As summer comes to an end, the leaves begin to hit the ground and the temp’s dip, we embrace what some might call the best season of the year. Fall brings sweaters, football games and if you want your garden to thrive year-round, fall composting.
Whether you’re brand-new to gardening and have no idea where to begin or an experienced pro in need of a fall composting refresher, the lawn care specialists at Sargent’s Family Lawncare, Citrus County compiled (pun intended) the composting tips you need to get started!
A No-Brainer Guide to Fall Composting:
Fall Composting Basics – Composting is a natural way of making your soil richer through the process of adding recycled material such as leaves and vegetable scraps to the garden. Compost has a positive impact on your soil – enhancing the ability of the soil to retain nutrients and moisture. It’s great for the environment and an effective way to help your garden thrive.
The Perfect Mix For My Fall Composting – When the leaves begin to fall, keeping up with raking can be a full-time job. That’s why fall composting is a win-win; it can make your life easier and your garden looking amazing. Leaves are carbon-rich and small enough to be easily added into your compost. Fresh grass clippings are also a great addition to your composting pile because they are nitrogen-rich. Another ingredient for your composting is the dying plants from your garden such as annuals from your vegetable garden or flowers that contain many nutrients.
Here are a few tips for using leaves, grass clippings, plants and flowers to your fall composting:
- Deciduous leaves work best.
- Avoid using evergreen leaves such as holly, laurel, and conifers.
- Wait until your leaves start turning brown before adding them to your composting pile.
- Add thin layers of grass clippings to your compost to avoid matting.
- Avoid adding plants that have a disease or mold problems.
- Leave thick stems and branches should be left out of your fall composting pile.
Everything You Need To Know About Your Fall Composting Pile – Your fall composting efforts do require more materials than just the ones you find in your own gardens such as leaves, grass clippings, and dying plants. A few basic provisions and best practices should be top-of-mind as you begin.
What you’ll need to keep in mind for your composting pile:
- Cover your composting pile or use an enclosed container. Your compost pile should be kept moist but should not get drenched by fall rains. Using a tarp or enclosed container, known as a composter, you can protect the contents of your fall compost pile from the elements. This will also deter pests from setting up home inside your compost pile.
- Go slow to avoid matting. Composting can easily become matted. Blended well by adding small batches of leaves at a time. Too many leaves thrown in all at once will cause matting and hinder the progress of your fall composting.
- Add to the mix. Controlling moisture in your fall composting pile can be challenging because lawn clippings and food scraps are about 80 percent water. You can add with straw, woody waste or cardboard to keep your pile to soak up some of the excess moisture.
Some frequently asked questions about fall composting.
- Should I go with DIY vs. Store-bought composting? To DIY compost or head to your local garden store, that is the question. The choice is truly up to you and can hinge upon your budget, your time constraints as well as space limitations you have at your home. Either fall composting is a great way to keep your garden looking stunning.
- What’s the difference between fertilizer and compost? It’s easy to be confused about this, but the difference is fairly simple. Your fall compost nurtures and feeds your soil while fertilizer feeds the plants.
- Why should I use composting? It’s an easy effort that can energize the soil in your garden. Composting has been shown to enhance the ability of plants to fight common diseases and helps the soil retain moisture. Composting is like recycling that offers a win-win for your garden.
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