Tree Cutting 101

Making Compost from Your Leaves

With Fall upon us, yard work is taking on a new meaning. If you are spending your day raking leaves, you may as well put them to good use. The best way to do this is through composting them. There are many benefits to composting leaves that will make your work worth the time. Composting is easy to do and doesn’t take much time.

Compost Benefits

Composting is a wonderful way to add organic materials into your lawn. It is simple to do, also. To compost dry leaves, follow the steps below:

  1. Use your mower to shred leaves, then pile them up in your yard or in a compost bin. This is what my friend over at Smyrna Plumbers does with his yard.
  2. Add a nitrogen rich item, such as when your, food waste, or grass clippings, on top of the leaves.
  3. Continue to add leaves until your pile is around 3′ x 3′. Always alternate between adding leaves and your nitrogen rich item.
  4. Turn your compost monthly. During the winter, the cold temperatures will stop the compost process so you only need to turn it if your pile is insulated.
  5. Always keep your compost pile damp, but not soggy. Add water if it is dry, and add dry ingredients such as sawdust or straw if it is soggy.
  6. Regularly monitor your compost until it is finished. You will know what is finished when it smells earthy, has a crumbly texture, and is dark in color.If you turn your compost regularly, it can take as little as two months for the compost to be ready. If your compost is not turn during the winter, it will take longer.


Leaves can take between a few months to a year to turn into compost. It is a process that requires patience. If you prefer something faster, you can simply mow over your leaves and leave them lying on the ground. The nutrients from the leaves will be absorbed by the grass below.