You can only get your kids to make so many leaf wreaths, garland, and rubbings before they tell you they’re bored. And we get that. But you still have mountains of leaves that collect during the season. So what to do with all of the leaves that keep accumulating week by week? Put them to work!
Leaves are by far one of the most generous addition to your compost heap. They’re packed with minerals that feed your plants beautifully including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other elements. It’s definitely a bit of a chore but if you know what you’re doing it can be quicker and easier than you think, and it’ll really set you up for the springtime!
Here’s how to make your fall leaves work for you:
First if you can, shred, grind, or mulch the leaves. It will serve you well since it speeds up the breakdown given the smaller particles. If you can’t do it, don’t worry, you can still make use of the leaves it just may take a bit longer. And try to keep your leaves as dry as possible. If they’re wet, allow them to dry out before you begin.
Layer your compost heap beginning with a two to three inch layer of shredded or whole leaves and alternating with a nitrogen source like kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, or grass clippings. Keep your compost heap as dry as you can and turn it as often as you can (every week before the ground freezes is ideal). Even consider covering your compost pile with plastic to keep it as dry as you can through the snowy months.
Come springtime, you will have rich soil to grow your summer bounty or feed your trees and plants well. And those leaves will be coming Full Circle (see what we did there?).