Composting Time - Knowledgebase Question

Ny Mills, NY
Question by watbuffalo
October 11, 1999
I have a 24x24 ft garden.I never composted before.I want to make a 4x4x4 fenced in area and use fall leaves to compost.By filling the area in the first part of November with leaves would this be enough time for the leaves to decay by the middle of May when I would rototill them into the soil?


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Answer from NGA
October 11, 1999

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Composting essentially stops when the weather turns cold, and plain fallen leaves can take a year or more to decompose unless mixed with sufficient other materials providing additional nitrogen. To speed up the process you can shred the leaves and till them in this fall. By spring when planting time comes they should be decayed enough to plant through.

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