You can tell we are sliding into Autumn as the leaves on the trees start to turn a golden brown and fall to the ground. Those fallen leaves can certainly make you garden seem untidy and left on the grass will slowly rot it over the Winter, leaving you with bare lawn patches next Summer. What you may not know though, is that you are sitting on a little goldmine of free leafmould compost in your garden!
Leafmould compost is easy to make, costs nothing but time and can be used in your borders as a fantastic soil conditioner used as a mulch. The easiest way to make leafmould compost from all those fallen leaves from your trees is:
- Rake up all the leaves and pop them in to black or dark coloured bin bags.
- Water the leaves in the bag to add moisture and pierce the sides of the bin liners with a garden fork to allow air in.
- Chuck the bin bags behind a shed or garage and forget about them for two years. This may seem like an age to wait but who remembers the things thrown out of sight behind a shed?
I’ve just started mulching the borders for Winter using leafmould compost from leaves I gathered two years ago. The leaves have rotted down, some not entirely but that’s still fine.
I have added a thick layer of leafmould compost to the borders which will deter weeds during the Autumn, hold in moisture and as the worms take the leafmould down into the soil over the Winter months, will add some much needed organic matter and conditioning to my heavy, clay borders.
If you have deciduous trees in or near your garden, you would be raking up the leaves anyway during Autumn to keep your garden tidy so technically, you really are not giving yourself any extra work and in two years time, you’ll have that lovely smug feeling as you spread your own gorgeous, homemade leafmould around your border!