Leafmould is easy to produce and will do wonders for your garden soil. What’s more, with an abundance of fallen leaves everywhere, autumn is the perfect time of year to make it. Find out how to make leaf mould and the benefits of doing so with tips from Paynes Turf.
At this time of year lawns can suffocate under the huge amount of fallen leaves. It’s best to keep your lawn clear of leaves because if left in large amounts, the leaves will prevent air, moisture, and light from reaching your lawn. This could inhibit growth and encourage the onset of diseases such as snow mould. Making leafmould will utilise the abundance of leaves in your garden and turn them into an invaluable soil conditioner for minimal cost – great for your garden and even better for your pocket!
The best leafmould is made from Oak, Beech and Hornbeam leaves. This is because the leaves break down easily which then produces a high quality leafmould that is suitable for use in a relatively short period of time. Other leaves such as Sycamore, Chestnut and Walnut will take longer to rot down – it may be beneficial in this case to shred the leaves or chop them up in a mower with the grass box attached before adding them to the leaf pile.
How to make leafmould
It’s so easy to make leafmould using nothing but bin liners! All you need to do is gather the leaves, either by raking them up or collecting them in the mower grass box, place the collected leaves into a bin liner, moisten slightly if they are dry, then pierce holes in the plastic using a garden fork before tying up loosely and storing in a shady spot in the garden. Leave until the following autumn when the rotted down leaves can be used as mulch around the base of plants. If you want to use the leafmould as a soil conditioner, leave for another year (two years in total) before sprinkling on the lawn.
If you have a large amount of leaves it may be worth constructing a simple leaf bin. All that’s required for the job is chicken netting, four tree stakes, galvanised staples, a mallet, hammer and wire cutters, and a good pair of gardening gloves. Simply hammer the stakes into the ground approx. half a metre apart to make a square or oblong shaped frame, leaving at least 90cm of the stake above ground level. Staple the chicken wire to the first stake, then tightly wrap the net around all four sides, stapling as you go, to produce an enclosed ‘bin’. Snip off the excess wire and make sure there aren’t any sharp edges protruding. Then simply fill the bin with leaves you have collected and leave to rot down.