Autumn Composting Tips
We're half-way through Autumn, the perfect season for gathering materials for composting! As we start to prepare our gardens for the upcoming winter months, our compost bins should be overflowing with autumn leaves and the remainder of our summer growth. Starting your pile now and ensuring it is nutrient-rich will allow enough time for the decomposition process to take place, meaning you will have a healthy supply of compost in time for spring. Here are some of our top tips for composting this autumn.
Gather Leaves & Grass Trimmings
Leaves are carbon-rich and are small enough that they are easily incorporated into compost, making them one of the most valued compost materials. Once the leaves start turning brown, you can begin raking them and adding them to the compost pile. Do not use evergreen leaves such as conifers or laurel as they can take up to 3 years to break down.
Add Leaves in Small Batches
It is best to add leaves to the compost pile in small batches in order to avoid matting. This will also help to speed up to the process and allow the materials to mix better. Try adding one or two handfuls at a time; adding too many at once will result in a soggy pile that will take longer to decompose!
Keep Extra Material Next to Your Compost Pile
Rather than getting rid of extra leaves, why not keep them in a burlap sack next to your compost pile. As you add food scraps and other material over the winter months, a layer of leaves can be added on top as this will help balance the green materials. It will also ensure they mix better, allowing for faster results.
Compost Your Food & Plant Scraps
Finally, as the weather starts to turn colder, most people tend to make more stews and soups, resulting in more vegetable peelings and scraps. Instead of throwing these in the bin, make sure to add them to your compost pile! Also, many plants and flowers won’t last during the colder months and should be recycled in a responsible manner; why not add them to your compost pile and feed your plants next year!