Stephen Ward wrote:Hi all
so.. I bought my first house last November and wow. so many leaves. I raked a couple of hours a day for a few weeks before I broke down and got a blower. lots of sticks too. I left them on the ground for a couple months after I moved in, so the grass came in where the leaves weren't and didn't where the leaves were. I ended up pushing the leaves around the base of the trees because the soil needs work but if it was all together it would be like 3x5x10 feet big. I'd like to get the leaves composted down instead of hauled away, but if I keep piling them around the trees I won't be able to plant anything around the trees, which I'd like to do.
Next year when the leaves fall, is there some way I can get them to compost in place fast enough that the grass can start coming back?
tl;dr: I have a lot of leaves that I'd like to compost without raking into a pile.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:You can plant through the leaves you have around the trees, just pull them back and let the plants get established before pushing the leaves back into place.
Shredding new leaf fall will help but it is always best for grass to remove the leaves. Leaves, no matter how well they are shredded, will suffocate grass plants.
I would build a compost heap for the new leaf fall. If you are concerned about lawn looks then build a square to hide the leaf heap (compost bin)
We use pallets to build our heap bins, I just tie them together at the top and bottom. This makes it easy to get into to the heap when it is ready to use in the gardens.
You can add boards from other pallets so the ones you are using look closer to a fence.
This also looks great, hides the composting materials from view and helps build the heat needed for leaf breakdown.
I used to live in town and I had a four bin system set up, none of the neighbors ever complained about them.
I once tried just mulching the leaves on the lawn, I got to re-seed the next spring, leaving leaves on grass never works out well for the grass.
If you have a mower with a bagging attachment, that is the easy way to get all the leaves up and also makes it easy to pour them into a bin for composting.
If you add grass clippings as well, you will get plenty of heat up for hot composting and you will end up with a very nice finished compost.