Greenwich environmental analyst says it’s time to compost

October 10, 2017

GREENWICH — Aleksandra Moch, an environmental analyst with the town Conservation Commission, believes now is the time to begin composting — provided residents aren’t doing it already.

“The fall leaves that accumulate in and around landscape represent a valuable natural resource that can be used to provide a good source of organic matter and nutrients for use in landscape,” Moch said last week. “This is the way Mother Nature fertilizes the forest. The best and most proven way.”

“In forests,” she said, “leaves and other organic wastes form a natural blanket over the soil surface, which preserves moisture, modifies temperatures and prevents soil erosion and crusting. In time bacteria, fungi and other natural occurring organisms decompose or compost the leaves and other organic material, supplying the existing plants with a natural, slow release form of nutrients.

Moch recommends mulch mowing — shredding leaves onto the lawn when mowing — as an effective method for recycling the leaves during autumn. The best tool for this job is a shredding mower, she said, but a regular mower could also be used. Residents and landscapers can also replace regular mowing blades with mulching blades to convert them, the environmental analyst said, and potentially save money.

“If there are too many leaves to incorporate (in)to the lawn,” Moch said, “the excess could be blown toward the planted beds to cover the root system of plants (to) protect them during the harsh winter months.”

Moch is working on a composting initiative to incorporate the practice at Greenwich Public Schools and continues to work on sharing information to property owners and landscaping professionals.

“Composting is best done when combining leaves, grass clippings and kitchen scraps,” said Moch. “This is a great way of recycling organic wastes (and) addresses a large portion of wastes generated by an average household.”

The final product, she said, is superior to any synthetic fertilizers or plant care products. It restores the soil and provides everything plants need to grow.

For more information on composting, residents can visit a Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection web page, which has facts and other resources, at http://bit.ly/2yUhH9V. The Conservation Commission can be directly contacted by calling its Town Hall office at 203-622-6461, or by going to Town Hall at 101 Field Point Road in Greenwich.

E: jturiano@greenwichtime.com T: @jturianoGT; IG: @greenwichgreen