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What's the best way to 'recycle' 20 bags of leaves...


Aitchbee
Resolved

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This is the first time I have collected the leaves that have fallen from the two big trees, outside my flat.

I would like to make them into compost.

Has anybody had a go, at this endeavor?

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Aitchbee

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Thanks everyone.I hope it gives other 'leafies' something to mulch over ;o]

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QuizMan

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For mine, I constructed a square collecting area with 4 wooden posts surrounded by chicken wire and it has consistently produced quality leaf mould. I located it behing my shed. After many years good service the wooden posts finally rotted this year so I have replaced them with metal ones and strong plastic to replace the chicken wire.

I have tried the plastic bag with holes method, but find it just turns the leaves to a mushy pulp.

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Aitchbee

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Quizman - I may go down that road...perhaps convert my little (metallic tubular struts & plastic connectors) greenhouses, into a sturdy leaf storage container, with chicken wire and/or plastic mesh.

Would it be a good idea to have it raised off the ground and covered?

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Toneman

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Think it was Alan Titchmarsh who advised using the system Johndrew described. He said it would only take about six months to produce reasonable compost...

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Covergirl

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Alan Titchmarsh will say anything to encourage the general public. 6 months HA. My compost heap is anaerobic and is on (about) a 3 year cycle as I've nowhere to turn it (because I don't have acres or his budget to play with). Jealous, moi?

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Aitchbee

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Covergirl - I am inclined to believe you...I still haven't clicked on your link, but wildo; if I use QuizMan's setup, I can re-use my plastic bags for more leaf collecting...when it's dark! Don't tell anybody ;o]

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Aitchbee

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QB - I absolutely agree with your philosophy on leaves being left. But what about all the leaves that are on the pavements and roads?...not to mention railway tracks. Someone has got to sweep them up and put them somewhere.

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Brumas

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When I first saw this I thought it was the result of a memo sent round the old British Rail - this is how the made their tea!!! ;o}

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QuizMan

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"Would it be a good idea to have it raised off the ground and covered?"

I never bother with either, but it supposedly speeds up the process if covered. You do need to turn the leaves over occasionally with a fork so everything gets a chance to compost. If it's on the ground the worms should come up from the earth below and are great at speeding up the composting process. The main downside for me is my neighbour's trees close to the fence. Their fibrous roots tend to grown up into the decaying leaves to seek nutrients.

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morddwyd

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Two points of caution - some leaves can take a long time to rot down, oak being one example which springs immediately to mind, and a large amount of leaves, like twenty bags, all of one species, may well change the characteristics of the soil completely, e.g. increase the acidity, change trace element levels (such as manganese and zinc).

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