Sunday, November 28, 2010

Composting All of our Leaves

Typically, we rake up 45 to 50 bags of leaves every fall. In most years, we put the bags of leaves out with our garbage. Last year, we decided to compost about half the leaves and saved some bags. However,since I wasn't composting correctly,barely any of the leaves had broken down by September of this year. After checking the Internet, I realized my mistake was trying to compost 100% leaves. A proper compost needed a higher level nitrogen source which grass clippings can provide at approximately at a 1:2-3 ratio of grass:leaves. Once I corrected the ratios, I was able to reduce about 20 bags of leaves to a small compost pile of 1/2 cubic yard (about the volume of two 45 gallon leaf bags).

Based on this experience, I believe we will be able to compost all of our leaves this year. We have started a compost pile with 1/3 of the collected leaves and grass clippings from October mowings. Since the internal temperature of the pile has reached 130 degrees, the composting process has already started. We have stored the remaining 2/3 of the leaves and will either add them as the compost pile reduces or save them for the spring when there are more grass clipping.

Hopefully, this process will work and enable us to compost all of our leaves on a annual basis.

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1 comment:

Jack said...

Well done for not giving up! The different types of material compliment each other and provide the combination needed to keep the decomposition process going. Keeping all the leaves and adding them to the compost pile as you add grass cuttings and kitchen scraps will provide you with even more nutrient rich compost for your garden and flower beds.