by Ludwig, Andrea Lorene
Fall is here, and that means organic matter is falling from the skies – at least it is if you have mature trees in your yard. Leaf litter can be used in your yard as a natural mulch. Leaves may need to be shredded so that oxygen and moisture can still circulate freely at the soil surface. Leaves can also be collected and composted to create a rich organic supplement for spring planting. Remember that dried, brown leaves will have a higher carbon-to-nitrogen ratio than fresh, green leaves, which means that the mix will need more “green” components to be most effective. Check out this Compost Calculator to help determine a good compost mix, aiming for 25-40:1 ratio. Creating compost from yard wastes and kitchen scraps along with using shredded leaf litter as a natural mulch can really save you some green. For more information on home composting, visit UT Hort for useful information from our colleagues at the University of Kentucky.