I try to look after the drying green at the back of the tenement where I live. Those are Scottish terms. A tenement is a block of flats, in American English: a condominium. The drying green is a shared back garden with clothes poles and washing lines.
I used to cut the grass with a little electric lawn mover. But the grass is on the North side of the five story building and only gets direct sunshine very early and very late in the day and only in June. Not enough sunshine for the grass to grow well. Even on the highest setting I was cutting it too short and tilting the ecology away from grass and towards moss.
I've taken to letting the grass grow six inches long and then cutting it with a sickle. It is easy to rake up the long cuttings into a big pile. Is a big pile a compost heap? Maybe, but a pile of pure grass cuttings turns into a soggy, tangled mess, that decomposes anaerobically and stinks.
I'm belatedly learning to use Youtube to find short instructional videos for skills such as gutting sardines, and now: how to compost grass cuttings. The recommendation is 50% Green, 50% brown. Green is grass cuttings. Brown is fallen leaves and twigs. I don't have enough brown, but Youtube tells me to use uncoated cardboard.
Last week, workmen were working on a neighbours bathroom. They left tile-like panels in the stair well for a while and I noticed that they came wrapped in cardboard to avoid getting chipped or scratched in the van. So I asked if I could have their cardboard. Now I have a big pile of cardboard to add to my compost heap. Cheap, uncoated cardboard; the kind that gets soggy and falls apart if it gets wet. Ideal!
Now I'm tearing up two square feet of cardboard to go with each bucket of moss and that I rake up. I've ordered more grass seed to sacrifice to the moss Gods. My plan is to dig over the worst grass, dig in compost, and reseed.
I've done this before, but without compost. The grass comes up a beautiful shade of green and looks healthy in the Autumn. But it dies over winter. I've taken to forking the soil, hoping that the rain will soak in better, tilting the ecology away from moss and towards grass. And I'm hoping that lightening the soil with compost will help. I'll find out in the Spring.
|< How does this thing work again? | Have a polite Canada Day, eh >|