Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Composting Leaves - Mulching

By the time all the leaves have fallen, nearly 10 piles just like this will be raked from the backyard.

Before you service and put your lawn mower away for the winter, use it as a mulcher for that huge pile of leaves.

Be sure not to have the wheels set at the lowest level. Mid range is best, so that you don't lift stones and or larger branches that may damage the blades. We removed the clipping catch bag. This way the leaves are forced to cycle around the blade dome - mulching far more quickly. But if you prefer to use the bag attachment, just mow the lawn with the leaves.

Raising the back end and the front end whilst hovering over the pile really helps to break down the debris faster and won't overburden the motor.

Three passes and that pile is nearly gone.

This is worth gold to me. Pure carbon and an insulating winter blanket for the red-wigglers in the compost bin. Mulching the leaves this way helps to accelerate the breakdown their matter. Making compost quicker. It also leaves less air pockets, which means more room for more leafy mass.
As the growing season went on, we generously removed finished compost for the garden. Now it's near empty.

One leafy layer, now ready for a wet green layer (grass clippings).  Reserving some of the ready compost on the side, we will top dress the mulched leaves with it before putting the compost to bed. Hope our red-wigglers will be happy - toasty warm.

If you can, reserve a bushel or two of leaf mulch for evergreen hedges like this white cedar hedge. The chopped up leaves help insulate the roots and prevent weeds come spring.

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