Any Ideas for Speeding up Leaf Compost

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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elainerukelaineruk Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I've got a tonne of sycamore leaves I want to compost - in the past I've bagged them and left them but it took 2 years to completely break down - ideally I want the leaf compost ready for next spring - any ideas anyone?
Thanks
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  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    If you can mix them with some well rotted leaves it will help activate them. A bit of wormy soil also helps.
  • gamstongamston Forumite
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    I've shredded my leaves using strimmer, but the leaves in a bulk sack (the ones you get 1 ton of sand etc in) you need to keep lifting leaves so the strimmer can cut them up
    then I put them in a pallet build compost bin, I've put Jabfloor 70 Polystyrene in the gaps so the bin is insulated
  • andrewf75andrewf75 Forumite
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    Run the mower over them.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Wee on them.
    People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.
  • AlfrescodaveAlfrescodave Forumite
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    Davesnave wrote: »
    Wee on them.

    Not meant as a sexist comment but I think I read that it has to be male urine.
  • gamstongamston Forumite
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    I've tried running the mower over them, works ok but using a strimmer cuts them up a lot smaller
  • DaftyDuckDaftyDuck Forumite
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    Not meant as a sexist comment but I think I read that it has to be male urine.

    Nope, not for activating composting; any wee will do, from pretty much any animal. It's the concentrated nutrients (in particular nitrogen/ammonia) that helps, along with the alkalinity.

    You are right that male wee is far, far better than female at deterring animals from the garden (or farm, if you pee copiously :D), and there it's the maleness that's vital - vital enough that even a vasectomy reduces efficacy.
  • elainerukelaineruk Forumite
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    Oooo - I didn't expect all this interesting information when I started this post!!:eek:
  • ApodemusApodemus Forumite
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    DaftyDuck wrote: »
    Nope, not for activating composting; any wee will do, from pretty much any animal. It's the concentrated nutrients (in particular nitrogen/ammonia) that helps, along with the alkalinity...

    Normal urine is slightly acidic...

    The urea content of urine provides the nitrogen that bacteria need to grow and multiply to start the decomposition process. The water content helps to ensure that the dry leaves are properly wetted and that the compost is humid enough to support the bacteria (and later on the fungi, Protozoa and higher organisms that join the party). Decomposition of urea produces ammonia which helps break down lignin in the woodier parts of the leaves, releasing sugars which further feed the increasing throng of species in the compost pile. It is worth putting effort into making sure that oxygen also gets into the heap and this will help speed the whole process up - something that is often missing in the bin bag leaf-mould approach.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Not meant as a sexist comment but I think I read that it has to be male urine.


    Nope. Anyway, he's too busy keeping the foxes and badgers out of the chicken area! ;)
    People who don't stand for something will fall for anything.
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