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~ Composting leaves fadinha_green
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If you have too many leaves to incorporate into the compost bin, you can simply compost the pile of leaves by itself. Locate the pile where drainage is adequate; a shaded area will help keep

The leaf pile should be at least 4' in diameter and 3' in height. Include a layer of dirt between each foot of leaves. The pile should be damp enough that when a sample taken from the interior is squeezed by hand, a few drops of moisture will appear. The pile should not be packed too tightly.

The pile will compost in 4 - 6 months, with the material being dark and crumbly. Leaf compost is best used as an organic soil amendment and conditioner; it is not normally used as a fertilizer because it is low in nutrients.


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Comment: ~ Composting leaves

Page Posts: 5

gardengeek
gardengeek
March 25, 2009
My Grandma would put tons of sticks and stuff in there, and it would all eventually break down, She said it needs moisture and open pockets of air, and sunlight.
tobolonoble
tobolonoble
March 25, 2009
The purpose in placing a layer of dirt between each foot of leaves(or any compost for that matter) is to add more microorganisms and to increase the surface area of the compostable matter to these microorganisms housed in the soil.

Also, carbon & nitrogen are two of the main elements in most compost. Leaves are mostly a carbon element, which in the absense of a higher nitrogen source (grass clippings or kitchen waste), will tend to compost a bit slower.

tobolonoble
tobolonoble
March 25, 2009
Thank you fadinha_green for the tips on leaves as compost.



In response to Alexia's question, when you say the pile will compost - it means leaves are broken down enough to be in a usuable form to mix with the soil and for the nutrients or other beneficial elements (in this case as fadinha_green had stated, conditioners) to be useful & beneficial to the plants.



When leaves are not completely composted & spread on ground, there will be less elements available to the soil and the plants growing in that soil. In other words, the nutrients or elements are still locked up in the un-composted leaves.

What happens in compost is there are billions of microorganisms in even one teaspoon of soil. These microorganisms munch on the leaf matter and munch and munch and as it is broken down in this fashion, the nutrients are broken down into the soil in a usable form.

Alexia

Brooklyn March 22, 2009
When you say the pile will compost in 4-6 months, what are you really meaning?? what exactly happens to the plants?

Cassio

Ohio March 22, 2009
Is there a limit to the size of the pile? what works best? Thank you!!

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