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  #1  
Old 20-07-2005, 03:35 PM
H Ryder
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Default shreddings

Can I spread "raw" shreddings out of a garden shredder as a mulch or do i
need to compost it first please? I had some idea that spreading it
uncomposted would affect teh nitrogen content of the soil but was not sure.
Thanks,
Hayley


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  #2  
Old 20-07-2005, 04:13 PM
nambucca
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"H Ryder" wrote in message
...
Can I spread "raw" shreddings out of a garden shredder as a mulch or do i
need to compost it first please? I had some idea that spreading it
uncomposted would affect teh nitrogen content of the soil but was not

sure.
Thanks,
Hayley



If you spread shreddings raw they will indeed rob the soil of nitrogen etc

Compost them with grass cuttings, weeds, shredded paper /carboard and horse
manure/ stable clearings plus lashings of night water ............mix well
and turn into another compost bin in 3 months then again in another 3 months
.............then by a year you should have pretty good compost which you can
spread .........Jan /feb is the best time to pile it on




  #3  
Old 20-07-2005, 05:58 PM
Charlie Pridham
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Default


"nambucca" wrote in message
...

"H Ryder" wrote in message
...
Can I spread "raw" shreddings out of a garden shredder as a mulch or do

i
need to compost it first please? I had some idea that spreading it
uncomposted would affect teh nitrogen content of the soil but was not

sure.
Thanks,
Hayley



If you spread shreddings raw they will indeed rob the soil of nitrogen etc

Compost them with grass cuttings, weeds, shredded paper /carboard and

horse
manure/ stable clearings plus lashings of night water ............mix well
and turn into another compost bin in 3 months then again in another 3

months
............then by a year you should have pretty good compost which you

can
spread .........Jan /feb is the best time to pile it on


I always spread mine green and am far from convinced that much nitrogen is
robbed from the soil as its on the surface surrounded by air which is around
70% nitrogen. And it is a lot less work! It may well be different if buried.
but it does make lovely compost if you have the energy :~)

--
Charlie, gardening in Cornwall.
http://www.roselandhouse.co.uk
Holders of National Plant Collection of Clematis viticella (cvs)


  #4  
Old 20-07-2005, 07:33 PM
Chris Hogg
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Default

On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 15:13:47 +0000 (UTC), "nambucca"
wrote:


"H Ryder" wrote in message
...
Can I spread "raw" shreddings out of a garden shredder as a mulch or do i
need to compost it first please? I had some idea that spreading it
uncomposted would affect teh nitrogen content of the soil but was not

sure.
Thanks,
Hayley



If you spread shreddings raw they will indeed rob the soil of nitrogen etc

Compost them with grass cuttings, weeds, shredded paper /carboard and horse
manure/ stable clearings plus lashings of night water ............mix well
and turn into another compost bin in 3 months then again in another 3 months
............then by a year you should have pretty good compost which you can
spread .........Jan /feb is the best time to pile it on



All good advice if you've got enough other stuff. But if, like me, you
tend to have a large amount of shreddings from a woody hedge or large
shrubs that are being cut back hard, just bag it all up in old peat or
compost bags (I use the big so-called 'dumpy bags' that builders get
their sand delivered in, roughly 1 cu.m. I guess; I've just filled
three!), keep them six months to get the decomp[osition going and then
spread it on, thickly.

This morning I just pushed my hand quite deep into one of the bags
filled last week. I had to withdraw it sharply; was it hot in there!


--
Chris

E-mail: christopher[dot]hogg[at]virgin[dot]net
  #5  
Old 20-07-2005, 10:03 PM
Martin Brown
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Charlie Pridham wrote:

"nambucca" wrote in message
...

"H Ryder" wrote in message
...

Can I spread "raw" shreddings out of a garden shredder as a mulch or do
need to compost it first please? I had some idea that spreading it
uncomposted would affect teh nitrogen content of the soil but was not

sure.


It is better to compost it with grass if you have the space. Take all
the US sites obsessing about N to C ratios with a big pinch of salt. My
heap will run hot with anything between a cubic metre of hedge clippings
or grass cuttings irrespective.

If you spread shreddings raw they will indeed rob the soil of nitrogen etc
Compost them with grass cuttings, weeds, shredded paper /carboard and

horse

manure/ stable clearings plus lashings of night water ............mix well
and turn into another compost bin in 3 months then again in another 3

months

............then by a year you should have pretty good compost which you
spread .........Jan /feb is the best time to pile it on


I always spread mine green and am far from convinced that much nitrogen is
robbed from the soil as its on the surface surrounded by air which is around
70% nitrogen. And it is a lot less work! It may well be different if buried.
but it does make lovely compost if you have the energy :~)


Air is 75% Nitrogen, but in an inert form that plants cannot use. It
take symbiotic bacteria in legumes and clovers to fix nitrogen into
soluble nitrate form. Or the industrial Haber process...

Your soil may tolerate this sor tof mulch but fertility will suffer.

Regards,
Martin Brown
  #6  
Old 21-07-2005, 01:37 AM
Sue
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Default


"Chris Hogg" wrote
All good advice if you've got enough other stuff. But if, like me, you
tend to have a large amount of shreddings from a woody hedge or large
shrubs that are being cut back hard, just bag it all up in old peat or
compost bags

snip

This morning I just pushed my hand quite deep into one of the bags
filled last week. I had to withdraw it sharply; was it hot in there!


Shredded prunings certainly can heat up fast. The first lot we ever
shredded had to sit in a pile on the veg plot for a few days while space
was being cleared to build compost bins. When I came to move the heap I was
amazed to find it had turned to ash in the middle.





  #7  
Old 21-07-2005, 06:19 PM
Chris Hogg
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On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 22:03:58 +0100, Martin Brown
wrote:


Air is 75% Nitrogen, but in an inert form that plants cannot use. It
take symbiotic bacteria in legumes and clovers to fix nitrogen into
soluble nitrate form. Or the industrial Haber process...

Your soil may tolerate this sor tof mulch but fertility will suffer.

Regards,
Martin Brown


But eventually the nitrogen used by the bacteria will return to the
soil as they themselves die and decompose. The nitrogen removal isn't
permanent. If one regularly mulches with green shreddings (or
whatever) eventually an equilibrium will be established and the soil
won't suffer, but can only benefit.


--
Chris

E-mail: christopher[dot]hogg[at]virgin[dot]net
  #8  
Old 23-07-2005, 09:09 AM
Charlie Pridham
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Default


"Martin Brown" wrote in message
...
Charlie Pridham wrote:

"nambucca" wrote in message
...

"H Ryder" wrote in message
...


I always spread mine green and am far from convinced that much nitrogen

is
robbed from the soil as its on the surface surrounded by air which is

around
70% nitrogen. And it is a lot less work! It may well be different if

buried.
but it does make lovely compost if you have the energy :~)


Air is 75% Nitrogen, but in an inert form that plants cannot use. It
take symbiotic bacteria in legumes and clovers to fix nitrogen into
soluble nitrate form. Or the industrial Haber process...

Your soil may tolerate this sor tof mulch but fertility will suffer.

Regards,
Martin Brown


I quite agree plants can not use the nitrogen direct, but we are not talking
about plants but about the bacteria that break down the shreddings and since
they will "compost" the shreddings in an open bag on concrete with no
contact with the soil they Must be able to get all the nitrogen they need
from the air, I have done soil samples before during and after surface
mulching with green material and soil fertility increases not decreases
during the process. In short the books are wrong on this one.
--
Charlie, gardening in Cornwall.
http://www.roselandhouse.co.uk
Holders of National Plant Collection of Clematis viticella (cvs)


 




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