Many gardeners rake fall leaves onto perennial beds as a winter mulch. When it comes to choosing how you will compost, it will largely depend on your personal situation. Your heap needs to be at least 3 feet x 3 feet in size. They are fast. Oak leaves take longer to decompose than many other types of leaves. These elements are necessary to prevent odors and feed bacteria and fungi. "This is the most vivid explanation regarding making leaf compost I've ever come across.". And what is the best thing to do with all those leaves once you’ve collected them? If you're composting and getting ants and flies, then you probably have something sugary or some sort of meat in the pile. Step 2. Never locate a compost pile on concrete, cement, or asphalt. Mix in grass at a 1:5 ratio: 1 measure of grass for every 5 measures of leaves. If high winds are a concern in your area, place the compost pile in an area where it will not blow away. Not only will this put you in their good books, but it will also give you more leaves to compost! Leaves of all sorts are a great material to add to your compost bin, though they might need a bit of preparation for fast composting. There are two ways to compost leaves. You want it to be a similar consistency to that of a damp sponge. In order to speed up the leaves’ decaying process, try grinding them up using a shredder or lawnmower. Smaller scraps have more surface area, which allows bacteria to break them down more quickly. This involves adding other components which complement leaves to make for a good balance. Hot composting is a fast aerobic process (uses oxygen), so given volume of compost materials produce almost the same volume of finished compost. No spam, notifications only about new products, updates. Try spreading them out on your yard so the leaf carpet isn't more than 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) thick. For best results, try to make your pile 4 or 5 feet on each dimension. Together, these items feed microorganisms, which speed up the process of decay. Leaving leaves to rot in a dedicated bin like this creates what is known as “leaf mold”. Dry leaves and paper (wet). Fast composting of leaves starts with a layer 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20.5 cm.) You can check the fall street sweeping schedule and go the day before to collect extra leaves from the curb. Mow over them with a lawn mower to shred the leaves. In order for organic materials to break down, you need a mixture of both. Leave it to mature for a few weeks before using it. Plan to cover the compost pile with a plastic tarp, if you cannot construct a container. After this, your compost will be almost ready. This is where the compost is turned frequently and added all at once per unit. If the fast compost pile was made correctly the internal temperature should rise within the first 24 hours. I use this DIY small compost bin and it’s perfect for making fast compost and it’s either free or very cheap, which is even better. If you need your finished compost sooner and don’t want to wait until the spring, then hot composting is the way to go. It’s all down to raising the temperatures in your compost heap, which accelerates the decomposition process. If you live in a city, most leaves that fall will be swept up with a street sweeper. Keep the bag in a well-ventilated location for one to two years. to wait that long. This article has been viewed 26,747 times. If you want to compost these leaves, here are the steps to consider: Make sure you’re okay with having a compost … Spread the dry leaves out in a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer. If possible, cover your compost pile or bin with a tarp, a scrap of carpet wrapped in plastic or a plastic garbage bag stuffed with leaves or hay. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Many cities have their own composting programs and will use the leaves in the city or county compost piles. This will give you compost in a matter of weeks. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019. Not every ingredient in your pile will decompose at the same rate. Leaves will decompose faster when nitrate-rich material is added to them. Alternatively, you can make a bin for your leaf mold out of chicken wire or a similar material. Feel free to add other organic materials too, so long as you keep nitrogen and carbon well-balanced. All parts of the tree contain a compound called juglone. This will significantly speed up the composting process. Worm farms and traditional compost bins are the main two types of compost systems. How to compost leaves quickly. Gather leaves into a pile that’s at least 4 ft (1.2 m) by 3 ft (0.91 m). Bind them together with wire, rope or zip ties. Leaves are just one thing that might appear in your garden during the fall. Also, well-maintained vermicomposting bin usually has a pleasant, earthy smell. Then, give it a turn every other day for the next 14 days. Collect leaves from the lawn using a rotary mower, as this not only shreds the leaves and hastens rotting but also adds grass clippings, so increasing the nutrient value of the leafmould. The fastest way to decompose leaves is to gradually add them to kitchen waste when you put it in the compost. Last Updated: October 14, 2020 He is a Organic Gardening Consultant and Founder of Grow-It-Organically, a website that teaches clients and students the ins and outs of organic vegetable gardening. An earth base allows drainage and access to soil organisms, but if you have to compost on a hard surface, then add a spadeful of soil to the compost bin. There are a couple of ways in which you can save yourself this back-breaking work: Purchasing a machine specifically to collect up your leaves may seem like more of an investment than you wanted to make, but you’ll then be able to easily collect up your neighbors’ leaves too. They’re packed with nutrients that are fantastic for your plants, and are so easy to compost. Not only do these take much longer to break down than leaves, but they’re also highly acidic. This is a low-maintenance way to compost, only needing to be turned every few weeks. Compost can add great value to leaves so this is one important use for old leaves in your garden. Leaves will decompose faster when nitrate-rich material is added to them. Oak Leaves. Vermicompost is made with the help of worms. The problem with trying to make good compost from just leaves is that there are n’t enough nitrogenous compounds for an effective balance. When autumn comes, though, and leaves fall, the problem of leaf disposal arises. Even better, it's a free resource if you have deciduous trees that drop a lot of fall leaves. Let the leaves dry out first because dried leaves shred more easily than wet leaves. Learn how your comment data is processed. By composting your leaves, you’ll be. The simplest fast compost method is nothing more than good management. The weed eater will chew your leaves up within a few minutes. Poke a few holes around the bin liner and then loosely tie the top. Simply put, whole leaves will take forever to break down. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Bagging leaves to go to the landfill is a waste of landfill space and a waste of a free garden resource. Things like tea leaves, they're also good to go in here. Ingredients are required for fast-cooking hot compost: nitrogen, carbon, air, and are so many to! Collect extra leaves from your backyard or a public park to make their own composting programs will! 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