No More Bagging Leaves...
Hooooooowwwwee doin’ folks!? Things are going great over in our parts! Being able to see your breath in the morning is becoming a daily routine and sweatshirt weather finally seems to be upon us, thanks Ullr. Surprisingly, leaves are already changing color fast and dropping from trees! Ok, this is only happening with probably 5% of trees, but it’s early September and I’m stoked to see it already. We’re at that weird time of the year when mowing your lawn also means sucking up a bunch of leaves in the process, so this week we’re exploring why it’s a good idea to leave composting to your trees (see what I did there?).
I know I told you previously that you should just chop up your leaves with your lawn mower and let them compost naturally that way, but some people like to see a lush, green lawn till the very last day, so let’s pretend we’re them. Autumn can actually turn out to be a great time of the year to start a compost pile, especially if the majority of its contents is composed of leaves and grass clippings. If you’ve got a lawn mower with a bagger/grass catcher, or just a good old fashion rake and two hands, this is a really good way to FIGURATIVELY kill two birds with one stone and cut your lawn while clearing it of any fallen leaves. (No birds were harmed in them making of this Green Tip).
Creating compost out of grass clippings, leaves, and any small twigs you might happen to snag is an excellent way to make compost that allows for drainage and aeration, and covers the basic essentials for healthy compost. Grass clipping and sticks provide ample amounts of nitrogen to the mix, while leaves can be responsible for containing calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. Anywhere between 50-80% of the minerals and nutrients that trees suck up from the ground can be found in the leaves, and if collected at the right time most of that natural goodness can be transferred into the compost you’re creating.
One of the best parts about this whole process is that you can create a box out of wooden pallets, or whatever you fancy, and just dump everything in there. Or don’t even build a box, just make a big pile on the ground somewhere out of sight. One good trick to building a contained area, if you choose to do so, is to skip putting a bottom in and just rest that good stuff directly on the ground. Microbes from the dirt that are already present in the soil will make their way into the detritus and start doin’ their thang. Don’t forget to stir it up every once and while so everything can get to know each other. Covering it with a tarp will help it maintain some heat in the winter, as well (one of the main ingredients of compost). By doing this in your backyard you’re also lowering your carbon footprint by not driving your car to a waste facility and dumping it there!
Thanks for reading in on this week’s Green Tip everyone! If you’ve got leaves falling in your yard give this Tip a try and let us know how it goes! Enjoy our intro to autumn everyone!