One day I was walking in my neighborhood when–lo and behold I saw all these wood shavings around a tree stump. The tree had just been cut down and there were lots of wood shavings. I thought to myself, “Wow–What a find–wood shavings for the compost tumbler!” My compost tumbler was a little overwhelmed with kitchen scraps–wet and a little slimy. It needed some carbon or what composters call “browns” to balance it out. Composting is an art of balancing greens which are nitrogen and browns which are carbons to be successful. For a better understanding of this read my post on Greens and Browns in Composting. So I hurried home to get a few bags to collect the shavings in. The things we composters will do to get ingredients for our compost bins!!
Wood Shavings for the Compost Tumbler–Collecting in the Neighborhood!
I must have looked pretty strange collecting these wood scraps but I didn’t care. I used them in my compost tumbler and they helped a lot to dry out the kitchen scraps and to balance the nitrogen. I got very nice compost from that batch.
Then I started thinking that maybe I would use pet bedding which consists of wood shavings. It is not so expensive at Wal-Mart, though, ideally you want all your compost materials to be free. But sometimes that doesn’t work out when you run out of leaves! The real trick here is to make sure you collect a lot of leaves in the fall. I collect bags from other people and keep them on the side of my house. I usually collect enough to last the whole year. They are a great source of free carbon for composters.
In the springtime I am going to use wood shavings again! I will post on how it works out. There is a very good book on composting called The Complete Compost Gardening Guide. This book covers all different kinds of composting–something for everyone.