Tip of the Week: From leaves to compost

Dump fall leaves into your compost pile for rewards next spring.
Shred or grind the leaves first. They’ll break down faster.
Create custom compost. If you need compost for acid-loving plants, such as rhododendrons and azaleas, use leaves from oaks. They are more acidic than other leaves.
Don’t forget to add water. Moisture helps the leaves break down.
Mix in a source of nitrogen. Fallen leaves are high in carbon but low in nitrogen, so add green garden debris or nitrogen fertilizer to facilitate the decomposition process.
Don’t turn your compost pile in the fall. The University of Minnesota Extension Service says to wait until spring to turn your compost so it can maintain valuable heat over the winter. Turn the pile every three to four weeks in the spring.

Read more about composting leaves

Do you have a tip or trick to share with other gardeners? E-mail edit@hortmag.com or post it in the Co-Horts’ Forum. Your tip could be featured in a future e-newsletter or on our blog

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