Leave Dcomposition – How to Speed it Up

Q: We have an abundance of hardwoods on five acres. We blow leaves off the driveways 2-3 hours every day into a temporary area but after December 15th we’ll have to move the piles again. Is there something we can scatter atop these leaves that will aid decomposition?

A: Do your best to chop the leaves into small pieces before they are blown off the driveways. A mulching lawnmower does a good job of this. Every time you accumulate a six inch layer, mix a tablespoon of water-soluble fertilizer (Miracle-Gro, etc) into a gallon of water in a garden sprayer and wet down the surface of leaves. The added nitrogen will help fungi break down the leaves a bit faster but I won’t guarantee it will reduce the piles noticeably.

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