Has anyone had any success composting oak leaves? We have mostly oak
trees in our yard and not wanting to put the leaves in the local
dump, we made three compost "silos" last fall. We redid the whole yard
last fall, so there weren't any grass clippings to be had. I've turned the
heaps twice this year and so far can't see that anything much is happening.
Actually, one pile has lots of worm in it and seems to be doing something,
although I'm getting a lot of wet, matted leaves. The other two were
unfortunately dry throughout much of the pile and I didn't notice nearly
so many worms.
This last time I turned them, I spread lime every 12" or so and then sprayed
with the hose, and we did have one load of grass clippings from the first mowing
that I spread in layers in the first 2 heaps. I've just been reading "Let It
Rot," and it seems like I need to get some manure to introduce more of the
So I guess I have several questions:
If you've successfully composted oak leaves, what's your secret?
Is commercially available manure appropriate as a starter? I'm talking
about those bags that you can get a the Garden center. I haven't
looked closely at the bag, so I don't know what kind of manure it is.
Has anyone used one of those compost aerating tools? Should I get one
and do that in ADDITION to turning it, or is the aerating tool good
enough? I don't mind doing the turning, but it is rather labor-intensive.
If I ever get usable humus out of this compost heap (and I hope I do before
fall comes and I have another load of leaves), I'd like to spread it on
our lawn since we don't have a garden. Our front yard is on a busy street
and in the winter the sand and grit gets thrown up on the lawn. Plus I
don't think the soil is very good to start with. I wanted to use the
compost to improve the soil in the front yard, but I'm not sure how to go
about it. Is spreading a thin layer of compost and working it down to
the soil level sufficient, or do I need to work it into the existing
Any advice will be much appreciated.
Being called a poetess brings out the terroristress in me. --Audre Lorde