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How to compost this autumn

Autumn leaves and rake

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Although the temperature outside is cooling, it is the perfect time to clear the garden of all the fallen leaves and even begin a new compost bin if you have enough materials.

Collect leaves to make leaf mould in autumn

Autumn is the time of year when leaves begin to fall from the trees, the temperature cools and the days get shorter. Once the summer passes, start collecting dry leaves to layer in your compost bin between wet materials. Whether your compost bin is new or established, put aside extra leaves in a separate bag near your compost bin. These can be used in the winter months. It’s important to turn your compost so you keep breaking down materials into smaller pieces.

Leaf mould is a great activity to do in autumn. Collect as many leaves as you can and place them in a bin liner pierced with small holes. If they are too dry add a little water from your water butt. After two years of leaving them loosely tied and tucked away from sight you have leaf mould. This material can be used to sow seeds or mixed with other quality soil as rich potting compost. Just beware not to use leaf mould if it gets infected with weeds.

Start a new compost bin in autumn

Autumn is also a good time to start another compost bin, if you have any surplus material. You can always use any compost at the bottom of your first bin to start this. You can also use any annual plants you pull out of the ground to help speed up the process. Try to keep the creatures that are attached to the uprooted soil though.

Find out more about home composting

Get started with home composting in Essex

How to compost at home

How to make your own compost heap