Every fall we spend hours raking our yards. That’s because leaving the leaves can be damaging to the grass. It also makes the yard look messy. Growing up, we raked the leaves and stuffed them into big black plastic bags to set out with the garbage. Now that we understand the importance of recycling, composting offers a much better solution for your fallen leaves. Besides, if raking leaves is such a laborious task, might as well find a good use for them.
Your old fallen leaves make an organically produced soil. Well, soil-like substance that is rich in nutrients. Using composted leaves as a top soil or mulch deters weed growth. In addition to the rich benefits recycled leaves bring your garden, compost reduces the waste dumped into landfills.
What you’ll Need
If you know you are collecting the leaves for composting, prepare by having the right supplies. Collapsible baskets and tarps make collecting piles easy. The tarp also creates a convenient vehicle to drag the leaves from place to place. And of course, you need your rake as well as a pair of garden gloves. For the actual compost process, you’ll need a compost bin. We recommend at least 3 square feet.
After the leaves are gathered and mowed into small pieces, layer them at the bottom of the bin with soil and manure on top. Instead of manure, you can use any green nitrogen source. A cup of nitrogen fertilizer may also be added. Every two weeks, mix the layers to blend. Make sure to keep the compost somewhat moist and warm. Best recommended temperatures are around 60 degrees.
If you don’t have the time or desire to compost leaves yourself, you can send them to be composted. Make sure you collect the leaves in a paper bag, as opposed to plastic. Plastic bags are sent to landfills. Either way you can feel good about your efforts to keep the planet green!