Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Composting Leaves

The leaves have been turning colour for awhile now. Many are on the ground and some trees are almost bare providing the incentive for leaf blowing and raking. Now that the leaves are accumulating it is time to consider composting. Leaves can provide wonderful organic matter for your soil. The first step is to gather the leaves.

While raking is the easiest and quietest method for gather leaves, it can be time consuming for larger yards. A leaf blower makes quick work of turning your leaves into piles. We use a leaf blower then chop each bag using the vacuum setting on the leaf blower. If you don't have a leaf blower spread the piles a little then run over them with your lawn mower to chop the leaves. The chopped leaves can then dumped into clear plastic bags or used as mulch on your garden beds. This is the point where many stop the process and simply put the leaves to the road for collection. Most communities here will pick up yard waste, compost it then sell the compost.

I like to compost leaves as well by adding a layer of chopped leaves to my compost bin. Leaves provide carbon for the compost. That still leaves me with a lot of leaves to compost so last year I tried my neighbour's method. He does not chop the leaves but gathers them in the plastic yard waste bags and sets them aside until spring. Then he dumps a bag or two onto his garden and rototillers to mix. I don't use a rototiller on my raised beds but I did work some of decomposed leaves into the soil. If you use this method, be warned the leaves do smell but that could be because mine had not been in the bags as long as his. Once worked into the soil the smell dissipated quickly , the leaves will continue decomposing. I'll use his method again this year except use chopped leaves along with mulching and composting in the bin.

Happy Gardening

Garden Gnome


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