Composting with larger pieces of dead plants

October 17, 2012

Hey guys,

So I just went through several rounds of removing and chopping up Birds of Paradise plants in my yard. I also pruned several rose bushes down before transplanting. In any case, I've saved the latest batch of trimmings (most of them are not fresh, are dried out, and are brown). I also don't have a shredder/chipper. I've read around and it seems the consensus from most is that you chop up the yard waste as small as possible and create a pile that's 3'x3' at least. Is this a solid requirement?

At this point I've just raked the yard clippings into a small ditch left by the giant BOP I cut down and wet them pretty thoroughly.

I'm not in a *huge* rush to get it broken down as I'm planning to build out a square foot garden soon and am just gonna buy/pick-up compost from other sources. But I did want to start up a pile since I have the space now. Will what I have be sufficient? Especially as I keep adding to it? I really don't know how I can chop the pieces any smaller - it seems like it would take ages with just a pair of pruners and loppers. And some of the pieces/roots are thick.

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