Living on four acres in an oak forest is both a blessing and a curse. The worst part is when the fall leaves start dropping from the trees. There are two places that they need to be removed from: the long driveway and the back patio. They are slippery when wet, so it's imperative they are blown off the surface.

Leaves are a great material for compost. Photo by Doug Oster

They are never sent to a landfill though as they will make the best compost. The four acres offer me space to blow the leaves to, making big piles that over the years rot down into leaf mold, a type of compost.

On the lawn, I'm just running my rechargeable electric over the leaves until they are thoroughly shredded. They will rot down over the winter and into spring, providing nutrients for the grass. A simple check of the pH will determine when lime is necessary to bring the soil back to neutral.

I'm also leaving piles of shredded leaves next to the compost pile. Every time I put something from the kitchen or garden in the pile, I'm adding some shredded leaves, too. They add the browns, high carbon ingredients that mix with the greens for the best compost.

Use those leaves to your benefit and don't send them to the curb.

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See also, Compost Is The Building Block Of All Gardens And The Best Way To Recycle

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