Layering for Composting

The leaves are all shredded and ready to go into the bin riding on the tarp.

Instead of just filling the bin up all at once, we need to do some layering.

After adding a tarp load of leaf mulch to the compost bin (every four inches or so), the leaves need to be watered down with a couple of gallons of water. This is the size of my watering can. I also throw in a couple of handfuls of powdered lime. Some wood ash from the fireplace ash trap goes on every layer too.

If you had a batch of compost from last year, a little bit of it can go on every layer too.

The water is necessary because, the leaves naturally tend to form a thatched covering. Rain water will not easily percolate to the bottom of the pile. Dry leaves preserve for a long time – that means no composting.

This is how my full leaf pile looks like at the end of my fall leaf clear up:

Before I figured out the mower mulching process, this used to be more than ten tarp loads of leaves and a very big undertaking. Its hard to believe the compression and convenience you get from simply mowing over the leaves!

Now the yard is super clean. The holiday lights went up.

The compost bin is fully charged and ready for more experiments for the rest of the year!

 

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