1. Jan, 2022

Composting Holly

After Christmas it is likely that many will be faced with the need to dispose of holly leaves.  There are some sources recommend that they are added to the Council Green Waste bins as they are slow to breakdown when home composting.

This  is true, but  they can be composted in a separate “slow” bin or pile and allowed to decompose over a period of two years and then regularly monitored. Other candidates for this slow bun would include conifers and  rhododendron leaves.

  Small quantities of shredded holly can  be added to a hot composting bin if mixed with a good supply of greens such as grass or kitchen waste  

It is advisable to shred the leaves  using a garden shredder, or by running over them with a lawnmower on the lawn which will have the advantage of adding fresh greens. Shredding also reduces the risk of stabbing yourself on the   sharp spines. It is advisable to wear gloves at this stage and when handling  the compost right up to the maturation stage as the pickles can  to survive.

Even when cold composting holly leaves,  I would suggest turning the material at least weekly for the first few weeks. If  the material looks dry more fresh greens  can be  added, to provide additional nitrogen, along with more water to keep it moist. If doing the sponge tests wear gloves . If using an open bin or pile covering it with a plastic sheet will help retain heat  moisture,

 More information can be found at http://www.carryoncomposting.com/142941489