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Green Barbarians–Ellen Sandbeck


A Buddha A Day–Ellen Sandbeck





    

Dear Ellen,

Hi Ellen -

I see that you discourage using newspaper for bedding - which is contradictory to what all the books and websites suggest. But it makes sense sense I just harvested my castings and dried them out to screen them and they were so hard I had to use a hammer! You recommend using dried leaves which I experimented with when I first started out but had a massive infestation of bugs and flies. I'd like to use the leaves but do you have any suggestions to limit the flies and bugs? Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Kay, Minneapolis MN

Dear Kay,

Most of the problems caused by using newspaper for bedding are related to the clay content in the newspaper. The clay is what made your compost so rock hard.

If you are having problems with bugs and flies when you use leaves for bedding, perhaps you should try letting your bagged leaves sit outside long enough to get really really cold in the winter, so the bugs die out. Or, you could let tightly sealed black bags of leaves sit out in the hot summer sun long enough to really cook inside. Both extremes would probably go far in reducing your bug infestations.

I have not really had fly problems caused by leaves. You might also want to make sure that you are harvesting leaves from areas that are completely free of animal droppings.

Good luck! Let me know how it works!

Environmentally yours,

Ellen

 

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