Did you know that leaves from most trees have double the minerals as manure pound for pound? Put a little elbow grease into fall and use the free leaves to help your garden. The deep roots of trees pull up a vast amount of nutrients from the soil which goes directly into the leaves. When the leaves decompose, those minerals transfer into the soil that will be created from composting.
Gather up a pile of leaves near where you want the compost pile to be. You can rake the old-fashioned way, or get out your lawn sweeper to collect and break them down. Either way, leaves should be shredded somehow before being composted, as the smaller pieces will have more surface area to decompose faster and easier.
Assemble your compost pile in layers, starting with leaves, then a layer of organic material containing nitrogen. The nitrogen helps the leaves break down quicker. Add nitrogen material in a ratio of 5:1. For every 5 (whatever your measurement is) of leaves, add one of nitrogen. Manure is usually best, but garbage, fresh cut grass, or even sawdust can do the trick.
While your leaves are composting, go out every few days and turn over the pile with a shovel. This will help to get oxygen distributed to heat up the pile which will make it break down quicker. Come springtime, you will have a beautiful pile of “Black Gold” to put on your garden!
“Composting Leaves – 4 Simple Tips to Making Great Compost With Leaves.” Old World Garden Farms
“Using Leaves for Composting.” Compost Guide