If you’re wondering what to do with all those leaves that fall onto your lawn from the trees each fall, why not consider turning them into mulch or compost? All you’ll need is some urea and a compost bin. You should be able to find both of these things at home improvement stores or anywhere gardening supplies are sold.
Once most of the leaves have fallen, rake them all up into a big pile. Next you’ll need to shred them; don’t use wet leaves for this process. You can use your lawn mower, a leaf shredder or a wood chipper shredder, but you won’t get good results unless the leaves are dry.
Your next step is to place the shredded leaves in your compost bin. Make a layer of leaves 12-18 inches deep, then add urea or glass clippings, if you still have any handy at that time of year. Then add a small amount of water to this pile. The intent is to dampen the leaves, but not so they’re dripping wet.
Repeat these layers, 12-18 inches of leaves, then urea or grass clippings, and a bit of water, until the bin is full or you run out of leaves. When you are done filling the compost bin, cover it with plastic sheeting or a tarp to protect the contents from the elements and to keep animals from getting into the bin.
Just let it sit over the winter months; there’s nothing to do at this time. As the weather starts to warm up in the spring, it’s time to turn the mixture using a pitchfork. By doing so you will be exposing the buried materials to the air. Then cover the bin again.
The mulch should be ready for use by the time it’s warm enough to start planting your garden. If you wish compost material rather than mulch, simply allow the material to compost in the bin for longer. The only real difference between mulch and compost is the degree of decay of the organic materials. Mulch is still in more of a solid state, while compost is more like nutrient-rich dirt. What you want for your gardening needs is a personal preference.
Making compost and mulch from fallen leaves is easy and can be an enjoyable way to fulfill your gardening needs.
In order to shred your leaves for mulch, why not run them through one of those wood chippers shredders that you can buy or rent. Not only will these machines break up the leaves, but you can throw in all those dead branches at the same time for some terrific mulch to keep your garden protected over the winter.