Turn the pile when the weather permits and you will eventually have the Black Gold of the garden world – compost.

At the demonstration on Nov 3rd yet another way of using your leaves will be discussed.   The no dig lasagna garden style will be demonstrated.  By spring you will be ready to plant.

So come out next Saturday.  We’ll hope to see you there.  Participants are asked to bring a gift of some compostable materials for the pile.

When: Saturday, November 3rd from 10 a.m. to noon
Where: Ewing Senior and Community Center at the site of the future Senior Demonstration Garden (near the Community pool)

raking autumn leaves

Some Timely Tips for Fall Leaf Removal

Composting is a good example of how a homeowner’s actions can have a positive impact on municipal costs:  composting kitchen waste, leaves and grass clippings rather than putting them in the landfill could save our Township money in county tipping fees and labor. Homeowners would also see a direct additional benefit – the improvement of the soil health of their yards.  Yards where the homeowners have trashed their grass (clippings) and leaves are starved for nutrients by the removal of these natural materials that would break down naturally and rebuild the soil.

Composting your leaves is not all that hard.  Simply start up your trusty mulching mower (or buy a mulching blade and install it if you don’t have one) and mow away.  You can leave the leaves on the grass to enrich the lawn or collect in the bag or dishcharge to the side and keep making passes until the shredded leaves reach the garden bed of your choice.  It’s that simple.  Check out this video to see how easy it is to enrich your soil, benefit the environment and save the Township $ on garbage costs.  Who knows?   It may even have the additional benefit of depressing your next tax hike!