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Using Leaves To Make Mulch And Compost

By Jesse Wayne

Making something useful from leaves that are gathered off your lawn is simple and doesn’t require much in the way of expenses or preparation. All that is needed is a compost bin and bags of urea. Both of these items are usually available at garden centers or in department stores that have gardening departments.

Once most of the leaves have fallen, rake them all up into a big pile. Make sure the leaves are dry, and shred them. 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.

Next, layer the collected leaves carefully in the 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. Top it all off with a small amount of water. Leaves should be damp, but not soaking wet.

Continue building up layers in the same manner, first the leaves, then the grass or urea, then some water. 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. This allows the material to mix a bit and exposes the underside of the pile 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 prefer compost instead of mulch, just let it sit a little while longer. The main difference between compost and mulch is the state of decomposition of the materials. Compost is more like soil in texture, while mulch is still fairly solid in composition. The choice is up to you and the requirements of your garden or landscaping.

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.

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Topics: Landscaping Gardening | Comments Off

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Wayne, Jesse "Using Leaves To Make Mulch And Compost." Using Leaves To Make Mulch And Compost. 25 Aug. 2010. 9 Jun 2017 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Wayne, J (2010, August 25). Using Leaves To Make Mulch And Compost. Retrieved June 9, 2017, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Wayne, Jesse "Using Leaves To Make Mulch And Compost"

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