Two days ago I cut down most of our bushes in the yard and put them in the compost pile. Today, I decided to get the shredder out and get to work on it. This shredder is just great-I bought it about 10 years ago at a garage sale for $20. Its old, its loud, and its big. But, it certainly does the job. See that large green thing in the back right hand corner? That’s it! As you can see, it turned this pile into great looking compost material in about 10 minutes. Years ago, I would amend my soil one last time in late fall to let it sit until spring. After turning it over, I would add my yard leaves. Then, I would spread this material(in picture) over the top of everything. It worked well. There was only one small problem-because of all the small twigs in the mix, birds would dip into my garden and pull up small seedlings while getting the twigs for their nests. That made me change my strategy-what I now do is take a little bit of soil out of the garden box and put it in a Rubbermaid tub. I then add compost, leaves from the yard, and this material first, and then put back the soil that was removed earlier. I top the whole thing off with several shovels full of more compost. Next spring, I heat up the boxes, and then check to see what the soil looks like just under the surface. Sure enough, those earthworms have taken care of all those leaves and small pieces of twigs, etc. You cant even find any leaves left under there! Its such a great thing-I know that I can grow just about anything in my garden because of this mix….when I picked up a handful of this material, it smelled like a forest floor just after a rain shower….give a look….