Turning Fallen Leaves Into Compost

Published on: October 28, 2014

Tired of bagging up leaves every fall to take to the dump or local compost station? Turn those leaves into fresh compost that you can use next spring. Leaves make excellent compost, as they’re full of nutrients your garden plants need. If you haven’t composted before, here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Create your compost bin. To create compost, your leaves must be kept together in a confined area and allowed to “cook” over several months. You can buy compost bins, or create a circular bin out of chicken wire which will hold your compost together.
  • Collect a variety of leaves. The best compost uses several different types of leaves from fruit, maple, birch and other trees. Collect a variety of leaves from your own yard, or from neighbors, to get a variety. Keep the total amount of oak leaves to less than 25% of your total composting leaves.
  • Shred and add nitrogen. To decompose quickly, leaves need to be shredded and have a source of nitrogen added. Grass clippings can work, as well as manure or compost activator, which is available in most landscape supply stores.
  • Turn your compost. You can help your compost along by using a pitchfork or shovel to turn your compost pile once or twice a week.

Ask your landscaper to get your leaf compost pile started as part of your routine lawn care. They can rake your leaves and shred them for you, and they may be willing to bring you leaves from other clients which can add to the variety and nutrients in your compost. By next spring, you can have some “gardener’s gold” of your own to maximize your gardening efforts!

Posted on behalf of Lanier Yardscapes

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