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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?

  • Miriam I
    Miriam I Bay Shore, NY
    on Oct 4, 2013

    Great tip! I always wondered how to keep the pile in place.

  • Stephen Andrew
    Stephen Andrew Powell, OH
    on Oct 4, 2013

    Great article and thanks for having the content here rather than having to exit the app. I'm a firm believer in composting leaves! I live in a very wooded area so I have an endless supply.

  • Becky (J) P
    Becky (J) P Highland, IL
    on Oct 5, 2013

    I am probably one of the few people on earth who likes to rake leaves. (my mom always said it built up the bust, lol, think that was just a ploy.....) I rake mine onto my vegetable garden and let it sit all winter long.

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    on Oct 5, 2013

    We put in large "straw beds" which we use as "leaf beds" because we do not have pine trees. The reason was because we hate raking and bagging leaves and I resent paying $1 for those leaf bags. So we get new dirt! I will admit that I have been very remiss this year in keeping my leaf beds neat...let the weeds grow up a little...but had no choice. I have had a health issue and my guys don't know weeds.

  • Douglas Hunt
    Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    on Oct 5, 2013

    Great tips. Leaves are good for a garden.

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