Thursday, November 12, 2009

The making of leaf compost

With the large amount of leaves we have at the facility, it would only be logical for us to make something of value out of a couple of these piles of leaves. We had an opening in our storage bin area and decided to make some leaf compost for our ornamental beds.

The picture below is a pile of leaves that were dumped by our vacuum sweeper. In total, we placed about 3-4 piles of leaves in the bin.
The picture below shows the soil which is placed on the leaf material to help in breaking down the leaves to the final compost product. We also placed some of our flower bed material to add to the pile as well. Most composting is done without soil but I felt the soil would help to improve the nutrient holding capability of the compost once it is broken down.
Below is bag of fertilizer that we added to the compost to help heat up the material and break it down further. This is a greens grade style fertilizer that we would not normally use in this type of application but it was damaged in a flood that hit the facility during the summer.
Here is another view of the pile with sweet potato vine laying over the top of the leaves.
An interesting link to some frequently asked questions mowing of lawns, composting and mulch from Extension specialist Chris Starbuck from the University of Missouri.
We will pile up some leaves in our dump area which could utilized in the future as well.

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