October 8, 2014 - 16:40
by Ed Marroni
Among other benefits, the fall season provides us with leaves, which have potential nutrients for the soil. So, instead of placing them at the curb to be picked up as waste, reap the gift they offer by composting them into nutrient-rich mulch!
An easy method to create compost: use black plastic, 30- or 40- gal bags with a 3-mil thickness. These black bags absorb the sun's heat, thus speeding up the composting process.
In each bag, place the leaves (shredded with a lawn mower), grass clippings (for nitrogen), 1 gallon of water, a shovelful of soil to provide digesting microbes, and one cup of lime (also known as agricultural lime—not the fruit!).
Seal the bags with twine. Pierce the bags with a few small holes on each side. In case, over time the contents become dry add more water. Finally, stack the bags in a sunny or warm spot.
They will need to be flipped over monthly. Depending on the condition and types of leaves, the compost will look dark and crumbly and no longer recognizable as leaves in 6-12 months. You can then use it in your flower or vegetable garden and enjoy watching the flowers bloom beautifully and the vegetables grow to great sizes. This effort helps our Earth by reducing the amount of processed fertilizer used.