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As trees begin to change color and fall, Gardener Allen Smith has a way to turn those brown leaves into black gold.
Tags:How to Save Leaves for Compost,compost,gardening tips,home gardening,organic,outdoor living,p. allen smith,PAllenSmith,sustainable garden
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During the fall when I am outdoors enjoying the garden, the first thing I think of is the color of leaves. They would have to be at their very best this time of year. The range of their color is magnificent.
All of these beauty reminds me of what excellent compost leaves can make. Over the course of the season, I gather as many of them as I can to use in my garden next year, and just a few months I'll turn these dry brown leaves into a rich humus that's loaded with good things from our garden.
Now over the years, I've learned a few tips that help make the composting process a bit more efficient. First, always look at composting materials in two divisions, green and brown. By layering these two at about a 50-50 ratio, you can yield some impressive results.
Green materials consist of anything green or high in nitrogen. Brown materials on the other hand are source of carbon and these leaves are ideal. I also like to break up old bales of straw like this. Now when you add leaves to your compost bin, don't let them mat down in thick layers. You see this will exclude much needed oxygen from the process.
Alternating thin layers of green and brown is the best approach. Water is also a key ingredient. Keeping the material moist is like putting fuel on the fire. Now remember, your fall leaves are worth their weight in gold when you throw them in the compost bin. From the garden, I am Allen Smith.