Leaf Mould – It’s Free!
Once again, autumn is here and the wild winds are whipping up the trees, forcing the leaves to make a break for it!
Good news for those of us who find a pile of leaves really exciting! Some of us wait all year for this so that we can take full advantage of this wonderful gift of nature – carbon-loaded, dying leaves – just what we need to bolster the action in our compost bins and to provide the raw materials for a great mulch or humus.
Making leaf mould is a no-brainer.
Really, it is not such an arduous task. If you have only a small quantity of dried leaves, you could either:
- Rake them up as they fall, shred them and bag them. The best way to bag leaves is to use sturdy plastic bags adding a few grass clippings and a spray of moisture. Make a few holes in the bags to allow for aeration, tie them tight at the top and stash them in a quiet corner. (see the pic above) In about a year you will reap your just rewards – lovely leaf mould, ready to use as mulch or to dig into your garden.
- Add small quantities to your regular compost as a balance to your ‘green’ ingredients.
If you have a huge pile of leaves and a bit of space, make wire-mesh bins, dump the leaves in and just let them decompose naturally. Keep the mix moist throughout the year, cover in windy weather and in winter, to add some protection and in about 2 years, you will have your leaf mould, ready to go.
If when you come to use it the fungi that are responsible for this transformation have not quite finished, just pack it all up again and leave it alone for a bit longer.
Autumn (Fall) has many startling, but often unrealised benefits. I found the video below from Indoor Hydroponix a great reminder of how slow we often are to appreciate the bounty around us. This often maligned season that heralds the advent of crap weather, interminable grey skies and no apparent growth could do with a boost in its PR ratings. This video made me do a bit of thinking and I have decided that I like Autumn in England after all, even if it is a bit gloomy.
Do take a couple of minutes and watch one man’s take on the whole autumn and leaf mould ‘thing’. I am sure you will be impressed.
My Homie Compost – Death, Decay and Awesome