Oh the nostalgia "The autumn leaves,drift by my window---"! Was that Nat King Cole who sang it?
Other than raking out a few clusters of shrubs, mine are all processed for the year. Using my rider mower to mow them intopiles of finely chopped (1/4") material, and my potting tub or leaf rake to move them to my reworked compost bins, they now occupy my 4'x4'x4' center bin which would have overflowed if all had been collected at one time. But they have composted down enough so there is a 10" space open on top. The other day the night temp dropped below freezing but by mid morning steam was coming out of the bin.
Unchopped leaves form a layer over my hosta beds that will be cleaned up in early spring and placed into my presently open 2'x4'x4' side bin on the left. The one on the right is full to the top with finishing compost that will be spread around my hostas when the leaves are removed. Hopefully all of the dormant slugs or eggs will be destroyed when the leaves are composted next spring.
When I have turned my piles I have never seen a slug in the piled materials. Some Sow Bugs (rolly-poly's)and earwigs but not slugs. Anyone know what temperature will kill slugs or their eggs?
I assume slugs would prefer to lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves rather dig into the ground so as the leaves are collected so are the slug eggs.
During the winter is it best for me to place black plastic over the composing center section to retain heat and prevent ice from displacing air and suffocating the good micro-orgasms? I realize that if we get no snow to melt to form ice it is moot, and I might have to add some water if the pile dries out, and then recover it? Is this the right approach?