Make good use of autumn leaves
Fallen autumn leaves look picture perfect on a nice green lawn at this time of year, however if you have many trees in and around your garden you may be wondering what you can do with copious amounts of leaves. Find out how to turn autumn leaves into a product that will provide enormous benefits to your garden, with advice from Essex turf grower and supplier, Paynes Turf.
Leafmould is a nutrient packed product that can be used as a peat substitute or soil conditioner. Its main feature (when used as a soil improver) is that it will vastly improve the water holding capacity of the soil, thus helping plants to retain moisture. In addition, the nutrients contained in the soil conditioner will keep plants well fed. So what is this useful product made from? Autumn leaves!
How to make leafmould
Step one: Collect fallen leaves and place into a black bin bag
Step two: Sprinkle a little water into the bag to moisten the leaves
Step three: Loosely tie up the bag and pierce a few holes into the sides of the bag (to allow the flow of air) using a knife or garden fork
Step four: Store for around two years to allow the leaves to decompose and turn into a nutrient-packed soil conditioner.
If you have lots of trees in and surrounding your garden (and therefore more leaves!) then you may want to build a specific leafmould bin that will do the job on a larger scale. All you need to build this structure is chicken wire, stakes, and nails. Simply construct a box using the stakes as the corner supports and attach chicken wire to the sides with the nails to make a box shape, and fill with leaves. The chicken wire will allow air to pass through, speeding up the decomposing process, and rain will keep the leaves moist. Just remember to sprinkle a little water on top of the leaves should the weather be dry, and occasionally turn the leaves using a garden fork to allow air into the middle of the pile.
Tip: Shred the leaves before storing to speed up decomposition, in particular when using the leaves from Walnut and Sycamore trees, as they will take longer to decompose than other leaves.
Reasons to make your own leafmould
- Fallen leaves get recycled in an eco-friendly way
- Plants benefit from a nutrient boost
- Plants require less watering
- Perfect for use as a mulch
- It’s free!