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Here at The Recycle Works we often get asked about composting leaves and garden shreddings with EM -Effective Micro-organisms. So while cutting the hedges last summer, I thought I would compost them with EM and put the results on the blog.

First thing to do, was to find a suitable ‘container’, similar to one of the bokashi buckets we sell, but bigger! Fortunately, the council’s green wheelie bin sees little activity here, as every thing goes into either the bokashi bucket or compost bin!

The leaves and clippings from the beech hedge went through the shredder and were then given a good spraying with activated EM (Garden Yoghurt!) and then packed into the wheelie bin and then topped off with some bokashi bran and the covered with a couple of sheets of polythene, with some bricks on top to keep most of the air out. The same principle used with the bokashi buckets.

Wheelie bin composter

Having sat around since last August, I thought it was time to have a poke about inside the wheelie bin and see what was going on inside.

The top layer didn’t look very exciting, there were some brown leaves, bran and large number of fly cocoons!

Under the covers

When I had a ‘furtle’ below the surface, things looked different – what I found was masses of lovely white mold – so obviously the fungi had been busy, regardless of the cold winter we’ve just had.

I removed an arm full or two into the wheel barrow, as I thought this would make a nice top dressing for the rhubarb, which is just starting to stir!

em leaf compost

Leaf compost in the wheel barrow

The rest has been left in the wheelie bin and covered left to carry on composting until I am ready to use it in the garden later. Hopefully, it will rot down quickly once it is dug into the soil – I think I might try some with the spuds this year! Here’s a close up of the end product!

EM leaf compost