Tag Archives: soil

A Compost Corner for Branches

DSC07392 There is a little nook in the fence where we planted a crepe myrtle, overgrown here.  It conceals the nook.

DSC07445I 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.   DSC07428  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.

DSC07444 Some sticksare left to toss to the other side.

DSC07527 Done, you can see a residue of the thick leaf compost or mulch, which fell off the branches.

DSC07526 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:

  1. Leaves make a compost mulch
  2. Branches can be reserved for chipping
  3. Mulch and compost make vegetation grow well
  4. 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

5th Week of My Garden




After looking at elephant ears and plantains, this garden is doing very poorly.  It is now the fifth week after planting, and regular watering, plus fertilizer have only helped my radishes get a bit greener (shown).  This did not help my lettuce, though.

Of course, long term I’ll amend the soil.  It is still possible that there is not enough light, because two years ago I had fewer elephant ears, less tall plantains, and lower neighboring trees.   It may be that some things will begin to flourish in the new year as the days get longer again.  Some of that happened two years ago.

A major difference is our soil, lead free in the garden, but maybe largely nutrient-free as well.  Our soil in the rest of the yard tested very fertile, with virtually no recommendations for amendment.  What we had planted seemed to have grown better.  True, we did start with some partially grown plants in places of our garden.

Right now it looks like we may get at least some parsley, dill, cilantro, sage, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots.  The jury is out on our chives, onions, lettuce, mesclun, sorrel, basil, oregano, and marjoram.  Next stop is the garden store to get already started plants that grew well two years ago.

I’ll keep watching and learning.