EXPERIMENT: Composting Using Grass and Leaves

I’m sick and tired of paying for dirt.  I’m done with it.  I’m ready for a more cost effective way to get ‘dirt’ using materials I have around in the yard.  I’m also ready to know exactly what is in my soil instead of depending on a plastic bag to outline all of the ingredients.

DIY Pallet Compost Bin

Enter my DIY pallet composting bin.  I built the bin in about an hour with the help of my wonderful wife.  It is very similar to the DIY Raised Garden Beds using pallets that I made earlier this season.  The only add-ons are four legs and a bottom to keep the compost off of the ground.  All in all, I was very pleased with the end result.


Grass Clipping Layer in Compost Bin



Now to the experiment portion- actually making compost.  I have a couple of things that I can always depend on to compost: grass clippings and leaves.  So, I decided to lay a thin layer of grass clippings in the bin and watered the clippings.  Next, I placed a thin layer of leaves on the grass and then watered.  I repeated these steps until the bin was full.  Finally, I took my hand-tiller and mixed all of the layers together.  With everything nicely mixed, I took my shovel and scooped the edges up into the middle of the box to make a mound.  I watered the whole entire box once again.

Leaf Layer in Compost Bin


Tomorrow, I plan on checking to see if the temperature is warm in the mound.  The warm temperatures and moisture helps to break down the material into compost.  On Day Three, I plan on turning the whole entire bin using my shovel.  Hopefully we will see some decomposition.  My plan is to have this material fully decomposed in about three weeks.

Grass Clippings and Leaves Mounded in Compost Bin

Do you have a compost bin/pile?  Do you prefer to use grass and leaves or some other material?  What’s the best method you have found?  I’d love to hear from you!  Drop us a line below in the comments.



This Has Been A Productive Weekend For Outside!

First off, I’m just going to go ahead and lay this out there- I am beat.  This weekend has been a very productive weekend our piece of the outdoors.  Combined with last weekend, we have gotten quite a few things completed.  If this type of work continues throughout the summer, one of two things will happen: We will have the best looking yard in the neighborhood, or, I will be dead.

We have about an acre and a half of land.  Our home sits in the middle of three lots.  The lower and upper lots are dotted with trees here and there, but nothing thick at all.  The best way I describe it is “park-like”.  Trying to keep up with the maintenance is hard, especially when you only have the weekends to do any work outside.  Being that we just snapped out of winter and into spring, our yard looked horrendous.  Fallen limbs and branches everywhere.  The grass and weeds was creeping up to our knees.

Thankfully, with the help of my wife, we made some major progress.  We burned about 10 trailer loads of limbs, got all the yard mowed, and even got it weed-eated (which takes longer than mowing on our yard).  After I finished the yard work this morning, I looked over at the garden and it was calling for me to come spend some time with it.

Red Mulch With Pallet Raised Garden Beds

I got three more raised beds built for the spinach, basil/cilantro, and carrots.  According to my plans, I have about three more boxes to build to complete my garden for this year, which is a huge plus!  But, before I placed the raised boxes in place, I knew the garden needed something else.  I needed a real walk-way.  Thankfully, the place down the road had a deal on mulch- $2.00 a bag.

All in all, I think it’s going to turn out pretty nice looking!  Be sure to keep an eye out on my blog throughout the week.  Over the weekend, I’ve gotten a lot of things to write about and they are sure to make for enjoyable reads!