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Monty's Leaf mould making



  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    You may do better on a lower setting then to pick up the leaves @Palustris?  I just go over the grass on the setting I use for mowing, never have to raise the cut. I daresay it varies, some mowers will do better than others with leaves. My collecting mower has the delightful name of a 'Toro Super Bagger'!

    My gravel is not fine, it's mainly angular Shap blue granite, but there's pea gravel mixed in and odd leftovers of slate chippings. It stays put when I go over it, just an occasional pinging sound. No damage at all to the blade. But it has settled a lot, even though there's weed-proof membrane under it -- back to that soft ground again!  

    There's a lot of satisfaction from making something out of the leaves as I'm sure you know @Palustris. That's an impressive turnover!
    I get quite upset if there is a rare autumnal flooding down the orchard, washing away my harvest before I can gather it in. 
    I like Monty's enthusiasm for composting and making leaf mould. It reminds me of Geoff Hamilton's approach all those years ago, and his concerns about peat. 
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,248
    Listened to a lecture some time back about woodland gardening. Chap said that he collected leaves from the roads around where he lived. Should have asked him what he did with the  road grit, cigarette ends, plastic wrapping, sweet papers, discarded vape things and the bags of dog muck which line the gutters here.
    Shame though as I could fill a wagon with the leaves on the lane next to us.
    I think the gravel on our drive must be bigger than normal or something as it definitely damaged the mower blade. I had to very carefully grind a new edge on it after I tried shredding leaves with it.
    I pick up the leaves here with one of those grabber things. That does leave the gravel behind except where it is stuck to the wet leaves.
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,299
    I collect leaves from my road, @Palustris - but I have to get my timing right and I only collect from the pavements, not the gutters. There's not that much rubbish but I just avoid anything I can see. I get the odd sweet wrapper or more often fag packet wrapper in my leaf mould but they're easy to spot and remove later. The gutters would be another matter.

    I also don't chop it up because, being from the pavement and not even that directly outside my house, I wouldn't want to drag it all to my lawn (I collect it in a dumpy bag which I then drag along the road, across the front garden, down the side of my house, across the patio and down the length of the garden to where I make the leafmould), spread it out and introduce weeds I don't already have - and then have to pick it all up again! I do keep thinking I should try out the leaf blower I inherited but have never used to see if it'll chop things up, but I never get round to it. It takes a year to be usable as mulch and two to be a really good product. Mainly lime leaves.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    I salute your determination, @LG!
  • SueAtooSueAtoo Posts: 347
    After my leaves had broken down a bit after about 2 years (maybe 3), I put spadefuls through a rotary garden sieve (BMC), worked wonders, gave lovely fine stuff like Monty's finest and much easier than an ordinary garden sieve.
    East Dorset, new (to me) rather neglected garden.
  • @Palustris To shread leaves using a mower, you need a petrol rotary mower, you need to collect them up and spread them out on your lawn and then raising the blades of the mower run over them, with the grass box on.  Start on your mowers highest setting and if the leaves haven’t been shreaded lower the blades and do it again until they are shredded enough.  This is how Monty does it.  DO NOT attempt to collect leaves with a mower on gravel or soil.  Common sense.
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
     Leaf mowing can be fun, too.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,019
     DO NOT attempt to collect leaves with a mower on gravel or soil.  Common sense.

    Have you read the thread?
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    I'm a keen collector of leaves they come from the garden, riverbank and the road/paths. I mow them on the garden and riverbank taking all the grass too, on the road I just rake them up (I clear the road leaves early morning before work so mowing is very unsociable) I find the roadside leaves that come from the kerb edge gutter breakdown best as they tend to be very wet and fairly mashed up from car tyres. Thankfully we don't have much of a problem with litter (can't remember the flag end I saw in the village).

    Mine go in the compost and get mixed in with everything else, a good grass growing autumn helps as all the clippings really speed the process. I try hard to collect when the leaves are wet as it makes a huge difference to breaking down and also means the settle in the bins better rather than being all fluffy.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,248
    @rossdriscoll13 Our old petrol mower does not even pick up the grass cuttings never mind any leaves.  And 95% of the leaves here fall on the drive or the soil, not the lawn. The ones which do end up on the grass I use a lawn rake to collect.
    The amount of work to collect leaves, spread them out, mow them two or three times is just not worth doing, sorry.
    @Wilderbeast Glad that your local area is so litter free. Here the lane along side the property is festooned with litter of all kinds, especially after the bin men have been. I have watched stuff blowing out of their vehicle as they drive along.
    Yesterday, on my walk, I actually found an almost complete pineapple and that was on the edge of the pavement, not in the gutter.
    Anyway thanks for the answers folks.
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