How To Grow Vegetables

How To Make Leaf Mould

Leaves? Kids love playing in them, my dog loves chasing them in the wind, yet for most gardeners they prove to be a real problem, as they are hard to rake up, if the wind is blowing it can be a thankless job, as just when you have got them all piled up and gone inside to get a sack to put them in the wind gusts and you have to start again.

If you have pond they can make it dirty, block filters and form a layer of sediment on the bottom of the pond. Likewise when they fall on grass they prevent it from growing properly. Yet another problem is when they fall on paths and get wet they make them very slippery.

However leaves should not be looked at in a negative way when it comes to making compost, and whilst you could just add them in to your normal compost bin, you would be far better off making a separate compost are just for leaves. This is because whilst the leaves breakdown in to leaf mould (Otherwise known as leaf compost), they take around two years to do so.

Unlike a normal compost bin, which is closed over from the elements, leaf mould compost benefits from being exposed to the elements, so that as much rain as possible can get in, as this helps the leaves to break down in to leaf mould.

You do not have to spend hundreds of pounds on a compost bin for your leaves, indeed one of the best and most cost effective ways to make a leaf compost bin is to get four stakes around four feet tall and tap them six inches into the ground to form a square. Then simply place chicken wire around the outside and nail it in place. This allows the elements to get to the leaves, yet at the same time stops them from blowing around. You can always put a board over the top if it is very windy.

After one year they will have rotted down, but still look like leaves, but after two years they will have broken down in to a nice leaf mould. Oddly leaf mould on its own does not actually have many nutrients in it, yet it is very good for adding organic matter to your soil. It can be easily mixed with compost as well, but not used as a compost substitute.

By Richard Allen -

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