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Dry leaves for composting


Dry leaves for composting, how to use them. From fresh to dry leaves. How to compost only leaves and how many leaves to add to the classic composter

With the arrival of next autumn the leaves they will begin to fall from the trees. Their collection looks like a demanding and necessary job to do both in the garden and in the vegetable garden. Like the dry leaves that fall in autumn, in summer we find ourselves having to deal with lawn mowing grass, which is also useful in composting but only if not treated with pesticides.

Many do not know that the Dry leaves they can represent an excellent resource in agriculture. They can be used as a natural mulching material or for home composting. Compost is a precious material for the cultivation and care of plants, it brings nitrogen and all the micronutrients useful for the development of vegetation. In this regard we will seehow to use dry leaves to make good home compost.

Dry leaves for mulching

It should be noted that in addition to composting, the Dry leaves they have always been used by garden workers: to make the soil of trees and shrubs softer or in mulch to protect the root system of flowers and ornamental plants.

Dry leaves for composting

To perform home composting correctly, it is necessary to mix the right amount of dry material and wet material.

Furthermore, before collecting any dry leaves from our garden, it is good to inquire about the leaves that can be used for composting and those not recommended. Not all leaves, in fact, are suitable for the production of compost.

Among the leaves not to be used we find those of magnolia, oleander leaves, lily of the valley, leaves of treated plants… Among the leaves that can go into composting we find the leaves of beech, oak and those of classic deciduous trees.

Dry or fresh leaves for composting

Composting is done with different organic materials. These include household waste (food scraps and vegetable waste) and garden and vegetable waste. In particular we have:

  • Materials rich in nitrogen and water or wet waste
    Let's talk about green leaves(fresh leaves), fruits, vegetable scraps, herbaceous stems, wild herbs, lawn mowing, kitchen scraps, animal waste ...
  • Materials rich in lignin
    Let's talk about straw,Dry leaves, wood ... These materials, before ending up in the composter, must be chopped up to obtain a diameter possibly less than 3 mm.

The leaves should be chopped especially when they come from firs, pines, cedars, cypresses or other conifers. Lignin-rich materials should be added to the composter in moderation. Generally speaking, a maximum of 20% of lignin-rich materials (therefore including dry leaves) should be added to your composter.

Why can't we overdo it with dry materials? Lignin-rich materials contain antimicrobial substances that would hinder or even prevent the composting process.

In fact, there is no danger that materials rich in lignin (such as dry leaves) may represent an excess substance in the composter.

At home we produce vegetable waste and other wet waste (kitchen leftovers) every day, while forDry leavesand the wood must wait for the pruning period or autumn! For this reason, if in the autumn period or during pruning, you accumulate an excess of material, put it aside so as to add it and mix it to the pile. Throughout the year, it is important to maintain a constant supply of substance tocomposter.

More,dry leaves, strawand chopped residues of pruning, are able to give "structure" to the mass in transformation. In this way, ducts are formed that contain good doses of oxygen, necessary for the microorganisms that conduct the first phase of the composting process.

For all the details on the stages of the composting process, please read the article "Composting, how it works “.

Composting with leaves only

If you don't want to process all the organic waste produced at home, you can prepare a good onefertile soilmaking only the leaves biodegrade.

This solution is ideal for those who do not have time to mix the heap too often, for those who have no space and for those who are denied with agricultural work!

To do a good compost with leaves alone it is necessary to have, in addition to the leaves, also the soil.

To do the composting with leaves onlyit is good to lay the necessary substances in layers: a layer for the soil and a layer for the leaves and so on, taking great care to add a little nitrogen or urea fertilizer between one layer and the other. These substances must obviously be deposited in the composter, a special container to be placed in the open air but protected from atmospheric agents.

If you have done all the steps of home composting correctly, compost Dry leaves it will be ready after approximately nine months: it can remain even longer in the compost bin. Much depends on the degree of decomposition you want to achieve, remember, the more uniform the compound, the more fertile the soil will be.


Video: Heap Composting. Pile Composting with Prof Sultan at Universiti Sains Malaysia USM (December 2021).