I had stored shrub trimmings from several months ago in this little nook, and the leaves fell off. I put most of the bare sticks on the other side of the fence, where I am saving them to chip into mulch for other plants. I trimmed up the crepe myrtle and other walk-side vegetation. Before I could save it into this compost corner, for another round of composting, and mulch making, the city hauled it away as brush pick-up a week and a half later.
The soil is actually getting thicker from this process. As we read and write, more greenery and shrubs continue to grow. Dead leaves and branches continue to decay back into the soil, releasing their life-giving nutrients.
This mulched crepe myrtle has grown better than its sibling crepe myrtle planted at the same time. It may be because of this mulch, or due to that fact that the roots of a tree that had lived here, are decaying and releasing their nutrients as well, or both that this crepe myrtle grew faster than its sibling. The smaller crepe myrtle is also growing well. (No photo vantage point permits this comparison.)
Nearly two weeks after the city picked up most of the brush, most of the leaves were dry on any remaining freshly cut sticks, and, after pulling off the dried leaves, I carried those sticks to the back yard, along with the aged sticks from my pile, where I will chip them up to use elsewhere as vegetation sustaining mulch.
I learned three things here:
- Leaves make a compost mulch
- Branches can be reserved for chipping
- Mulch and compost make vegetation grow well
- The leaves dry and fall off the branches in about one month, so the branches do not have to be stored for many months before chipping