composting

Dan Gill / LSU AgCenter

For a full year, trees work diligently pulling nutrients from deep in the soil to develop the year's foliage. But all too often, gardeners rake these leaves only to bag them and put them at the side of the road. These bags of brown gold then get taken to the landfill to serve no other purpose.

Yard clippings and other compostable materials comprise 28% of the material thrown into landfills in the U.S. This is an alarming amount of material that could otherwise be composted. Using fallen leaves in the garden is one of the easiest and cheapest solutions gardeners can employ in their own hard.

LSU AgCenter

Composting has benefits to the garden, gadener, and the environment. The number one benefit of composting is in the pocketbook. Here are some tips to getting started with your composting.

Make sure the bin is large enough to make the heat that is necessary to break down the material rapidly and to kill off weed seeds. One cubic yard is the magic size for compost bins. Sometimes with a new hobby, common wisdom says to start small. That's not the case with composting; bigger is better.


This is a picture of tea... for humans. This is not compost tea.
LSU AgCenter

The needs of our plants are similar to ours. They need to water to survive. But they need minerals to thrive. While humans might drink some iced tea for a bit of that sustenance, pouring iced tea on plants may not to much good.

But there is a "tea" of sorts for plants.


szczel / Flickr

When deciduous shade trees drop their leaves in the fall, most people just rake them up, put them in bags, and set them out with the trash to be collected. What a shame!


Leaves in a homemade compost container.
Knile / Flickr

Rather than sending it to the landfill, you can easily recycle the seasonal confetti as mulch or compost.