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Composting conifers


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  • Composting conifers

    I've had a look around but couldn't see anything about this.

    I am grubbing out a conifer hedge in my garden (whoop! whoop! I am so glad to be rid of it) and have put them through my garden shredder.

    I now have a pretty big pile of shredded conifers (and there will be some softwood bushes as well) and I'd like to compost this if I can.

    I have a couple of Dalek compost bins but they are used for general garden and household compostable waste.

    A couple of questions:

    Will the conifers make good compost

    and any suggestions as to how I can deal with about 2 cu m of shredded hedge :-)



  • #2
    Hi Ian,

    I have a long leylandii hedge that produces loads of shreddings, which I compost.
    Pile them up into a heap, i use pallets lined with cardboard to make a large bin and they'll get really hot within a week (60-70C)
    It is reported that the coniferous material produces acid soil, but I've found that it starts off acidic as it begins to decompose and slowly becomes neutral over about a year to 18 months.
    I use the composted leylandii on my allotment and have had no issues with it.


    • #3
      We've composted loads of conifer and not encountered problems and used plenty of the chipped wood too. It seems any bio-suppressing qualities soon break down with microbial activity.


      • #4
        Build a big heap like MWB has said, turn it regularly and add some pee. If you feed it some greens it will keep it hot, I’m feeding mine some weeds into the centre every week when I turn it.

        Also added 20kg of coffee grinds, this will be my 2021 pumpkin bed.


        • #5

          Thanks guys.

          I'll have to look out for some pallets :-)


          • #6
            Could add it in small amounts a bit at a time to your other compost bins.

            Kind Regards.............Rob


            • #7
              If you've grubbed out the whole hedge you might have alot more carbon than nitrogen so adding in more greens (tea leave, coffee grounds, grass cuttings, etc) will help to speed up the decomposition. It might still take a while for the woody material to compost thoroughly but it will encourage a fungal biased slow compost which is good.

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