Around the Yard

How to Make Leaf Compost

By: Tricia Craven Worley

Mulching is a natural way to build up soil and add nutrients, but if you let your leaves stay where they fall they can create a natural habitat for pests and some diseases. If you put your leaves in a compost pile you may notice that many are still intact while the vegetable matter is broken down.

This is because many leaves that fall during autumn contain “liguen” a protein, which rots by fungi instead of bacteria, causing the leaves to take longer to break down.

The best way to make leaf mold is to separate it. Take a large black plastic bag, tie the bag closed, then puncture it all over and store it for about a year. Make sure you give the pile enough time to break down.


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  • Dave Says:
    May 27th, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    While the premise is sound, your results using this method will vary wildly. Do Not puncture your bags as you may/will get ant and other insect infestations. I shred my leaves with a mower and bag (sealed) for next years use in a compost tumbler throughout the entire summer as well as using them as a base before putting in any other soil or mulch in beds and gardens. As I empty the mower bag into the Large contractor brand trash bags I have found using an octagon cut scrap piece of granite on top each time, step in compress and remove. With this method I can put 8 or 9 mower bags of shredded leave int one bag. You can also use this as a mix with potting soil for your container gardens or plantings.

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How to Make Leaf Compost