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Leaf bags and lasagna bed

Posted by birdgardner NJ/ 6b (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 15:23

I've got about twenty big paper bags of leaves - each about 3+ feet tall and maybe 20-25 lbs. of dry leaves.

They're laid out and I'm waiting for a soaking rain before I cover them with plastic. I was wondering what nitrogen source I could use to speed up the composting process - no manure here.

Right now they are laying on their sides, about a foot tall. I can get more, put a second layer on the first.

I used to be able to find a lot of pumpkins being thrown away after Halloween - they were great for heating up a leaf pile. What are people doing with their pumpkins - eating them?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Leaf bags and lasagna bed

IMO, dry leaves need not to be composted. All you want is to break them into smaller particles. I would just mix fall leaves with garden soil. If you have worms in the soil, they will convert them into worm casing without a need for micro organisms. But if you could chop them, it will work much faster and mix well with the soil. The othe option is just to pile them up as a compost pile let it sit there, if you are not in hurry.

RE: Leaf bags and lasagna bed

The Carbon to Nitrogen ratio of leaves ranges from 40 to 1 to 80 to 1 depending on the age of those leaves, so how much N may be needed depends on that. Moisture levels is also important since not enough will keep the bacteria from working and too much will cause anaerobic bacteria to get to work.
Most people that put out pumpkins for Halloween toss them into the garbage because they do not look on them as a resource but simply as garbage. Sources of N could be lawn food, bags of compost from the garden center, or even blood meal.

RE: Leaf bags and lasagna bed

Don't forget your kitchen scraps, all through the winter. Layer them with leaves and by spring you'll have a compost pile halfway cooked already.

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