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5 Tips for a Successful DIY Compost Pile this Fall

Posted by: Samuel Hirshfield on September 25, 2013


Leaves are a heavily nutrient dense material for composting and it is a shame when they go to waste every fall. Some just don’t see the value in them and others grow weary after unsuccessful attempts at composting. Considering how incredible the resulting product is, you should think about giving composting another try. One pound of leaves contains almost twice as many nutrients as manure. One tree alone can easily provide over $50 worth of plant food you would have otherwise had to buy. Can you see the value now? To capitalize on your abundance of leaves this fall, abide by these simple tips for having a successful compost pile. You will be glad you did come spring!


1. Start on bare earth.

This allows organisms from the ground (worms, bacteria, etc) to access the soil and begin doing their jobs.

2. Shred your leaves.

Shredding results in premium mulch that is much easier to transport. Many composters who report an unsuccessful heap can easily remedy their problem by shredding, which allows for greater aeration of the pile. The easiest way to shred your leaves is by renting a chipper shredder. Find out where to rent a chipper shredder at Compact Power Equipment Rental.

3. Add a nitrogen supplement.

Manure is one of the best nitrogen sources for your pile, but there are others such as hay and kitchen scraps. Layering your nitrogen sources will produce the best results.

4. Turn your heap every three to four days.

Although some may recommend turning your pile every three weeks, turning it every few days will guarantee composting success. Because your leaves have been shredded, they are much lighter and fluffier, making them easy to handle.

5. Consider a compost bin or tumbler.

These are not necessary, but convenient for small yards where a more compact pile would be more preferable. Tips 1-4 still apply when using a bin or tumbler. 

When it comes to compost, sometimes the best things in life really are free. Let us know if these tips worked for you and if there are any others we should know about! 

Don't forget to check out our latest ebook "7 Privacy Ideas for an Outdoor Sanctuary (ebook)" (click the link or the button below)

Free Privacy Landscaping (ebook) 

Tags: DIY, chipper shredder, rent a chipper, compost pile, fall compost