The colors are changing, and leaves are cascading down onto our lawns. While that may seem like a nuisance for some, others find opportunity in the free compostable material that our trees provide us once per year. Now, composting leaves is fairly easy, they practically compost themselves. But if you don’t use the right techniques, you could be left with a pile of leaves for months on end.
So what are the right techniques?
Today, we’re going to cover some of the best techniques that you can employ to make leaf composting both fast and effective. Here’s how to compost your leaves, as presented by Prestige Lawncare, your source for lawn care and leaf cleanups.
Layering Your Compost
Leaves, alone, won’t decompose very quickly. Plus, while leaves are packed with nutrients that are great for your garden, they don’t contain much nitrogen. So, it’s important to layer your compost. Switch between a few inches of leaves and a thin layer of a nitrogen-rich material. You can use manure, kitchen scraps (avoid using meat in your compost, unless it’s well protected from animals), grass clippings, weeds, and old plants from your garden.
Your compost heap should be moist, but not overly wet. If there’s a dry spell, you can simply water your compost heap a little bit to keep the culture thriving. That said, compost usually retains moisture quite well, so you may not have to do much to keep the compost at a good moisture level.
Turning Your Compost
You should turn your compost on occasion. Turning the compost spreads helpful bacteria, it brings air into the mix (which helps the process), and it can mix worms into your compost. You can turn your compost every three days or so, although a well-established compost heap won’t require turning as often.
When Is the Compost Ready?
While there’s no black-and-white answer here, you can follow these general guidelines to determine when your compost is ready for use. Ideally, your compost looks like rich, dark soil. That said, it’s OK to have some material that hasn’t decomposed. If you have a few leaf stems poking out of the composted soil, don’t fret—it’ll decompose while it’s resting in the ground.
You can also smell your compost to check how ready it is. Composted soil will smell earthy, instead of sour. A sour smell indicates that the bacteria and worms are still doing their work.
What Are the Benefits of Compost?
As we’ve mentioned, leaves are nutrient rich. Leaves contain some somewhat rare nutrients that are in deeper soils that only tree roots reach. They contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and some nitrogen. Plus, leaves contain plenty of fiber, which will ensure that your compost’s resulting soil is well-aerated, as well as fertile.
Call on Us to Collect Your Leaves
With fall in full swing here in North Carolina, lawns are filling up with leaves. Fortunately, if you live in Greensboro, Asheboro, High Point, or the surrounding area, you can count on us to collect your leaves for you. We provide leaf collection services, and we can remove your leaves, or leave them with you if you’d like to compost them! Get in touch with us to get started!