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Composting Leaves - a Quick Guide

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In our November Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist, we recommended composting your leaves instead of simply disposing of them. Why, wouldn’t it be easier to just rake them up and either burn them, or just bag them and send them off to the landfill? Well, not really, when you think about, besides you do not get any benefit from them.

Black Gold

Black Gold, what’s oil got to do with this? Oil, not a thing, but that is what many gardener’s and landscapers call the final composted product as it can revitalize the soil and give you better crops and / or lawns. All those nutrients that were used by the plants can now be reintroduced into soil instead of relying on artificial fertilizers. The compost improves the soil, improves the plants root penetration abilities, and increases the ability of the soil to soak up the water and let it naturally restore the water table, as earthworms are attracted to the area. Now you can see why gardener’s and landscapers consider the composted material as black gold.

Option 1 – A quick holding area for leaves

The quickest and easiest way to create a compost pile is to get a roll of wire fencing and create a round enclosure approximately 4 to 6 feet wide. This enclosure should be placed in a shaded area to help prevent the pile from drying out. Now all you have to do is rake the leaves up on a sheet and dump them in the enclosure. As the leaves start building up, simply spray them down with a hose and keep adding. Now onto the hard part, waiting for a year or two for them to simply break down to be used.

This piece originally appeared on the HTRC - to see the other two methods which include mowing them or using them around your flower gardens... http://bit.ly/CompostLeaves

Got a question about this project?

  • Pop
    Pop Muncie, IN

    I have always raked them onto a big tarp and drag them to our garden, they rot in the winter and I till them into the garden in the spring. Great fertilizer

  • Suzette T
    Suzette T Philadelphia, PA

    I am so thrilled down right tickled that there are so many others here that realize the benefit of leaves for winter protection. And YES to every one who was kind enough to elaborate on how different tree leaves offer different nutrient components to

  • Zafar Ali Khan

    thanks for good advice

  • Carole
    Carole Australia

    I was so impressed by this post that my hubby and I have taken to taking a large trug on wheels with a lid with us when we visit the off leash dog park - we also take a rake. Before taking the dog into the park, we use the rake in the gutters in the

  • Christina
    Christina Attleboro, MA

    I was told not getting the leaves up in the borders around the house would lead to grubs. Is this true?

    • SLS Construction & Building Solutions LLC
      SLS Construction &... Naperville, IL

      @Christina not to my knowledge - best way to prevent them is keeping your grass long & healthy (which requires less water which they need), over seed & fertilize which can include natural options like leaves

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