Compost is the best thing you can add to your lawn, trees, shrubs, and flowers. It has the nutrients your plants need to grow well and stay healthy. It has organic matter and helps soil retain moisture. Perhaps most importantly, it has microorganisms – the bacteria, fungi, and other little beasts that make nutrients from the soil available for plants to use.
Fall is when nature recycles the nutrients and organic matter in leaves. They drop to the ground and over the winter they decompose to release nutrients, creating more organic matter in the soil to harbour micro-organisms. Leaving those leaves on your flower, tree, and shrub beds is a great idea. They will not only decompose to feed your plants, they will protect the plants from the winter cold.
How To Make Your Own Leaf Compost
If you prefer to remove the fallen leaves, there is an easy way to help the leaves break down into a nutrient-rich garden supplement. Simply place the leaves into plastic bags and add enough water to wet them. Poke holes in the bottom of the bag for excess water to drain. By the time warmer weather rolls around they should be broken down and ready to go!
Leaf mulch and compost are the most natural way to keep your yard healthy and recycle nutrients! If you have more than you need, take your leaves to the local Leaf and Pumpkin drop-off spot. The City of Calgary makes these into compost that they use on City properties.
I pick up a truckload of bagged leaves from local alleyways to increase my yield. I also save some bags of leaves to add to my compost bin over the winter. As I add my kitchen waste, I cover it with leaves to keep a balance of materials.
Using leaf compost means you won’t have to use fertilizers on your yard. This will limit chemicals and salts that leach into waterways and can harm natural ecosystems.