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Speaking of fires and burning yard waste, I can understand the Mexicans not wanting to have compost if there were food related items in the pile (rat attractors). However, I am wondering why the locals don't compost green matter such as grass clippings. I noticed my gardener hauls them away each time he's here. I'm thinking of asking him to dump the grass clippings and leafy matter in a pile in the far corner of the yard.  I think they would be great to mix with the clay soil here.

Any cons I am not aware of?

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we have compost piles at our home and restaurant. it's amazing how much green matter we generate and our garbage bag is very light, being composed mostly of paper and plastic, glass and cans bagged separately. it would be a great civic project to have designated neighborhood drop offs for kitchen scraps and yard clippings and would take a lot of pressure off our already overwhelmed garbage services. then bag up the finished product and sell it to self-support the program. we layer the kitchen scraps with the shredded yard waste and a couple of shovelfuls of dirt and haven't had any problems with vermin...

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Thank you all for the encouragement.

I've been repotting some plants and I am having a heck of a time dealing with the clay soil, and I really begrudge having to go buy potting soil, especially when I am surrounded by the makings of my own fabulous potting medium. So I will definitely start composting.

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The reason Mexican gardeners don't make compost piles is that they know nothing about them. They also consider them breeding places for scorpions and other bugs, which is true, but if it's far from your house, who cares? They like to rake everything bare and burn the debris. Hence the poor quality of soil in most places. Most gardens would benefit from having the smaller leaves and debris left around the base of the plants to conserve moisture, prevent weeds from growing, and as they break down, add humus to the soil. They don't get that. Took my neighbor 3 years of harping on this before his gardener stopped raking it all out.

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We make our own compost, very carefully (and also offer it for sale) BUT every Mexican gardener we've had has at first refused to use the compost!  They say, oh señora, it will burn the plants!   Clearly not something well understood down here, but hopefully the younger generation will learn that composting creates great stuff that does NOT burn the plants!  BTW - here's the story of our compost, which every gardener we've had has eventually learned to love, both as a mulch and as a soil enhancer....  http://rdplakechapala.com/compostforsale.html

 

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