A New Leaf
Composting requires a few basic steps and some inexpensive equipment.
Air and water: The bin you choose takes care of these two necessary elements. Purchase a ready-made slatted model, or make one out of sturdy wire mesh. Air circulation keeps the composting process active, and rainwater will escape from the bottom.
Nitrogen: Left alone, leaves will break down into compost. With a little help, though, the process speeds up. Place a layer of leaves about 1 foot deep in the bin. Sprinkle manure, grass clippings, or kitchen waste (all provide nitrogen) on top, and then add another layer of leaves. Continue this process throughout the fall, adding the natural nitrogen as you go.
Turn it over: Several times during the winter, use a garden fork to turn the compost. This aerates the pile and aids the decomposition process. It also makes for great winter exercise.
"Hit Pay Dirt" is from the October 2007 issue of Southern Living.