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Published 31 August 2017
“Leaf mould” may not sound very exciting to the average person, but in your garden it can be an excellent source of nutrients and other benefits to boost your plants, flowers, vegetables or just to add to your composting heap.
Some people recommend storing fallen leaves in a special leaf-moulding bin for up to three years, which if you're a hardcore gardening that takes great pleasure in storing, sifting and organising your garden waste can be a very rewarding experience.
When you've used something like our Webb Garden Blower/Vacuum to clear leaves and collect them, you'll need something to do with them. For the most casual amateur agriculturist, however there might be some simpler and easier things you can try out than a long, involved composting process:
A large leafmould bin often looks like a large plastic cube that can be unattractive in a garden, and the more you add to it, the longer it takes to break down. Keeping it small, such as in a shady area under trees or other cover, especially where there is leaf-fall already, can do your job for you. Brushing aside some old leaves, whether in your garden, or in nature, can show you how this process occurs naturally.
A more spread-out, thinner pile can be crumbly and ready to use in 6-9 months, rather than the traditionally recommended 36 months.
Rather than creating a separate compost bin for leaves, you can mix it in as a "brown layer" (to be alternated with green layers) in your normal compost. Remember to keep it moist, aerated and covered, with a brown layer on top and sticks, straw or coarse prunings on the bottom.
This is because you want to alternate your high-carbon-low-nitrogen and your high-nitrogen-low-carbon layers throughout.
Leaf-only compost is excellent for seeds, turf, and soil-improvement. It has excellent water absorption, encourages earthworms and microbes, great for fruit and veg plots and helps stabilise plants against changeable weather.
Why not give it a go?