T here’s nothing prettier than red and gold autumn leaves on the trees, but unfortunately most of them end up on the ground. When deciduous trees near you shed their leaves, go and collect them from the driveways, pathways and gutters and place them in your compost bin, as all good gardeners do.
Freshly fallen leaves and grass clippings added to garden beds without first being composted will compete with plants for nitrogen, causing temporary nitrogen deficiency and stunting the plants’ development. So always compost leaves and clippings before using them in your garden beds. Because of its low nutrient levels, leaf compost is not considered a fertiliser, but it’s an excellent soil conditioner and helps to reduce weeds and decrease water evaporation, plus it gives a pleasing appearance and keeps soil friable. It also keeps the soil cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather.
To help speed up the composting process, follow these simple steps:
? Rake up fallen leaves from deciduous trees, then thinly sprinkle them over the lawn.
? Mow over the leaves with the lawn mower until they are finely shredded.
? Add the shredded leaves to the compost bin along with lawn clippings, eggshells and other kitchen scraps.
Your shredded leaves will be compost within two to three weeks rather than two to three months.