For sure you know that composting is a great way to give your garden a boost. Leaves are great for composting because they have all the best the soil has to offer. However, in many cases people encounter some problems and they are looking for the right solution.
Tips for Successful Composting
Sometimes the leaves break down slowly and they usually have a tendency to mat. In order to solve these problems, you might want to shred the leaves. This way you can reduce the bulk of the leaves and the leaves won’t have a tendency to mat. In the same time you can speed up the composting process.
Another thing that you could do is to mix the shredded leaves with a source of nitrogen, like grass clippings. It is a good idea to mow the grass and leaves in the same time. You can also use a shredder to get the job done. For a more traditional approach, you can also mix them by hand.
The more experienced composters often choose not to mix the fresh leaves and the compost. Instead, they handle them separately. This way they achieve compost made only of leaves which is known as leaf mold. The good news is that it is quite simple to make leaf mold.
Preparing Leaf Mold
First of all, you will have to shred the leaves with a lawn mower or a shredder. This way it will take less time to prepare the mold. Then collect the leaves into a compost bin, naked pile, or wire cage. If the leaves are dry you should add some water to them and then just wait.
Not all leaves are suitable for composting. You should choose the leaves which are low in lignin and high in nitrogen and calcium. You could be looking for ash, elm, cherry, linden, poplar, maple, and willow. In case of these leaves it takes about a year for the compost to be ready.
If you don’t know what kind of trees you are dealing with you should know that green leaves should be added in moderate amounts. Use only small amounts of yellow or red leaves. If you would like to make good quality compost, you should avoid brown leaves. However, these are good for leaf mold.
Although it may seem complicated, composting isn’t as difficult as it sounds.