How to Compost Leaves Properly

EUGENE, Ore. — Now that leaves are changing colors, it’s the time of the year to decide what to do with all those leaves piling up in your front yard.

And while the city of Eugene’s leaf pick-up program starts next month, adding leaves to your compost pile is another option.

Local compost specialists say leaves are a great addition to compost piles because they’re a carbon source. On average it takes about four to six months to break down normal kitchen waste, and leaves can help speed up that process.

One compost specialist say it’s best to run over the leaves with a lawnmower before adding them to your compost bin.

“If you don’t chop them up, they continue to mat and then they don’t break down so well because they just become anaerobic. They can’t breathe and they get all wet, and so they need to be chopped up and mixed up with other things,” said Barbara Dumesnil, Compost Specialist.

You can also put them on top of your vegetable beds to add nutrients back into the soil.

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  1. Sheila says:

    Some of the blowers that are out there have a vacuum attachment to them. It shreds the leaves and you could put them in your garden, compost pile or in your weed can. If you don’t have a blower with the vacuum, use a lawn mower with a bag, just make sure your not picking up something that will wreck or cause damage to you or the lawn mower. Just think of how much money we could save the city by picking up our own leaves.

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