Every autumn, one of the best resources for home composting falls from the sky – leaves!
You may find them annoying at times but when it comes to composting they are fantastic. Autumn leaves are an excellent brown material. In early autumn, trees start to draw nutrients back from their leaves, in preparation for winter. This process is responsible for the beautiful changes in colour and it means that when they fall, leaves are very high in carbon. Unlike many other brown materials, like sticks and branches, leaves need little or no processing before they are ready to be composted. All this makes them the perfect material to compost with your green, nitrogen-high materials like grass cuttings and food scraps.
Gathered and left to decompose on their own, they will break down over time to form a lovely mulch. However, if you have the time and space to gather and store in a number of large piles, they are ideal to use during the summer months to compost with your grass and food waste. Leaves can be stored in the open, in a simple wire enclosure to prevent them from blowing away or, if gathered when moist, they can be stored in bags that have a few air holes in them.