How can I speed up the process? Is shredding a good idea?
For years my friend Andrew has been telling me the secret, but I just wouldn’t listen. Like I do, Andrew creates a lot of debris to compost from his giant garden. “Run it over,” he said, whenever I’d complain about the daunting size of my heap. “Just run it over with your mower to pre-shred the stuff.” Well, I finally did.
Facing the overstuffed, impossible-to-manage reality of my 40-by-6-by-8-foot heap, I raked the top 2-foot layer (the still-whole stuff, like last fall’s leaves) onto the ground beside the pile, removed any enormous or woody pieces, got out the tractor, and performed my first act of hit-and-run composting. Wow. What a difference a drive-by makes. Hit-and-run composting! Now I do this in fall when I collect debris, and also in spring cleanup. You could also invest in a shredder meant for this, of course, or an attachment to a leaf blower/vacuum if you use one.