Every year, nature provides us with an abundance of colourful autumn leaves. Instead of discarding fallen autumn leaves, use them to make a nourishing fertiliser for your garden. It costs nothing and is easily transformed into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner called leaf mould. 

Making leaf mould will take time. Leaves will rot down slowly due to the action of fungi as opposed to the faster-acting bacteria responsible for compost. It’s a slow process, but the nutritious end product is well worth the wait. 

How to make leaf mould:

Start by collecting fallen leaves (not green ones) in autumn, and pile them in a shaded corner of your garden. Keep it contained using wire mesh or alternatively simply place them in black plastic bags with holes in. To kick start decomposition, wet the leaves as you pile them into the heap or bags. Moisten them periodically, especially if you have put them in bags. Don’t add too many leaves to your heap as it can slow down decomposition – instead create a separate heap of autumn leaves. Turning your heap about once a month until it is fully decomposed, will speed up decomposition. After about 10 months your leaf mould should crumble easily and be ready for use. 

Complement of Christene’s Crafts

Using leaf mould:

You can use it as a mulch around new seedlings, vegetables and newly planted trees and shrubs. You can also use it as a soil conditioner in borders and in potting soil. It improves sandy soil as well as the drainage of clay soil. It is superior soil conditioner! 

Leaves of trees like maples and oaks contain a varying range of nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. All these elements are important for healthy plants’ growth. 

Leaf mould helps to decrease alkalinity of soil, and turning your garden waste into leaf mould is environmentally friendly. 

Complements of DHD Multimedia Gallery

Which leaves to use to make leave mould: 

Leaves from deciduous trees, such as oaks and maples, are ideal in making leaf mould. Do not use leaves from evergreen trees or conifers, rather add them to a compost heap as they take longer to decay. 

Pine needles are quite acidic, so add them to a separate heap for the use on acidic loving plants like Azaleas and Blueberries. 

Leaf mould is a form of compost composed entirely of deciduous shade tree leaves. It is free and easy to make, but keep in mind, just like vintage port, it needs time and patience. 

To keep up to date with all Alimandi news, follow us on our social media platforms or sign up to our regular and valuable newsletter.