Dry fall leaves ready for composting

How to use fall leaves for compost

As the leaves start to change color and fall from the trees, don’t just rake them up and throw them away. Fall leaves are a great source of carbon for your compost pile. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Collect the leaves in a bag or bin. You can either rake them up or wait until they blow into your yard. If you have a lot of trees, you might want to invest in a leaf blower to make the job easier.
  2. Chop up the leaves with a lawn mower or mulcher. This will help them break down faster in the compost pile.
  3. Add the leaves to your compost pile, making sure to mix them in with other materials like food scraps, grass clippings, and manure. Leaves by themselves will not break down properly and can actually lead to odors and pests in your compost pile.
  4. Turn your compost pile regularly to speed up the decomposition process. The leaves will add carbon to the compost pile, which will balance out the nitrogen from the other materials. This is important for proper composting.
Compost full of dried fall leaves with an old brick wall in the background.
Compost full of fall leaves


With just a little bit of effort, you can turn those fallen leaves into rich compost for your garden. By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to creating nutrient-rich soil that will help your plants thrive.