Composting leaves and sticks in the fall is a great way to turn organic waste into nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Here are the steps to effectively compost leaves and sticks this fall:

1. Gather Materials:
Collect fallen leaves, small branches, and sticks from your yard. Avoid using sticks that are too large or woody, as they may take longer to break down.

2. Choose a Composting Method:

There are a few methods you can use to compost leaves and sticks:

  • Compost Bin: If you have a compost bin, it’s a great place to compost leaves and sticks. Make sure the bin is well-ventilated and has a balance of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials.
  • Pile or Windrow: You can create a compost pile or windrow in a corner of your yard. This is a simple and effective method, especially for larger quantities of leaves and sticks.
  • Trench Composting: Bury leaves and sticks in trenches dug directly into your garden beds. This method can enrich the soil directly where you plan to plant in the future.


3. Prepare the Materials:

Shred or chop the leaves and sticks into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces will break down faster and create a more uniform compost mixtures.

4. Mix Green and Brown Material:
Combine the shredded leaves and sticks with nitrogen-rich “green” materials. Green materials include kitchen scraps (vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, etc.) and fresh plant trimmings. Aim for a ratio of roughly 3 parts brown material (leaves and sticks) to 1 part green material.

5. Add Compost+

Add a thin layer of Dr. Connie’s Natural Solution compost accelerator, Compost+ over the composting material.

6. Add Moisture and Aeration:

Compost needs the right balance of moisture and air. Keep the compost mixture moist, but not soggy. Turn or aerate the pile every 7-14 days or each time a new layer of material is added.

7. Monitor and Adjust:

Keep an eye on the compost pile’s temperature and moisture levels. If the pile becomes too dry, add water; if it becomes too wet, add more dry materials like leaves. Turning the pile regularly will also help speed up the decomposition process.

8. Patience and Time:
Composting takes time. Depending on the size of the materials and the conditions, it can take several months to a year for the compost to fully break down into rich, dark soil.

9. Use the Finished Compost:
Once the compost has broken down into a crumbly, dark substance that smells earthy, it’s ready to use. You can spread it in your garden beds to improve soil structure, retain moisture, and provide nutrients to your plants.

10. Repeat the Process:
Composting is an ongoing process. Continue to add kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other compostable materials to your compost bin or pile to create a sustainable source of nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

Remember that the exact timing and success of your composting efforts may vary based on factors such as climate, the types of materials used, and the composting method chosen. Adjust your approach as needed to achieve the best results.