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Turning Your Leaves Into Food For Your Garden

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By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) With the fall season upon us, many people are having to clean their yards due to the leaves.

However, saving those leaves from your yard can help make your garden greener for the coming spring.

For this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho, Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News found a way to turn that garbage into gold.

Turning your fallen leaves into compost is a great way to not only clean your lawn but can also create a healthy garden next spring.

Starting your own compost pile is not as hard as many would think.

Of course, you can always go to your local lawn care center and buy an expensive bin.

But according to the University of Idaho Extension Office... Creating your own compost is as easy as clearing a space and knowing what to use.

"Its extremely easy... yeah!. This time of the year there a lot of browns, there's a lot of options of how we can break that down rather than just getting a bin process in a back yard. There's also a double dig process where you dig a trench and you throw your matter in there and then you cover that up with soil. That will heat up and it will break down that material and then you have all this nice compost that you use on top and so it's kind of a cycle you go through the year," said Tony Mccammon, Horticulture Expert with the University of Idaho Extension Office.

Now with the fall season in full swing... One of the best things for a good compost base is literally falling from the sky.

"These trees provide their nutrients through their leaves. So as they drop their leaves were taking them away and that's actually the nutrients that the trees are going to need for the following year. And so mulch those, put them back in the soil, gather the leaves and throw them in your garden and till those in. And that's a slow composting process but by next spring you won't have a whole lot of leaves left because all of the insects and all the bacteria and micro–organisms are going to get in them and feed on that and break that down," said Mccammon.

Along with leaves there are many other organic items you can use for great composting material.

"Go pick up some old manure add that in, straw, alp alpha, any of the kitchen scraps. You want to stay away from meats and the oils and the fatties. You want to stick with the vegetables, the stuff that will break down."

Creating a greener garden tomorrow, with your unwanted scraps today.

If composting just isn't your thing, the city of Twin Falls will take your leaves off your hands... Free of charge.

You can drop off your un–bagged leaves at the designated location next to the Twin Falls Parks and Recreation Department.

Located at 140 Maxwell Avenue in downtown Twin Falls.