Composting prunings

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by suellalan, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. suellalan

    suellalan New Member

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    We've recently moved into our first home, which has an established garden. I've just pruned my first hibiscus tree, and have heaps of prunings, which I've added to a 1m diameter circular compost heap (built using fencing mesh). The branches are only up to 2cm thick, and are quite fleshy. I cut them into lengths to fit across the heap, probably 20-30 cm lengths. Because we have so much of the prunings, we've added a layer of horse manure, and am hoping that it will become a hot compost. I'm in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, sub-tropical climate. I've also added bamboo husks and leaves from the frangipanis that are shedding at the moment, so the pile is about 90cm high.
    Is anyone able to advise me if using the woody prunings without putting them through a shredder was a bad or a good idea?
     
    Drew Hart likes this.
  2. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Suellalan and welcome,
    Those prunings should compost just fine, although it may take a bit longer than if they were shredded. Do you plan to keep adding to your pile as time goes on?
     
  3. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Hi Suellalan, welcome. As Bill said, the heap should do fine. For twig size, smaller is better for speed of breakdown. To create a really hot heap you need to have a ratio of 3:1 (carbon (browns) to Nitrogen (greens), One way to add Nitrogen quickly when you don't have enough green material available is to use spent coffee grounds or spent tea leaves, these are N rich and you can calculate the amount of N you are adding since a pound of grounds = 10g N and a pound of leaves = 08g of Nitrogen, just weigh the browns or guestimate the weight and add an appropriate amount of N bearing materials. To really get a heap hot place the N materials in the center and surround with browns. From that starting point, layers work very well.
     
  4. suellalan

    suellalan New Member

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    Thanks, Bryant Redhawk. No, I was hoping it would act as a hot compost. But i think it's not going to compact enough to achieve that.
     

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