Composting autumn leaves
Autumn is a beautiful time of the year as the leaves of deciduous trees change from green to shades of red, flame and gold, colouring the landscape and garden. However all gardeners know that it signals many weeks of falling leaves that collect on the beds and borders, litter paths and drives, block gutters and bury the lawn under a dense carpet. Although a little hard work is involved, these fallen leaves are valuable; they can be composted, making a rich organic mulch and soil improver, given a little time and encouragement.
Compost created from fallen leaves is ideal for using around acid soil loving plants such as Rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias
Fallen leaves take longer to break down than grass cuttings, soft plant trimmings and vegetable waste. Time to compost depends on the leaf type: oak and beech leaves will take a couple of years, whereas sorbus and birch compost in twelve months. To hasten the process use Vitax Compost Maker. Just sprinkle it on to the leaves as you add a layer to the compost heap. It works best when the leaves are moist, so leaves mixed with grass are ideal.
If you have a large amount of leaves they are best composted in in a separate compost heap and managed in the same way as standard compost