21 November 2006

A simple process for composting fall leaves

"A simple process for composting fall leaves"

From The News Leader - Staunton, Va.

It never hurts to repeat the obvious....

Step 1: Chop autumn leaves with a lawn mower and rake into a pile.

Step 2: Contact a local farmer and ask if you can purchase a bushel or two of chicken litter or dried cow manure. If you can't locate a farmer, dehydrated manure is available by the bag at most garden centers.

Step 3: Mix together five parts leaves with one part manure in alternating layers.

Step 4: As you build your pile, moisten the mixture with a garden hose so that it has the consistency of a wet sponge. The pile should be constructed at least 4 feet by 4 feet in order to build heat and compost correctly. The compost pile should be about three feet tall. When you finish that pile and still have leaves remaining, simply start on the next one.

Step 5: Wait three weeks, turn the pile over with your garden fork (this is great exercise on a brisk December afternoon and provides aeration for the compost). Wait three more weeks and turn the pile again.

That's all there is to it. Volumes have been written about the science and various techniques for making compost, but the process can be as simple as the five steps listed above.


Technorati Tags: , , , ,