Trim, layer, trim, layer. That’s the sound of us filling our composting fence.
It took us about 45 min to dig hole, plant post, pack gravel, then string the wire mesh. Subsequently, we fill the fence at our leisure.
Drag over the pile of branches from the Japanese maple, break them down, drop them in. Trim the pine, layer the lovely needled limbs. Cut back the hedge, drop it in. Layer on layer to the top.
P.S. Our fence was recently featured on Digginfood.com, with much nicer photos I must compliment!
People occasionally ask ‘How fareth the composting fence?’ (well, usually in more commonspeak). A photo and some words:
The colours have obviously faded, but we still like how it looks and continue to receive compliments from passersby. We’ve added perhaps 2′ of material to the fence since it’s first filling 1.5 years ago. We do NOT have compost pouring out the bottom of the fence. For one, we used a lot of large diameter materials (i.e. branches) that will not decompose any time soon. For another, although tall, the fence is only 6″ deep, which will tend to dry out. Dryness does not lend itself well to decomposition.
In summary, it is a nice fence (visual barrier of the ugliness beyond), it continues to provide a repository for random prunings of shrubs, but does not produce copious amounts of compost. If you’re looking to built a fence and have material to fill it with, build this fence. If you’re looking for a constant supply of compost, build bins.
READ the 2011 update and more about composting fences here.