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Compost: Putting Your Leaf Piles to Work

By Glenn Jacobsen (327 words)
Posted in Sustainable Landscaper in Bergen County NJ

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Fall is coming and so are the piles of leaves. Did you know that those leaves falling outside your window are a great raw material for making compost?

I can hear it now, “I tried to compost my leaves, but it didn’t work.” The truth is most people have tough time trying to compost leaves, especially if they’ve never done it before. But don’t fret, learning how to compost leaves is not nearly as difficult as you may think. Here are some tips to get those leaves a composting!

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Leaves can take several years to break down and there are two important things that you must do when you compost leaves to ensure that they will compost properly. First, make sure your leaves are shredded when adding them to your composter, compost tumbler or compost pile. An easy way to shred your leaves is to mow over them several times before you rake them up.

Second, when composting leaves make sure that you add a nitrogen source to your compost bin or compost pile. Leaves decay very slowly because they contain very little nitrogen. Adding nitrogen to your compost bin or compost pile will help to speed up the decomposition process of the leaves. This step can be as simple as adding grass clippings with the leaves as you fill your compost tumbler or compost bin.

Once you have shredded your leaves and found an additional nitrogen source, simply add them together in a place that will keep the leaves moist but not wet and allow nature to do its thing. As with any compost pile, keep your leaves turned on a fairly regular basis.

Good luck getting those leaves working for you!

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