Composting Autumn Leaves

Composting Autumn LeavesComposting Leaves

Welcome to the gardening, composting and worm composting blog!  Composting autumn leaves creates great fertilizer for the garden.  I have been gardening for about 30 years and I have a lot of interesting experiences to share.  I always try to do everything organically.  And I like to do things the simplest and easy way.  You might call me a lazy gardener.

We have this beautiful maple tree in front of our house that turns to a gorgeous red, yellow and orange in the fall.  We raked for the first time on Friday and filled 2 black bags with leaves and then on Monday the ground was completely covered again with an orange yellow blanket.

Leaves are the quintessential “brown” for a compost pile.  They are so plentiful and free.  Every year I save bags and bags of leaves for mulch and compost.  First I wanted to use them for mulch in my vegetable garden.  But that never worked out so well.  If you have dry leaves in a black plastic bag, a year later you will still have dry leaves in a black plastic bag.  The bag might be deteriorating but the leaves look the same as when you put them in last year.

So I decided that they needed to be wet so they could decompose.  I also added dirt to introduce worms and other living decomposing organisms to hasten the process.  This didn’t exactly work out either.  The next year I would have a matted mess of wet leaves, maybe somewhat breaking down but only minimally.

This year we purchased a compost bin that turns.  So we used our leaves in there along with all our kitchen scraps.  A great combination of greens and browns.  The instructions said that the leaves should be shredded but that was a little too much for me so I crumpled them in my hands before I put them in.  Needless to say that did not do a great job of shredding the leaves!!  Well our compost was quite wet and we needed more browns so maybe I had to admit they did need to be shredded.

The exciting thing about this autumn is that we purchased a leaf blower/vacuum that mulches at the same time.  It is amazing how it shreds the leaves, down into beautiful “compostable” little particles.  And amazingly enough you can fit several bags into one.  We use this 30-Gallon Collapsible Gardening Container that really helps filling the black plastic bags.  It folds up to store easily.  The literature for the leaf vacuum says 12 bags into 1 but we didn’t get those results!!  So we are raking into piles, vacuuming and shredding and having an amazing time creating the “browns” for our compost and cleaning up our yard.

Recently I purchased the compost bin below for leaf and weed composting. It is very inexpensive and works great at fast composting. To learn more click on the picture below.

3 thoughts on “Composting Autumn Leaves

  1. Teresa

    I love your photos on your blog. I do not know much about composting and I definitely do not have a green thumb but I enjoyed your blog. Growing up we never had to rake leaves. My mom would just leave them in our front yard until the wind blew them away. It worked every year. I tried it at my house last year hoping the wind trick would work in my yard but no such luck. By the time we got to the leaves they were wet, matted down into the yard and very heavy to move.

  2. Robert Taylor

    One thing you have to be careful about. If you leave your leaves on your grass for too long they will kill the grass underneath. Particulary after it snows because then not only do the leaves form a mulch but the snow makes it even heavier and weighs down the leaves even more. We waited one year and all our grass that was covered by leaves was dead.

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