Leaves are perfect for compost – when the kids have finished playing with them.

As I left my daughter’s house the other night I had to wade through a carpet of leaves to reach the car. 

I’m sure the grandchildren had been playing in them and having the type of fun you can’t get from an iPod or computer.

Choose a spot for your compost with good drainage.

Deb Delahunty

These leaves would be perfect in the compost – when the kids have finished playing with them. 

Compost is just organic matter that’s produced from dead and living plant and animal material. 

Micro-organisms and worms work their magic to produce a dark, crumbly substance we call humus. 

This humus holds nutrients and moisture and improves soil structure – everything you need for a successful soil.

Here are a few ingredients that are great in the compost:

  • Nitrogen rich ingredients like fruit and vegetable scraps, lawn clippings and animal manures (eg horse and cow).
  • Carbon rich ingredients – this includes the fallen leaves, straw, sawdust and even paper.
  • Water – you need to keep the compost heap moist, but not too wet.
  • Oxygen – you add this by regularly turning your compost.

Choose a spot for your compost with good drainage and some shade during the summer. 

You can use a compost bin but if you choose to just pile up your compost ingredients on the ground you need to follow a few rules. 

Always build up the edges of the heap first and then fill in the middle – this stops you ending up with a hill in the middle and allows you to add a lot more. Add layers but always work from the edge first.

A compost heap is a great dumping ground for lots of waste. You can add human and pet hair, egg shells, coffee grounds and tea leaves.  Don’t add dairy products, meat or weeds with seed.

The composting process can take some time, it varies, but when your end product looks dark and smells rich and earthy the job is done.

By creating compost you reduce waste and have a wonderful end product to enrich your garden soil. 

Diary 

Interested in studying horticulture? Certificate III in Horticulture is available for new entrants. For all your horticultural training needs call Wodonga TAFE 1300 MY TAFE (I300 698 233) or email AgHort@wodongatafe.edu.au. To have your event listed email ddelahunty@wodongatafe.edu.au.

FUN: Leaves are the perfect playground for children and marvellous in the compost. Finton Harris,19 months, of Wodonga, getting ready to play.

FUN: Leaves are the perfect playground for children and marvellous in the compost. Finton Harris,19 months, of Wodonga, getting ready to play.