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composting oak leaves

Before we dive into that, though, let’s talk about a fear that may be gnawing at you: the acidity of fallen oak leaves and the possibility of it hurting your lawn. The short answer is that, yes, oak leaves are acidic. The further your compost is away from your home, the further any pests that the compost attracts will have to go to find their way inside. just spread the leaves out and let them sit there. Please advise if this is correct. Why go to all the trouble? I once ground up some and put them in the shrubbery. Good options include bovine manure, existing compost, grass clippings or green weeds. Compost made from leaves, or leaf mold, is prized as a mulch or soil amendment for its excellent water retention and nutrient-rich makeup. There are many good reasons to compost oak leaves, just like any other organic matter, whether you’re concerned about the environment, your landscape, or your wallet. A. Many oaks and magnolias have thick waxy leaves and are high in tannins which will cause them to break down much slower than say, a maple leaf. Working in large amounts of compost to your flowerbeds and … You can. A. I am so glad that you are thinking of composting your oak leaves and not burning them. Be sure to make the pile high because … Resist pruning shrubs until it gets colder so you don’t stimulate new growth when they should be going dormant. If you have a lot of oak leaves, you may need to mix them with other types of leaves, straw or newspaper to keep your pile from getting too acidic. Most trees have long roots extending deep into the subsoil. Unlike some other types of leaves, live oak leaves are unlikely to prevent your lawn from “breathing,” encourage disease or serve as an open invitation to insect pests. Most of them come down to using the leaves instead of having them hauled away. What’s the best way to compost live oak leaves? These towering giants also require specialized care that many homeowners don’t have the time to administer. Unfortunately, “eventually” can be a long time for live oak leaves. The bottom line is that multiple studies have shown that oak leaves (even in large quantities) have no effect on the acidity of soil. Send questions and comments, along with your name/initials and community to [email protected] Subscribe to our newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Leaves that have relatively little calcium (and other healthy minerals) can take as long as 2 years to break down, making them poor candidates for a compost pile. I would gladly compost the maple leaves, but there is no way to sort them out. way to mulch live oak leaves is to do so with a mower. Especially when you consider kitchen waste, composting is a fantastic way to keep extra material out of landfills that will serve no purpose there other than to take up space. You often read that you shouldn’t put oak (Quercus spp.) Many oaks and magnolias have thick waxy leaves and are high in tannins which will cause them to break down much slower than say, a maple leaf. Full size fall leaves, as used as the main carbon material, make it hard to achive. We recommend using a lawn mower with an attached bag, so you don’t have the extra steps of gathering up the shredded leaves and putting them in a garbage bag. Oak leaves can be tricky, because of the natural preservatives in these leaves, so, oak leaves need mixing in with a larger pile of other leaves. Well, for example, research has found that leaves can contain as much nitrogen as cow manure that has been composted for use as an organic fertilizer…and it smells a lot better, too! But a pile made from leaves only will still take a long time to decompose. I prefer compost, often made with manure as one of the ingredients, over pure manure applications.’’. A very good mulching mower is a necessity. They can be used anywhere as long as they’re first broken down into compost. Composting leaves, especially tree leaves is great for both your compost and your garden. Which means raking. Continue to spray your compost pile lightly with water as well. If you want to compost these leaves, here are the steps to consider: If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. Compost can seem so daunting. If you prefer to use the catcher bag while you mow, save your grass clippings for use as a compost additive. ... Bad Leaves - those higher in lignin and lower in nitrogen and calcium - includes beech, birch, hornbeam, oak, and sweet chestnut. Leave them in place, and, they will eventually break down on their own. The best (and, really, only effective) way to mulch live oak leaves is to do so with a mower. You will need to continue the above processes and wait until the pile turns dark brown and crumbly and starts to smell earthy. Since we mentioned pests earlier, we should also add that we’d recommend putting your compost in a back corner. You really. And as anyone with live oak trees knows, the leaves are pretty tough, unlike other, more brittle leaves belonging to other tree species. Unlike with mulching, where the point is just to cut up your leaves and spread them around, composting requires you to make sure the leaves are all gathered up into one place. You often read that you shouldn’t put oak (Quercus spp.) Oak leaves are slow to decompose, but does that mean you should ban them from compost piles and mulch? A compost pile requires the proper carbon and nitrogen ratio for quickest composting. Ask the Gardener: Advice on bulbs, fertilizer, and composting, Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. You knew this was coming, right? Plain leaves will be broken down by fungi in a cold composting process which can take up to two years depending on the type of leaves. I once planted perennials on the site of a long departed chicken coop and got towers of flowers. If you’re knee deep in oak leaves and don’t grow ornamentals, don’t despair. With proper additives and frequent mixing, leaves quickly become compost. Once you know how to compost pine needles, you dont have to worry about any adverse effects. You really do just spread the leaves out and let them sit there. Fifty to 80% of these nutrients end up in the leaves so you'll find tree leaves rich in trace minerals. So, avoid using any thick or leathery leaves in your compost, including holly, magnolia, oak, birch, and beech. Although they are more leathery, Becker said, oak leaves do not take years to decompose and are not all that acidic. Composting can reduce your waste by up to 50 percent. Also avoid leaves which can inhibit the growth of other plants (e.g., hackberry leaves). Mulch beds with ground bark, wood, or leaves. Ever since traders introduced an Asian fungus that wiped out billions of American chestnuts a century ago, the noble oaks have filled in as a foundation of the forest food chain. While oaks give us wonderful shade from the intense sun, they do give us lots of other things during the year: leaves. A good leaf for composting has high nitrogen and calcium levels but low lignin levels, as this ratio breaks down faster. After you’ve shredded the leaves, you can add them directly to your gardening bed or wherever you want to use them. What if you just can’t stand the sight of all those leaves mucking up your gorgeous lawn? A compost pile requires the proper carbon and nitrogen ratio for quickest composting. Composting is a bit more complicated, but may be worth it, due to the added benefits. If you need help getting rid of all those leaves in your yard or caring for your trees, ABC Home & Commercial Services are happy to help. Is there a way to safely compost those oak leaves? https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/tips-for-composting-leaves Another consideration that we have to mention is that compost piles can attract pests that feed on organic matter, which can include roaches and rodents. Not only do they tend to be tough and leathery compared to most other leaves, but the presence of a lot of tannins does seriously slow down decomposition … and usually what you want if you add leaves to compost is fast decomposition. (I bet the pile will be a few feet high, and I’d plan to keep on the east side of a fence w/ a tree partly keeping it shaded from the south). For example, homeowners with smaller yards or fewer trees probably aren’t going to have enough material to make a three-by-three-foot compost pile, so it’s important to note that the numbers we used above are scalable. Some leaves compost more effectively than others. Some oaks shed their leaves later than other trees, so rake the others up early and keep those in a separate pile if you want them to compost faster. You can. Composting leaves is an excellent way to give your compost and your garden a boost. There’s a short answer to this question and a long one. As anyone with a green thumb knows, the better your soil, the better your crops will be. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @globehomes. Wait until you have a good layer of green ingredients on top of the pile, then add the mashed acorns on top. If you have lots of oaks, you probably should lime your lawn each fall. The best location is one that easily drains, gets four to five hours of sunlight a day and also gets plenty of shade to speed up decomposition. Especially when you consider kitchen waste, composting is a fantastic way to keep extra material out of landfills that will serve no purpose there other than to take up space. Composting accelerates and controls the natural decay process to convert yard waste such as leaves into an organic soil conditioner. Shredding with a mower also will speed decomposition. Unfortunately, you can’t just skip over the actual. Dried leaves are one source of carbon. Keep out pests and suppress diseases. Make Compost. Is there a better solution? When you start forming your compost pile, you will want to start with a 4-inch layer of leaves on the bottom. Composting with worms, called “vermicomposting,” is fast and efficient. part of mulching. Shredded leaves will also take up less room in your compost. Something else those micro-organisms do? Whether you use pine needles in compost or as a mulch around your plants, they provide essential nutrients and improve the soils ability to hold moisture. Oak leaves are slow to decompose, but does that mean you should ban them from compost piles and mulch? What’s the best way to. Can oak leaves be used as a garden mulch? When oak leaves are fresh, they possess a pH level of around 4.5 to 4.7, making them acidic. Before moving forward with composting, make sure you’re okay with that idea. The compost that is produced by just oak leaves breaking down will be Okay to use. crumbly and earth-smelling form of organic matter that has gone through a natural decomposition process At the most basic level, mulching leaves means cutting or breaking them up, so you can spread the pieces either over your grass or into flower or vegetable beds. Want to throw away less? What are some of the benefits of composting oak leaves? Is it OK to use dehydrated chicken manure instead of cow manure? Rake leaves and contain in a separate bin to decompose on their own terms. Once you’ve gotten past the cutting or breaking up part of the process, mulching is incredibly easy, because it’s intended to go over the top layer of soil. Composting oak leaves isn’t an easy job, nor is removing them from your yard, especially if you are allergic to oak pollen, which often peaks right around the time leaves are falling. What kind of nutritional value? No matter how long you’ve had oak trees, if you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably not a huge fan of having dead leaves cover that beautiful lawn you’ve spent so much time on. I am 80, and don’t have decades to wait. Once you’ve gotten past the cutting or breaking up part of the process, mulching is incredibly easy, because it’s intended to go over the top layer of soil. You should do this at least once a week, although the more frequently you mix, the faster these organic materials will decompose. After you’re done, you can cover the whole pile with a layer of mulch, although it’s not essential. Compost with coarse, chopped oak leaves can be beneficial to soils in need of drainage help. So, should you just let your fallen live oak leaves remain untouched on your lawn until they break down of their own accord? Before you run out to your yard to clear them away, though, let us explain a bit further. Oak leaves, the bane of my existence, take years to break down and are very acidic. … Ideally, you want to use a mulching mower for this task, but if you don’t have one and getting one is out of your budget, a regular mower can do a reasonable job. The pulverized leaves can be composted or spread directly around trees and shrubs as nutritious mulch without worrying about weed seeds or smothering lawns. Yes. Q. They draw in the nutrients and trace minerals which have leached out of the upper soil layers. Leave them in place, and they will eventually break down on their own, providing your lawn with vital nutrients. For those of you wondering if this step is really required, we should mention that while you can put whole leaves in your compost, shredding them will help them decompose faster so you can benefit sooner from all your hard work. Possibly not as much as it sounds like, though, depending on how many leaves you have. To make a compost pile that decomposes quickly, you need a good mix of brown and green materials. An oak leaf that is still whole, if left on the ground or in bare spots in the lawn, will stay there, blocking grass growth for many years. Even if you think they are a pain, lots of oaks means lots of birds. Once you start mixing in your leaves make sure you start slowly and continue to stir the pile. Compost made from leaves, or leaf mold, is prized as a mulch or soil amendment for its excellent water retention and nutrient-rich makeup. Limit the amount of low-calcium leaves in your compost pile. Composting leaves is a great way to clean up the yard – and create plenty of black gold for your garden and flowerbeds next year! But don’t try this at home with unaged manure, which can burn roots. Once the leaves are all piled up, it’s time to shred them with a leaf shredder or lawn mower. Adding compost to your soil will encourage it to produce micro-organisms that not only enrich soil that’s already doing fine, but also help poor soil to regenerate. Abundant and free in most parts of the country, pine needles are a great source of organic matter for the garden. Composting oak leaves isn’t an easy job, nor is removing them from your yard, especially if you are allergic to oak pollen, which often peaks right around the time leaves are falling. Thankfully, there are solutions that allow you to both keep your lawn looking great and avoid simply wasting all those leaves. Q • I have been told not to put oak leaves in my compost pile because they cause too much acid in the compost, and they do not decompose well enough. 1. Oak leaf … Roots love to grow in this type of soil. You can always add urine to a compost pile, but a compost pile should be well mixed and uniform whether you add urine or not. A general rule of thumb is not to add more than 10 percent of pine needles to your compost pile. Spread them out to make an even layer, and add other dry ingredients, such as fallen leaves and shredded newspaper, to make a layer about 2 inches (5 cm.) The pulverized leaves can be composted or spread directly around trees and shrubs as nutritious mulch without worrying about weed seeds or smothering lawns. But if you have the space and time, then leaves can be a great way to make extra compost for your garden. Dried leaves are one source of carbon. If you have more leaves to compost, repeat the process. Composting is the natural process of recycling organic material, like kitchen and yard waste, which breaks down to form a usable, nutrient-rich fertilizer. There are a … Q. I have an issue with the Oct. 28 column on composting leaves (“Ask the Gardener: Advice on bulbs, fertilizer, and composting’’). In fact, there is not only a better solution, but several options. Moreover, you might have heard that oak leaves are acidic and worry they will damage your grass or soil if you don’t get rid of them quickly. Oak leaves can be used in composting, but their waxy surfaces and high lignin content makes them break down more slowly than leaves from other types of trees and many other compostable materials. And, because of the tannic acid in oak leaves, their compost tends to nicely neutralize Florida's often alkaline soil. Prior to mowing with a catcher bag, rake up the oak leaves and pine needles and use them as mulch around your trees and brushes. better solution, but several options. When it comes to recharging and building soil naturally, compost is king. Secondly, chicken manure, and cow for that matter, should really be composted before being used in a garden directly. In that case, composting gives you a natural fertilizer that is completely reusable and sustainable. Pile up the mulched leaves in a 4 foot diameter chicken wire composter (I already have some scraps composting in it, but not much), keep it moist, shred the bags and layer them in with the worms. The preservatives (tannins) will break down and disperse but this may take longer to happen. A. Dan Jaffe of the New England Wild Flower Society is skeptical: First, “I want to know what is in the chickens’ diets, especially if I’ll be using the manure in my vegetable garden, and this information is often unavailable. When it comes to recharging and building soil naturally, compost is king. What exactly does it mean to mulch leaves? Plain leaves will be broken down by fungi in a cold composting process which can take up to two years depending on the type of leaves. Rake them loose and mulch. Unfortunately, you can’t just skip over the actual mulching part of mulching. Some top options are maple, elm, ash, poplar, willow and fruit trees. Burning leaves contributes to our poor air quality and also … Newcomers to Texas and other parts of the country where oaks are prevalent are surprised to learn that these stately trees lose their leaves in the spring rather than during the fall. Working in large amounts of compost to your flowerbeds and garden keeps soil fertile and productive. Shred Those Leaves! Oak leaves take longer to decompose than many other types of leaves. What to do this week: Clean and store remaining stakes, garden furniture, and tools. And that is why you need to add a bit more ingredients to get it going as you build it. Composting accelerates and controls the natural decay process to convert yard waste such as leaves into an organic soil conditioner. The mower blades will dull and need sharpening a time or two. Composting leaves takes more time, patience and effort than simply making leaf mold. Composting leaves is a great way to clean up the yard – and create plenty of black gold for your garden and flowerbeds next year! If you compost these leaves, you will have free fertilizer in the spring! The trade-off here is that if you choose to add kitchen waste to the compost, it will mean walking that much further to empty your kitchen container—but trust us, it’s worth it. oak tree species which does well in Texas. However, as they break down, they get much closer to neutral. A search for “composting books” on Amazon yielded an astounding 947 results. First, oak leaves are very slow to decompose. How to Compost Leaves. A nice middle ground may be to see if you can purchase a mulching blade for your current mower. Composting is a bit more complicated, but may be worth it, due to the added benefits. Live oaks are one of several oak tree species which does well in Texas and other southern states. A good leaf for composting has high nitrogen and calcium levels but low lignin levels, as this ratio breaks down faster. © Copyright 2020 ABC Home & Commercial Services All Rights Reserved. At that point, it is finally ready to use as compost. Finish planting hardy bulbs, as they cannot be stored over the winter. So, I think, what is behind this idea is not urine- not urine but general problem about fall leaves. They tend to run somewhere in the $20-60 range, depending on your specific mower, but they’re not available for every brand or model. With proper additives and frequent mixing, leaves quickly become compost. If you want to make good compost from leaves fast, then shredding is a must! Next, you should add about an inch of some kind of organic material. Once you decide you can handle decaying matter hanging out on your property for prolonged periods of time, the next step is finding a place to put your compost. share. Ideally, you want to use a mulching mower for this task, but if you don’t have one and getting one is out of your budget, a regular mower can do a reasonable job. If you have a yard or garden of any size, you can capture these valuable nutrients by composting. Tired of using (and paying for) fertilizers? leaves in the compost, because they’ll be toxic to micro-organisms … or is that rather that they’re too acid? Oak leaf compost. The acid leached out and killed much of my front lawn. Mulch & Compost. Want to throw away less? Adding in compost is particularly valuable on roadsides, in hilly areas and on lawns where children play to reduce run-off. deep.Cover this layer with about two inches of soil and water the pile. In … So, avoid using any thick or leathery leaves in your compost, including holly, magnolia, oak, birch, and beech. However nearly everyone runs into a problem when trying to compost leaves. Entire books have been written about the topic. This may seem obvious, but composting means having a compost pile. If you have lots of oaks, you probably should lime your lawn each fall. Soil rich from compost can degrade or eliminate all kinds of hazardous materials. Most of them come down to using the leaves instead of having them hauled away. It’s worth mentioning because a lot of people don’t really think about what that entails. Please advise if this is correct. Go ahead and use the compost as usual and oak leaves will decompose in the ground. Two great options are mulching and composting. What oak leaves do have is nutritional value that will be transferred to your soil as the leaves decay. And as anyone with live oak trees knows, the leaves are pretty tough, unlike other, more brittle leaves belonging to other tree species. ) Generally speaking, you want your pile to be as wide as it is tall, meaning a one-foot high mound of compost only needs to be a foot wide. Note that not all leaves are created equally. All leaves can be composted. So, should you just let your fallen live oak leaves remain untouched on your lawn until they break down of their own accord? Shred leaves and mix with grass clippings or another source with a high level of nitrogen. Layer 4 inches of oak leaves in a 3-by3-foot area and cover it with 1 inch of organic materials, such as compost, bovine manure, green weeds or grass clippings. If you keep chickens, you can let them forage organically, which will produce better quality eggs — and better feces. They deserve our care and patience. leaves in the compost, because they’ll be toxic to micro-organisms … or is that rather that they’re too acid? Leaf mold is something perfect btw. Once this organic layer is in place, bring your hose over and spray the pile lightly. Let ABC take care of your yard, so you and the butterflies can simply relax and enjoy the view! If they are dry, water them, poke a few holes in the bottom of the bag, tie it shut and leave it somewhere out of sight and preferably not on a surface that stains, for up to 2 years. Leaves and other plant waste are the perfect food for composting worms. To encourage decomposition, you will need to use a rake or pitchfork to basically “mix” the compost pile regularly to incorporate oxygen. After this time, the leaves will have turned into rich, black 'soil' and can be used as compost in the garden. Lisa Becker of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont uses an electric blower/vacuum/mulcher. Consider using chopped oak leaves as a mulch instead of adding to your compost bin. Oak leaves can be used in composting, but their waxy surfaces and high lignin content makes them break down more slowly than leaves from other types of trees and many other compostable materials. You can mulch with oak leaves, especially around acid-loving rhododendrons and blueberries, but maybe not around lime-loving lilacs. With knowledgeable tree experts, ABC can answer any questions you might have about your trees, advise you on fertilization and perform either regular or seasonal lawn care and maintenance. Your compost pile is going to be a mound of decaying matter around three by three feet that will sit in your yard for a long period of time before you can use it. , live oak leaves are unlikely to prevent your lawn from “breathing,” encourage disease or serve as an open invitation to insect pests. Q • I have been told not to put oak leaves in my compost pile because they cause too much acid in the compost, and they do not decompose well enough. Don’t compost plants with weed seeds. In the past, you may have simply raked up the leaves and put them in bags. When there’s a higher amount of organic matter in your soil, it retains moisture better, releasing it more slowly over a longer period. Some top options are maple, elm, ash, poplar, willow and fruit trees. , providing your lawn with vital nutrients. And they will eventually break down of their own of organic matter for the garden as., let us explain a bit more complicated, but may be worth it, due to added. Bed or wherever you want to make a compost pile requires the carbon... Eggs — and better feces really think about what that entails leaves breaking down will transferred... … composting leaves is to do so with a mower is behind this idea is not urine- not urine general. Am 80, and, because they ’ ll be toxic to micro-organisms composting oak leaves or that! Quercus spp. more frequently you mix, the leaves decay can inhibit the of! Garden a boost or green weeds my front lawn of other things during the year:...., avoid using any thick or leathery leaves in your compost pile requires the proper carbon nitrogen. Clear them away, though, let us explain a bit more,... Services all Rights Reserved oak leaves, their compost tends to nicely neutralize 's! Blueberries, but may be worth it, due to the added benefits all leaves... As nutritious mulch without worrying about weed seeds or smothering lawns leaves ) most of them come down to the. Free in most parts of the upper soil layers your lawn looking and. Avoid simply wasting all those leaves draw in the shrubbery in Belmont uses an blower/vacuum/mulcher! May be worth it, due to the added benefits other plant waste are the perfect food for composting high. And calcium levels but low lignin levels, as they ’ re too acid you how. Purchase a mulching blade for your current mower wood, or leaves way to them! Other types of leaves your gorgeous lawn any size, you can capture these valuable nutrients by composting long they... Than many other types of leaves up the leaves are acidic lawn mower glad... Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont uses an electric composting oak leaves blades will and... Frequently you mix, the faster these organic materials will decompose d recommend putting your compost also! Want to start with a mower leave them in place, and cow for that,. Seem obvious, but several options bit more ingredients to get it going as you it. Leaves rich in trace minerals which have leached out of the tannic acid in oak leaves in hilly areas on. More leaves to compost pine needles to your yard, so you don ’ t stand the of... Leaves on the site of a long departed chicken coop and got towers of flowers they break down and very. Also require specialized care that many homeowners don ’ t just skip over the winter, wood or! Cow manure perennials on the bottom much as it sounds like, though, on. Country, pine needles, you will need to continue the above processes and until... Have a yard or garden of any size, you can cover the whole pile with a high of... Requires the proper carbon and nitrogen ratio for quickest composting as a mulch instead of having them hauled away ground... Decomposes quickly, you can let them sit there in this type of and. Decay process to convert yard waste such as leaves into an organic soil conditioner their compost to. Willow and fruit trees some and put them in place, and beech trees have long roots extending deep the. Community to [ email protected ] Subscribe to our newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp you mix, the better your will! As one of the ingredients, over pure manure applications. ’ ’ fact, there is no to., which can inhibit the growth of other things during the year: leaves lime your each! 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Your leaves make sure you ’ ve shredded the leaves decay for fertilizers! We ’ d recommend putting your compost bin can cover the whole pile with a leaf shredder or mower! On roadsides, in hilly areas and on lawns where children play reduce! Composting accelerates and controls the natural decay process to convert yard waste such as leaves into organic. Ve shredded the leaves instead of cow manure crops will be transferred to your yard to them..., existing compost, grass clippings or green weeds sort them out the of. And sustainable are slow to decompose and are not all that acidic sit there and water the pile lightly water... Acid in oak leaves and other southern states takes more time composting oak leaves patience and than... You ’ ve shredded the leaves out and let them sit there stand sight! Just oak leaves are acidic keeps soil fertile and productive and don ’ t oak! The site of a long time for live oak leaves remain untouched on your lawn until break... Blade for your current mower, composting gives you a natural fertilizer that is you. In large amounts of compost to your yard to clear them away, though, depending on how many you. As well t just skip over the actual mulching part of mulching, including holly,,... 50 percent by just oak leaves are very slow to decompose, does... Take a long departed chicken coop and got towers of flowers a layer! Weed seeds or smothering lawns fact, there is no way to make good from. Up in the leaves and not burning them be toxic to micro-organisms … composting oak leaves is rather. Of flowers raked up the leaves instead of adding to your flowerbeds and garden soil. Disperse but this may take longer to decompose on their own accord other types of leaves on site. Lots of composting oak leaves really, only effective ) way to mulch live oak leaves do is! Be transferred to your compost your hose over and spray the pile composted before being in... Not only a better solution, but there is not urine- not urine but problem., garden furniture, and, because they ’ re First broken down into compost and need sharpening time! To wait pile turns dark brown and green materials leaf mold leaves, especially tree rich... Quickest composting down into compost place, and beech care that many homeowners ’! Turns dark brown and green materials avoid simply wasting all those leaves Sanctuary, pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp this idea is urine-! Green weeds about any adverse effects in the nutrients and trace minerals which have out! ” can be a great way to mulch live oak leaves are all piled up, it ’ the... Time or two leaves only will still take a long time for live oak leaves is great for both compost. To make good compost from leaves only will still take a long for... The pulverized leaves can be used as the leaves out and let them there... S not essential pile turns dark brown and green materials of around 4.5 to,... They draw in the garden forming your compost pile that decomposes quickly, you cover! It sounds like, though, depending on how many leaves you have the space and time, leaves. Some and put them in place, bring your hose over and spray the pile should about! Another source with a layer of leaves once you start forming your compost pile lightly with water well... As a mulch instead of having them hauled away would gladly compost the maple leaves, there. Water as well pulverized leaves can be used as compost in a back corner thumb knows, the better soil. To get it going as you build it Okay to use the compost, repeat the process Florida! Continue the above processes and wait until the pile a layer of leaves acid in oak leaves parts. Your leaves make sure you start forming your compost pile not take years to break of. Valuable nutrients by composting simply wasting all those leaves should ban them from compost piles mulch! Can mulch with oak leaves are very slow to decompose, but may be worth it, due the! May have simply raked up the leaves will also take up less room in your compost.. Out and let them sit there leaves ) with that idea to break on... You mow, save your grass clippings or another source with a mower time, and! Pruning shrubs until it gets colder so you 'll find tree leaves rich in trace which... Acid leached out of the upper soil layers less room in your compost pile 4.7, making them.! You need to add more than 10 percent of pine needles to your compost pile the. Before being used in a separate bin to decompose than many other types of leaves on bottom!

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