Leaves are falling. And falling. And falling.

What are you to do?

You can bag them up and haul them out to the curb every week. But then you think, why would I put easily degradable materials (leaves) into a receptacle (plastic bag) that won’t degrade for up to 1000 years?

 

Maybe the answer to that question is that you don’t know what else to do and you certainly don’t want to have to plow your way through 2 feet of leaves to get to the mailbox every day.

 

Read on for a fantastic & simple solution!

Composting

 

 

Composting has been around since plants were invented. It’s the biological process whereby organic materials are decomposed and transformed into a rich hummus.

 

 

 

 

The benefits of composting are legion, but here are the highlights:

  • Less waste in our landfills
  • Food for your garden
  • Nutrients for your soil
  • Helps with erosion
  • Saves you money

 

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So now you’re thinking, heck yeah, composting is for me! But how do I do it?

It couldn’t be easier.

  • Make a pile of leaves (corral them a bit).
  • Wait.

That’s it!

 

You can do more to help things along, but if all you have time for is making a pile, that will do it.

 

Bump it up a notch

For a hands on approach to composting, there are simple things to help speed it up and ensure that your yard looks great at the same time.

 

Build a bin

 

You can build a compost bin out of most any materials including chicken wire, pallets, old firewood, etc. The key to building a compost bin that will actually turn organic materials into compost is air flow. The composting process is aerobic (no, not sweating to the oldies) which means it needs oxygen to work. While a trash can with a lid is not the way to go, you can drill a bunch of holes in that can and viola instant compost bin.

 

 

Add, add, add

By continuously adding to your compost pile all year round you keep the decomposers happy and working hard.

 

Good candidates for adding to your compost pile are:

 

Aforementioned leaves

Grass clippings

Most any yard waste

Kitchen scraps*

Coffee grounds

Shredded paper or cardboard (non glossy)

 

* Be careful composting meat scraps or bones…these will decompose but can attract unwanted attention from critters like raccoons.

 

Turning

Turning your pile with a pitch fork every once in a while will keep it aerated. This isn’t strictly necessary, but it may speed up the composting process.

 

Done and Done

You’ve piled your leaves, dumped in your kitchen scraps, given a few turns and now you’re ready to reap the rewards.

 

To get to the best of the best compost you want what’s on the bottom. The bottom will have the most decomposed glorious compost. So open your bin and scrape the top bit to one side and have at it. Cover your garden beds in the compost and prepare for an epic harvest!

 

 

 

Leah and her husband Jamie own and operate Henrichsen Wood, a Mobile Sawmill and Tree Service in Charlotte. Working to prevent “tree waste”, Henrichsen Wood strives to transform client’s trees into useful materials – mulch, firewood, landscape ties and even dimensional lumber. Their mission is to conserve, transform and replant the amazing tree canopy in our region. Check out Henrichsen Wood at www.henrichsenwood.com to find out more.