I may possibly have coined the phrase “under-the-hedge-composting”, but I’m probably not the first one to try it. I must say, though, I felt quite pleased with myself for coming up with the idea of it when I did.
I cut down a 15 foot tree of heaven, an invasive species (*see footnote on this), in the overgrown hedge full of everything that felt like growing there for the last 5 years. I wish I had a picture of the 4x5x3 pile I created with the trimmings. I had put the task off because of the way too big pile of branches and cuttings in my back yard from two trees that fell this spring and from the pruning of a large lilac bush and lots of other shrubs.
I’ve made it my goal this year in my new yard to bring nothing in and take nothing out. I must say that’s no easy task for a newbie organic gardener. Where do you put all this stuff?! I’ve learned a few tricks so far, but the one I’ll share this time is my newly developed, yet-to-be-tested method of cutting the branches into small pieces and shoving them under the hedge. Brilliant, I think. So far, so good! I didn’t have to carry the pile around back. I didn’t have to put it into a compost bin, turn it, aerate it, or give it one more thought. Wallah! No more tree. No more pile. Hardly any work.
The nutrients from the plant are magically replaced back into the soil in Mother Nature’s good time with not one iota of effort on my part. That’s the way I like to do business. Of course, you wouldn’t want to do this with a plant containing seeds that will proliferate the unwanted specimen.
The way I see it, there is some research involved in learning to garden organically, if you like to do that. Learning from each other’s successes and mistakes is undeniably useful, but learning from one’s own experience is tremendously rewarding. Any feedback on this cutting-edge composting method will be graciously received in the comments section below.
*Note: I have since learned that cutting down a tree of heaven is a bad idea since it only causes the root system to send offshoots of tiny plants to spring up all around. Check out this blog post to learn about how to kill this invasive tree.