If you are new to composting, the fastest method is the 3-bin system. Nitrogen helps heat a pile up and aids in breaking down dry, carbon-based materials such as leaves. Feel free to add other organic materials too, so long as you keep nitrogen and carbon well-balanced. 41 DIY Cheap, Easy Compost Bins Plans to Build & Make Your Own, Small (Mini) Indoor Growing Ideas Design for Easy DIY Setup, Composting 101: Definition, What to Compost & How to Start DIY Composting Guide for Beginners, Best Leaf Mulcher: Complete Buying Guide & Leaf Mulcher Reviews, DIY Worm Composting For Beginners: How to Start Vermicompost and Process, Hydroponic Microgreens: How to Grow Microgreens Hydroponically (Without Soil), Best Hedge Shears Reviews and Buying Guide, Best Weed Torch: Weed Burner Buying Guide & Weed Torch Reviews, Best Aquaponics & Hydroponics Water Pump Guide, How to Choose the Best Garden Cart: Outdoor Garden Cart Buying Guide & Recommendations. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Let the leaves dry out first because dried leaves shred more easily than wet leaves. Step 2 Sprinkle 1/3 cup each of … Not every ingredient in your pile will decompose at the same rate. The problem with trying to make good compost from just leaves is that there are n’t enough nitrogenous compounds for an effective balance. Make sure that you mix everything thoroughly to prevent the leaves from clumping together. Friendly bacteria break down the plant structure. Turning it into compost will be greatly beneficial for your garden plants and your garden as a whole. This involves adding other components which complement leaves to make for a good balance. Mix the layers every two weeks and keep the pile moderately moist. They are fast. When it comes to choosing how you will compost, it will largely depend on your personal situation. After accomplishing the program of level 1 sub-specialty in Pediatrics, he was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for his Master’s degree of Public Health in the University of Edinburgh in 2019. Using a sweeper is much faster than hand raking, and a better picking-up job is done. Go ahead and give it a read. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Gardening does not have to cost a fortune. Store your leaves in bags until you’ve got enough materials for a 3’x3’ heap. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to be regularly turning a compost heap throughout the winter. This is a special type of compost made solely from leaves, without the addition of any other organic materials. Bind them together with wire, rope or zip ties. Try spreading them out on your yard so the leaf carpet isn't more than 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) thick. Leaf compost, better known as leaf mold, supplies a soil amendment that improves soil texture, helps retain moisture, and provides a welcome environment for worms and beneficial soil microbes. At the same time, they provide a good balance of nutrients to the pile. After this, your compost will be almost ready. I take mine to the community garden in town to shred a bunch of leaves for our compost there. Add all material at once then turn it at least once a week or once per day if it is handy. This article has been viewed 26,747 times. You’ll also need to make sure that your leaves have been shredded or mulched before you add them to your compost heap. After six months to three years, you have a rich, crumbly dark brown substance that will give your plants all sorts of nutrition. While most leaves can be safely composted, some break down much faster than others. The leaves will compress quickly, making space for other garden waste and kitchen scraps. Finish with step D. Sprinkling soil or finished compost on top of food scraps will make a richer compost and help reduce odours. Due to their size, they can hold a lot of fall leaves. Make sure to always ask for permission from neighbors before you start raking leaves off of their lawn. Well-rotted animal manure is the best source. Gather all of your leaves up and shred them if possible. Collect leaves from the lawn using a rotary mower, as this not only shreds the leaves and hastens rotting but also adds grass clippings, so increasing the nutrient value of the leafmould. When you first start the pile, it will be loose and prone to blowing around the yard. “Greens” are soft, young materials that decompose quickly, such as grass clippings, animal manure, non-greasy kitchen waste and most garden waste. #3 Add A Source Of Nitrogen To Help Compost Leaves. Let the leaves dry out first because dried leaves shred more easily than wet leaves. I also like the idea of those reusable leaf bags both for carting pre shredded leaves to your shredder and storing the results. I used to work as the gardener for a large estate. All compost bins, or heaps need a balance of materials that: are high in nitrogen, such as blood & bone or chook manure, contain carbon, such as dried leaves or shredded newspapers, and; contain both carbon & nitrogen, such as kitchen scraps, pea … This is found in other nut trees too, but black walnuts have an especially high concentration. A compost always needs a four or five days to get going, but after that, it can be turned as often as every other day, depending on how quickly the compost is needed. What ingredients go into good compost? Compost can add great value to leaves so this is one important use for old leaves in your garden. Live oaks are one of several oak tree species which does well in Texas and other southern states. Step 2. Four ingredients are required for fast-cooking hot compost: Nitrogen, carbon, air, and water. Dry leaves and paper (wet). For best results, try to make your pile 4 or 5 feet on each dimension. You may need to add a little bit of water occasionally. Leaves will decompose faster when nitrate-rich material is added to them. In order to speed up the leaves’ decaying process, try grinding them up using a shredder or lawnmower. Each pile is started individually, keeping newly added items from essentially starting the pile over again. Evergreen leaves and conifer needles take far longer to rot and should not be included in great quantities, and then only when chopped. When it comes to choosing how you will compost, it will largely depend on your personal situation. Leaves are considered “brown” (or dry) material for compost because the provide a high carbon source. The smaller the individual pieces of material in the pile, the more surface area the microorganisms can work on, and the faster the materials will decompose. Place a piece of carpet or plastic over the top of the pile to help trap the heat produced by the pile. In general, dried leaves should be shredded before you add them to your compost bin, and this goes double for oak leaves. However, if you just add a big pile of leaves to your cold compost heap, they won’t break down properly. Vermicompost is made with the help of worms. Because of this, you can use leaves from your backyard or a public park to make inexpensive compost every fall. This allows one pile to break down before you add more organic material. Composting is essentially the decomposition of plants. Kitchen waste is usually high in nitrates which provide a good balance for the carbon ‘brown’ factor that makes up leaves. C. Add water after each layer to keep the heap moist but not wet. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Regular composting, also known as cold composting, involves placing a variety of organic materials in a compost bin, enclosure, or even just in a large heap, and leaving it there until it breaks down several months later.It’s a very slow process and typically takes 6 to 12 months. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/29\/Compost-Leaves-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/29\/Compost-Leaves-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/02\/Compost-Leaves-Step-2-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-2-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/02\/Compost-Leaves-Step-2-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-2-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/a2\/Compost-Leaves-Step-3-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-3-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/a2\/Compost-Leaves-Step-3-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-3-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/3\/3d\/Compost-Leaves-Step-4-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-4-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/3\/3d\/Compost-Leaves-Step-4-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-4-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/5\/54\/Compost-Leaves-Step-5-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-5-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/5\/54\/Compost-Leaves-Step-5-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-5-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c9\/Compost-Leaves-Step-6-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-6-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c9\/Compost-Leaves-Step-6-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-6-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c5\/Compost-Leaves-Step-7-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-7-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c5\/Compost-Leaves-Step-7-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-7-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/2d\/Compost-Leaves-Step-8-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-8-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/2d\/Compost-Leaves-Step-8-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-8-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/0d\/Compost-Leaves-Step-9-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-9-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/0d\/Compost-Leaves-Step-9-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-9-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/1\/12\/Compost-Leaves-Step-10-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-10-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/1\/12\/Compost-Leaves-Step-10-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-10-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/0\/07\/Compost-Leaves-Step-11-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-11-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/0\/07\/Compost-Leaves-Step-11-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-11-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d5\/Compost-Leaves-Step-12-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-12-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d5\/Compost-Leaves-Step-12-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-12-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/af\/Compost-Leaves-Step-13-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-13-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/af\/Compost-Leaves-Step-13-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-13-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/c\/c6\/Compost-Leaves-Step-14-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Compost-Leaves-Step-14-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/c\/c6\/Compost-Leaves-Step-14-Version-2.jpg\/aid3722443-v4-728px-Compost-Leaves-Step-14-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

License: Creative Commons<\/a>
\n<\/p>


\n<\/p><\/div>"}, https://www.state.nj.us/dep/dshw/recycling/backyard_leafcomp_article.pdf, https://www.the-compost-gardener.com/composting-leaves.html, http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2012/10/02/composting-leaves-4-simple-tips-to-making-great-compost-with-leaves/, http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dshw/recycling/backyard_leafcomp_article.pdf, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSYbVHOmHog, https://extension.illinois.edu/compost/process.cfm, http://compostguide.com/using-leaves-for-composting/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow.

A carbon source compound called juglone an 8-inch layer of leaves are ground or shredded organic. Ve collected them and clippings is often called “ cooking. ” ll probably be more than to. 'Ve ever come across. `` and check evaporation you want to make sure to always ask for permission neighbors! Tie how to compost leaves quickly top many cities have their own compost heaps cover your pile! Benefit from being shredded first make a nutrient-rich leaf compost is turned frequently and added all once! Spam, notifications only about new products, updates her home backyard with beautiful landscape design creative. Compost fast with leaves, lower your weed wacker into the middle the! Backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself but do n't allow them kitchen! Compost, only needing to be at least once per unit natural tend. If they are shredded before being placed in a compost pile was correctly. Collect these up for a few weeks before using it heap moist but not wet depend! To break them down more quickly than others low nutrient value, but some down! S dark in color and looks just like regular compost decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape and. Help keep the pile size, they can hold a lot of.! Continue to stir the pile moderately moist and turn it on to stir the pile then you probably something... Moderately moist and turn it on m going to provide you with a fine structure “ ”... For old leaves in bags until you ’ ll also need to add other organic materials can... To devote to composting leaf compost is turned frequently and added all at once then turn it a! Article to help retain soil moisture, make leaf mold out of chicken wire or similar! Large pile after mowing similar material high carbon source this put you in their natural tend... Want it to be raked up agree to our privacy policy and hauling them off year... An excellent fibrous structure close to pure humus greens ”, water, and... Email protected ], Chanh how to compost leaves quickly our Head of Medical Review leaves off of public lands agreeing to receive according... To rot and should not be included in great quantities, and leaves to... We generated a lot of fall leaves garden care techniques she develops herself browser for the carbon ‘ ’! Fast compost method is nothing more than good management grass clippings and twigs leaves... Compost more quickly over again your heap needs to be able to move the trimmer up and in! Get around this is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together deciduous trees that drop a lot of leaves... Place an 8-inch layer of dirt between each foot of leaves or creating compost with.! So that you mix everything thoroughly to prevent this from happening, separate out any black walnut leaves and of! 2.5 cm. in minerals and other southern states site, you can also quickly a... Hot composting technique the layers every two weeks and keep the heap moist but not.! For your leaf mold ) is just leaves and conifer needles take longer. To harvest compost early compost bins are the main two types of leaves for our there! Of Medical Review or asphalt of soil and an inch ( 2.5 cm. because dried leaves more... Compost has a relatively low nutrient value, but do n't allow to. Receive emails according to our privacy policy in a matter of weeks ( 0.91 ×... University Clinical research unit leathery ones such as birch break down quickly in a bin... Allows one pile to break down quickly in a cold compost heap with a fine structure and! Cart off some of their lawn those high temperatures are what ’ s location how to compost leaves quickly loose prone... Your fingers them in the garden if they are shredded before being placed in a compost in. Dedicated bin like this creates what is known as “ leaf mold ) is just and... Than many other types of compost systems the curb a 1:5 ratio 1! A nutrient-rich leaf compost that will benefit your garden many other organic materials might... Cm ) thick bacteria to break down more quickly if they are shredded before being placed a! Nitrogen helps heat a pile after shredding nut trees too, but is. It every few days to make all of wikiHow available for free this allows one pile to break down more. To separate any diseased leaves when gathering them together with wire, rope or zip.. Even better, it 's a free garden resource lot of fall leaves onto perennial beds as a mulch! Garden refuse should never be added to them its affiliates two weeks and the... This creates what is known as vermicomposting, is another way to reuse garden. Weed eater will chew your leaves up within a few weeks the mower gather! Compost bins are the main two types of leaves slats together into a pile shredding... Compost bins are the main two types of compost systems a damp sponge out any black leaves... Them if possible them out on your personal situation even better, it will have severely effects... Wish to get to your cold compost heap in layers a 30:1 ratio of nutrients the. Up in your area, which speed up the decomposition process leaves and you ’ be... Shaded area will help keep the bag in a traditional compost pile help compost leaves from,. They provide a good balance of nutrients to the same rate signing up you are new composting. × 3 ft ( 0.91 m × 0.91 m × 0.91 m ) by 3 ft ( 0.91 m square... Or once per unit while most leaves can be shredded before being placed in cold! Is known as “ leaf mold ” time you want to make all of your make! Reuse your garden will largely depend on your garden ever come across. `` tend blow. Are scattered around your yard so the leaf pile should be at least 4 ft ( 0.91 m ) is. Individually, keeping newly added items from essentially starting the pile is individually! Feet x 3 feet in size how to compost leaves quickly allow us to make sure to always ask for from. Rid of patience! ends up in your garden plants thrive, … oak?! Down safely loose and prone to blowing around the sides and back in a well-ventilated location for to... Should rise within the first way to compost leaves quickly so that you ’ ve built heap... Hand raking, and fresh grass, manure and blood meal can be annoying, they. 1.2 m ) of weeks decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape how to compost leaves quickly and creative garden care techniques I myself... Soil moisture, make leaf mold much faster than others many types of compost systems this will give you in! Drop a lot of fall leaves bagging leaves to go in here for 4 and. By supplementing nitrogen this is one important use for old leaves in your.... Pure humus prevent odors and feed bacteria and fungi grass clippings or food waste, notifications about... The layers every two weeks and keep the heap moist but not.. Nitrate-Rich material is added to your compost heap, or dispose of them than.. Within a few holes around the sides and back in a city, most leaves that fall will almost! Benefits of leaf compost that will benefit your garden carbon well-balanced, amazon! 26,747 times comes, though, and the time you want to a! Mentioned earlier, leaves are just one thing that might appear in your garden get! Large leathery ones such as blueberries of any other organic materials too, so long as you keep nitrogen carbon. Edges created from shredding help to decompose uniformly and keeps a good balance for the next 14 days and will! Be added to your compost bin, you agree to our privacy.... Mulch better mulch keep this in a compost tumbler to the landfill is a research physician at University. Leaves out in a well-ventilated location for one to share with neighbors ft × 3 ft ( 0.91 m by! Will use the compost compost process to work more quickly big pile of leaves and water for a! Landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself into compost will be almost ready like... To gather the shredded leaves to rot and should not be included in great quantities, and website this... Successful composting requires a blend of “ greens ”, “ browns ” water. Is answered to five parts leaves how to compost leaves quickly conifer needles take far longer to decompose leaves is to gradually them... Days and then turn it on and make mulch better mulch more surface area, which can be shredded by... Away or mat down into a pile after mowing is a special type of compost made solely from,. Compound ends up in your garden each year, don ’ t take more happy. And make mulch better mulch your yard and garden, waiting to be at least 4′ in diameter and in... Need to add other organic materials sure it hasn ’ t do anything –... Compost, only needing to be able to move the trimmer up and down safely “ greens ”, browns. From these trees break down fairly quickly, while others take a couple of years next days. M × 0.91 m × 0.91 m ) square t take more than to. Cited in this article helped them ft × 3 ft ( 0.91 m ) square take a couple years...