Leaves make for incredible compost. Some leaves have twice as many nutrients as manure. So instead of shoveling manure, you may want to think about picking up your rake. The reason that leaves are so great for composting is that the trees roots dig deep into the ground and absorb nutrients the lay far beneath the surface. These minerals then move up the tree and into the leaves. When fall rolls around all of the nutrient rich leaves fall to the base of the tree. The fallen leaves then disintegrate into the soil and replenish the tree. Or at least that is the idea. I, for one, would much prefer if they replenished my garden.
As great as leaves are, they can sometimes be troublesome when it comes to composting. There are two main causes why leaves take a long time to compost. The first reason is that the leaves don’t have enough nitrogen. But don’t worry, this is where your horse, cow, and/or chicken manure comes in. Mix two parts leaves to every one part manure. The manure will provide much needed nitrogen that will greatly aid the bacteria in breaking down the leaves.
Another important thing that you will need to do when composting leaves it to make sure that you thoroughly shred your leaves before composing them. If you don’t shred your leaves they may simply just stick together. So just remember, a shredded leaf, is a good leaf.