How To Make Leaf Mould
What is Leaf Mould?
Leaf Mould (mold) is a form of compost derived from the slow decomposition of deciduous tree and shrub leaves caused by fungal breakdown.
What Happens In Nature?
In the natural environment, Autumn and Winter leaves fall and create a blanket across the land of deciduous woodlands. This magical mulch allows the nutrients from far beneath the soil to be slowly released back into the earth. In turn, they provide an essential ingredient of organic matter for the top soil, lock in moisture and fashion a perfect bed for young plants to grow. Below the surface, an explosion of activity takes place as earthworms and isopods alike rush to get involved. This is because the conversion of dark brown leaf matter to a fine-grained humus act as a perfect bedding for worms and other beneficial creatures. The free movement and availability of food ensure that the soil is replenished and new growth can continue.
How Long Does Leaf Mould Take to Decompose?
Leaf Mould can take anywhere between six months and two years to break down depending on the size and variety of the leaves used. Temperature and moisture content also play a big role in the slow process of decomposition.
How To Make Leaf Mould
A basic leaf mould can be made by collecting leaves that have fallen from trees. Although this may initially seem labor intensive, it is well worth the effort. All that is needed is patience and a place to store the leaves for an extended period of time.
To make your own leaf mould you will need;
- Black bags or sacks.
- Cable ties
- Sweeping brush or rake.
- A pencil or screwdriver.
- A place to store your leaf mould while it breaks down.
- Patience, 6 months – 2 years.
Leaves can be collected from just about anywhere from parks to roadsides, but it is important to remember that leaves collected from places with heavy traffic may contain pollutants, and material around industrial areas that have been exposed to acid rain may affect the overall quality of the soil. The best places to collect the leaves are areas where contamination is not likely. Parks and densely populated woodlands are the best for quantity but they are more difficult to collect from if you don’t have the tools or transport. Collecting leaves from your garden and surrounding gardens is perfect and they take little effort to gather.
Follow these easy steps to make a simple leaf mould.
Step 1 – Finding the leaves
Step 2 – Collecting the leaves
Step 3 – Bagging the leaves
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