Projects

Project 2: Leaf Mould

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Leaf mould is easy to make, and should always be a free resource.  It will take a year or two to make but once started it will carry on all by itself!!
 
The method is so easy:
  1. Collect a mixture of deciduous autumn leaves.  They will be brown and dead.  Don't use evergreen leaves such as pine, conifers, laurel, or holly, or leaves from beside roads because they may contain contaminants like diesel, oil, tyre rubber and other road pollutants.
  2. Water them well to help them rot.
  3. Pack the leaves into a suitable container - this can be bin bags, old compost bags or a mesh bin.  Stab the bag a couple of times with a garden fork to let some air in.
  4. Completely ignore them for a year or two, except for turning the bag very occasionally.
  5. Use the leaf mould.  This can be used on any soil type and at any time of year. 
How it works: 
 
Autumn leaves are rotted down mainly by the slow, cool action of fungi - instead of the quicker acting bacteria that are responsible for composting. This is why autumn leaves in quantity are best recycled separately in a leafmould heap.
 
Wonderful facts about leaf mould
  • it's free
  • it's easy to make
  • it avoids the use of bonfires to get rid of excess leaf matter
  • it saves having to use peat resources
  • it's clean and easy to handle
  • it's good for the soil
  • it reduces the need for watering
Leaves and wildlife
Leave drifts of leaves under hedges and out of the way places well alone as hedgehogs and other creatures may be hibernating there.
 

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