Monthly Archives: June 2015

Garter Snakes in Leaf Bags

Garter snakes in leaf bags are also something to look out for.  As I said in my last post about garter snakes in compost bins,  I always wonder way in the back of my mind if I am going to encounter a snake as I am pulling leaves out of the bag for the compost pile….

Garter Snakes in Leaf BagsAlmost a semi-conscious thought….  Well it finally happened!  I was pulling leaves out of a bag and low and behold there was a fat garter snake right in front of my eyes that I had just pulled out of the bag!  Whoa that was scary because I don’t really like snakes.  As opposed to my husband or grandson who would just grab the snake.  Again I didn’t get a picture because snakes escape really fast.  A few days later I did find a snake skin in a different leaf bag so snakes living in leaf bags could be much more common than we realize!  This snake skin as you can see from the picture was not tiny.  It is not huge either but it did come from a quite large garter snake.  It is easy for them to crawl into the bags because there is always a small opening where the bag is tied up.

Be Careful About Garter Snakes in Leaf Bags As You Remove the Leaves

Now I am much more careful about getting the leaves out.  I am not putting my hands into a bag of leaves anymore!  Not that I think garter snakes are bad.  They are part of nature and the circle of life so more power to them if they live in my compost or leaf bags.  (Poisonous snakes are another matter altogether.) I am now prepared to encounter garter snakes with gloves on my hands or a spade to dig through the bags!

Here is a very interesting link on how valuable leaves are for compost All About Leaves for Composting.

 

Garter Snake in the Compost Bin

Garter Snake in the Compost BinThe other day I found a garter snake in the compost bin.  I was getting out some compost and then lo and behold was a snake almost crawling through my hands!  Yikes!  This was a wire compost bin that is mostly open so there are lots of opportunities for snakes to get in.  There is a great food supply in the compost bin and it is warm which the garter snake in the compost bin would greatly appreciate!  Here is a picture of my compost bin but no snake.  He got away too fast!   You can learn more about using an easy compost wire bin like this from a previous post.

I make my compost pile in the wire mesh bin with leaves and weeds from the garden.  I put my kitchen scraps in a Compostumbler so the rodents can’t get at them.  I put in a layer of leaves and then a layer of freshly pulled weeds.  I add a sprinkling of dirt or already made compost to introduce lots of microscopic composting critters to start the work.  Then I just layer like that until it is full.  Next gardening season it will be ready.  I collect leaves every fall in trash bags that people leave on the street to be picked up.

Contemplating the Garter Snake in the Compost Bin…

As I contemplate the garter snake in the compost bin I think about the leaves stored in the trash bags.  It seems like a perfect snake home. Read my next blog post for more info on garter snakes in leaf bags!

If you would like to read more about snakes and compost here are links to several forums on the subject:

  1. Garter Snakes in the Compost Pile
  2. Forum on Garter Snakes in the Compost
  3. Getting Rid of Snakes in the Compost