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Leaf mould

Hello everyone. We have been offered an old incinerator, big metal bin with holes around it. Would this make a good storage space for leaves to make leaf mould? I haven't had much luck getting leaves to rot down just piled up and thought the metal might speed it up 🤔. Thank you for your opinions.


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,756
    Hi @Blondie73  The metal won't make any difference. To speed up decomposition, you need water, air, and a little warmth can help (but not baking sunshine for hours per day). We used to make ours in old compost bags, which we punctured many times, to allow air in. Crucially, we had to water them to keep them wet. Often when people are trying to make leafmould, they either let it become too dry, and don't allow enough air into the mixture.

    Does your incinerator have a lid? If not, I would add some sort of lid, to keep the mix reasonably damp. You will need to water it every now and again. If you don't put any lid on it, it will probably become too dry during the Summer.

  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Just wondering if it’s quicker if dry because it crumbles a bit like dried herbs? If wet does it take a longer time to break down? The leaves which fell on to the trampoline were crispy dry and could crumble easily. I scoop up leaf mould from the ground directly, probably has a lot of weed seed in it though compared to the dry leaf.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,224
    Leaves need to be kept damp to break down properly or they'll just stay dry and crispy, although you can chop/shred them to make the process a bit quicker.
    I'm not sure a metal bin would work very well. As long as it doesn't dry out though, it might be ok. 
    It's a different process from compost.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,262
    As already said: must be kept moist, no need to stir [ it is different process from compost making ], takes a while [ 2-3 years for me, mainly Beech leaves, which are slow ]
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • Blondie73Blondie73 Posts: 24
    Ah ok. I've learned something new. Thanks so much 😊
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,941
    If you can, mow them up in a bagging lawn mower.. the grass clippings and mulched leaves make a quick to compost mix - if it's moist enough, as others mentioned.  
    Utah, USA.
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