Autumn 101: Composting leaves


Hello, October! I’ve been waiting for you!

While fall officially begins in September, it never feels like it’s really here until October bears its head. Welcome spiced drinks, warm sweaters and crunchy leaves.

That last one though. What do you do with all those leaves? You can rake them up, bag them and leave ’em by the curb for garbage day. But what good does that do. Come spring, you’ll be purchasing bags of unnatural fertilizers to spruce up your gardens. I say, skip the chemicals and use the natural nutrients from composted leaves to improve the natural water table as well as improve soil quality and root growth.

Now, you can go the easy way. Rake leaves into a pile in your backyard, cover them with a tarp and let them sit. Maybe make a small enclosed area with chicken wire. But if you’re in an area that gets lots of snow like I am, you want to create the perfect environment for proper composting.

Finding the right composter

Bins are great for those looking for a low maintenance project.Compost Container Image

Made from 100 percent recycled plastic, this Compost Container is an easy route for beginners. This compost bin holds up to 58 gallons, perfect for yard waste. Simply add your leaves and then pile in any kitchen waste you may have. Think banana and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and the like. This manageable bin sits anywhere you like in the backyard, just try to keep it in a sunny spot during the winter. And maybe put some hay bales around it to keep it cookin’.

Looking for a little more? Tumbling compost bins are a step up.Tumbling Composter - by Suncast - TCB6800 Image

Made in the U.S.A., this Tumbling Composter is much faster than the normal stationary style. This 6.5 cubic feet bin composts material in just three to four weeks. This resin barrel sits on a strong steel frame. The unit is designed to spin easily so compost can be mixed without opening the barrel.

Of course, you can always go the DIY route. One of our sister blogs recently tackled how to make a compost bin out of a plastic storage tote. It’s a great, easy project for those not sure if they’re ready for the commitment.

  • Tip: New projects are always easier to tackle when you prepare properly. Organizing yard tools and other tools needed to compost will make it so much easier to remain attentive to this new undertaking. A simple organizer is a great addition to garages and tool sheds alike.