Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to Make Compost Out of All Those Leaves

Pound per pound, leaf compost or mold as it is called, is the best soil additive you can use. Best of all, it is free and provided by nature! This article will describe in detail how to make your own leaf mold to help enrich your garden soil.

Gather fall leaves and rake them into a corner of your yard or other area where you can place a wire mesh fence around the area to prevent leaves from blowing away. You may also gather and place fall leaves in a plastic barrel. You may run the leaves through a shredder to make the decomposition time faster, but this is not necessary. Once you have gathered your pile, wet the leaves down. It is ideal to place the bin or barrel out in the elements so that you don't have to rely entirely upon your water hose to keep the leaves moist. Be patient, this process takes many months. Depending upon where you reside, this can take anywhere from 6 months to several years. Give the leaves a good stir from time to time to ensure even distribution of the moisture. If you are having trouble retaining moisture in your bin or barrel, you may remember to line the container with plastic the next time you collect leaves. You can also cover the container with a tarp. Another way to create leaf mold is to use plastic garbage bags or biodegradable leaf bags. Simply fill the bags with compressed leaves. If using plastic garbage bags, cut a few small slits in the bags to allow excess water drainage and allow air to come in. Wet the leaves down while in the bag. Close the bag up and shake bags from time to time to distribute the water. After your leaves have decomposed into a material that looks like soil, you are ready to use the leaf mold in your garden.
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