The idea of using leaf litter for composting might seem strange to some people. However, it is not difficult at all to do so if you have the right equipment and know how to use it properly. If you are interested in making your own leaf compost, then read on!
How To Make A Leaf Composter?
There are several types of composters available in the market today. They come with different features such as size, shape, capacity and many other things. There are also various kinds of materials that can be used for composting. Some materials include wood chips, leaves from trees like oak or hickory, grass clippings and even human hair.
If you want to start making compost, then you need to choose the type of material that will best suit your needs. You may decide to go for a small one or a large one. Smaller ones are easier to move around and store while larger ones require more space and time to work with. Also, smaller machines tend to cost less than bigger ones.
So, which kind of machine would be better suited for your needs?
You should also think about how the machine will be used. The machine may just be used by one person or by a group of people such as in a community garden. If you are planning to use it for your personal use such as making leaf litter for your garden, then a smaller machine will do. You can also look for used ones in second hand shops and garage sales as they tend to be cheaper and affordable than buying them from new stores.
If you are planning to use the machine for community projects or in a large scale, then it would be better to go for a larger machine. Also, you may need two or more smaller machines in order to meet the demands of leaf compost that is needed. Depending on how much your organization needs and wants will help you decide which size is better for your needs.
You can also make leaf litter at home without having to buy a machine or even pay for services. If you have a backyard where you can store leaves and a bit of free time, then all you need is a container to store them in and a bag to cover them. The container may be as simple as a garbage can or a large wooden box. You can also make one out of wood if you have carpentry skills. Just make sure that the container is air tight or the process of making leaf litter may not work very well.
Leaves need to be stored in a dry place where it will not get wet from rain or dew. Wet leaves will not be able to break down and will rot instead. This may cause a bad smell and can also attract flies and other insects. You should collect the leaves in the container and then cover them up with a black polythene bag. This keeps the moisture out while allowing the process to take place.
After about a month, you can start using the leaf litter in your garden or on your lawn. The leaf matter should have started to break down and be of softer consistency. You can use it as a top layer on your flower beds or mix it in with the soil to improve its quality.
You can also plant leafy vegetables in these beds as the leaf litter will give nutrients to the plants. You may even be able to harvest some of the vegetables as well as the greens that grow amongst the leaves.
These are just some of the simple ways to make leaf litter for your garden. Just make sure that you do not use diseased or chemically treated leaves as these may cause harm to your soil and plants. Gardeners normally collect their leaves in the fall when there are fewer leaves covering the ground.
You can also use fallen tree branches and other natural materials that break down easily. Just make sure that you store them in a shady area that is well ventilated. Some gardeners even add a bit of grass clippings to the material in order to provide extra nutrients for the leaf litter as it breaks down.
You can use your imagination when making leaf litter and find out ways that work best for you. There are many different methods and ideas on how to make leaf litter, just make sure that you have fun while doing it. This is supposed to be a hobby after all and if it starts to feel like a chore, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Happy composting!
Sources & references used in this article:
The Rodale book of composting: easy methods for every gardener by M Appelhof, J Olszewski – 2017 – Storey Publishing
The role of uncomposted materials, composts, manures, and compost extracts in reducing pest and disease incidence and severity in sustainable temperate … by DL Martin, G Gershuny – 1992 – books.google.com
Compost and compost tea: Principles and prospects as substrates and soil-borne disease management strategies in soil-less vegetable production by AM Litterick, L Harrier, P Wallace… – Critical reviews in …, 2004 – Taylor & Francis
Composting and mulching: a guide to managing organic yard wastes by CCG St. Martin, RAI Brathwaite – Biological Agriculture & …, 2012 – Taylor & Francis
Cumulative effect of leaf compost on yield and size distribution in onions by CJ Rosen, TR Halbach, R Mugaas – 2000 – conservancy.umn.edu
Composting for Dummies by AA Maynard, DE Hill – Compost Science & Utilization, 2000 – Taylor & Francis
Comparisons of composts with low or high nutrient status for growth of plants in containers by C Cromell, National Gardening Association – 2010 – books.google.com
Are compost teas an effective nutrient amendment in the cultivation of strawberries? Soil and plant tissue effects by AV Barker, GM Bryson – Communications in soil science and plant …, 2006 – Taylor & Francis