Autumn leaves put to good use

Make good use of fallen autumn leaves by turning them into leafmould. Find out what leafmould is and how it will benefit your garden, with advice from Essex turf grower and supplier, Paynes Turf.

Turn autumn leaves into leafmould Paynes Turf

What is leafmould?

Leafmould is a product that’s made using fallen leaves (hence the name!). It’s packed with nutritional qualities and can be used as a peat substitute or as a soil conditioner, after around three years of composting. When used as a soil improver, the leafmould will boost the water holding capacity of the soil, which will keep your plants well fed and help them to retain moisture for longer.

The process may take a while (two to three years) but it’s definitely worth the effort as it will not only benefit your plants with essential nutrients, but it will also get rid of all the autumn leaves that have fallen on your lawn, in a green, eco-friendly way. What’s more, it’s absolutely free to make.

How to make leafmould

Making leafmould is very simple. All you need to do is collect the fallen leaves from your lawn and place them into a black bin bag. Simply sprinkle a little water into the bag to moisten the leaves and loosely tie the bag up. Pierce a few holes into the bag with a knife of garden fork to let air in, and then store for up to two years to allow the leaves to decompose. That’s it!

If you have a lot of trees in your garden, then you may want to build something a little more elaborate to use as a leafmould bin. You can do this using chicken wire and stakes to construct a ‘box’ type structure. The chicken wire will allow the air to pass through, and the rain will keep the leaves moist. Just be sure to keep an eye on the weather and sprinkle on a little water if necessary. Turn the leaves occasionally to aerate the mixture.

Shredding the leaves will make the whole process of composting much faster, especially with leaves from Walnut and Sycamore trees, which take longer to decompose than others.

Leafmould is also great to use as a mulch around the crowns of annuals and perennials as it will help them to retain moisture during the hot, dry summer months. So what are you waiting for? Get raking up those leaves!

Turn autumn leaves into leafmould Paynes Turf