Each year I have an abundance of leaves. Our property is surrounded by trees which drops their leaves between October and December. Most years these leaves make their way into our garden waste bin and are forgotten about until the same happens the next year. This year I wanted to make use of them rather than letting them go to waste.
I grow vegetables every year and have neglected the soil. I’ve found my yields have gotten smaller each year and I really should put more effort into feeding the ground to make sure my crops have enough food to help then grow and produce tasty crops as well as keep the PH of the earth suitable to growing plants.
I have always been put off by the cost of compost and fertiliser and, for some reason, have never really looked into creating my own compost. With a little bit of planning, effort and time, I had a perfect source of creating my compost falling into my garden every year.
This is my first year creating Leaf Mould, and it could not be simpler. I made a wire bin to hold the leaves at the back of my garden out of some old bits of wood and some chicken wire I had laying around. After around an hour of raking, I had gathered all of the fallen leaves ready for picking up and putting into the wire bin. I would advise wearing some gloves to pick up the leaves as it can get quite cold and damp at this time of year. With the leaves in the bin, all I have to do now is wait.
It can take up to a year for the leaves to breakdown enough to be used in the garden. This batch will be ready to spread on my veg patch next winter prepared for a crop in the following year. If you can’t wait a year, then run over the leaves with a lawnmower to break them down into smaller pieces; the greater surface area helps increase the speed of decomposition giving you leaf mould sooner than just leaving them intact.
It’ll be interesting to see how much leaf mould the leaves from the trees around my garden will make. It looks like a lot of leaves at the moment, but I have a feeling the volume will reduce as the leaves break down.