do leaves and sawdust just take years to break down and I'm SOL on speeding it up? Smaller pieces break down faster in a compost situation. Using Shredded Leaves. These leaves just do not break down very quickly at all, unless you macerate them (chop them to the point of a mush!). If you want to know how to make compost faster, the key is to manage these five factors carefully. Nitrogen can be thought of as green, moist items such as grass clippings. Leave the pile to rot over a number of seasons. This makes nutrients available to plants to sustain their own growth. Getting compost to break down quickly starts with size and ends with management. It will certainly get the job done, but there’s a plan that’s easy and a whole lot cheaper that you can do yourself. Scott you could save a few bucks and just till the leaves in the ground in the fall along with and other materials such as grass clippings. Some items will need to be broken down manually first in order to speed up their decomposition. a good way to do lots of leaves quickly; Disadvantages laminating leaves. Here’s what you need to know for fast composting. Some avid gardeners even recommend putting kitchen scraps through the blender, which gives you the added benefit of moisture when adding the scraps to your compost pile. Early-season raking of clipped grass and leaves help solve this problem by supplying an already mixed source of leaves and grass. ... the reds would darken and the wax residue would break down a bit, but the longer you leave them alone, the longer they looked good. You can usually get them free from grocery stores or home improvement stores. They will quickly decompose over the winter and you can plant your grass seed in the spring. Here how to use them: Insulate Tender Plants: A 6-inch blanket of leaves protects tender plants from winter wind and cold.Cover cold-hardy vegetables—such as carrots, kale, leeks and beets—and you'll be able to harvest them all winter. A pile of unshredded leaves without added nitrogen sources may sit for years before it will be completely decompose. Leaves break down slowly. Of course you could go out and buy yourself a compost tumbler for $100-$200 or more. Placing a black plastic bag over pieces of the mulch will also help to break down, as it will reserve water and attract extra warmth, which will speed up the break-down process. it disolves very quickly and works very fast. If you have an abundant source of leaves in the fall, shred them.Your garden will benefit in a big way. Shred itIt's no surprise that smaller materials break down faster. It is better to just heap these types of leaves up, and cover the pile with soil. The main items a compost pile needs are the proper carbon to nitrogen ratio, small surface area, aeration, moisture, and temperature. You also need a balance of carbon, which is the leaf litter, and nitrogen. Fast composting of leaves starts with a layer 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20.5 cm.) The waxy leaves, from evergreen shrubs and cypressus-type trees, are a different story. Of course, you can’t throw just anything and everything into your compost bin and expect it to quickly deteriorate. You must be careful to not add too much as spontaneous combustion will occur. You may have seen this whitish “mold” under leaves and thought poorly of it. If you want your mulch to break down quickly, opt for fine mulches over those made of course materials and water it often. ... One of the best accelerants for compost is urea. First you’ll need to obtain four pallets. You can help your compost along by shredding fallen leaves with your lawnmower or leaf shredder and chopping up your kitchen scraps. 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