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Monty's Leaf mould making

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  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,572
    My leaf mould is a mixed salad: apple, pear, cherry, three enormous ash trees, a stand of silver birches, several pollarded beeches, a magnolia and various shrubs. My system is simple - I let the gardener and neighbour do it! With a blower and a rake the gardener spends 30 minutes every Thursday morning assembling the leaves, and the neighbour who is quite fastidious about fallen leaves in her garden, passes me a big builder’s bag every couple of weeks. 

    We store the leaves in four ‘dalek’ compost bins with overflow put in pierced black plastic sacks. In September the stuff is consolidated - usable mould is bagged up, half-decomposed is put into a single dalek and three empty daleks are on standby to receive the autumnal offerings. I’m sure it would decompose more swiftly if the leaves were shredded but, as is the case with so much in my life, I can’t be arsed. 
    Rutland, England
  • FireFire Posts: 18,019
    edited October 2022
    My system is simple - I let the gardener and neighbour do it!

    Perhaps we should retire the forum @BenCotto and instead put up a notice
     "let the gardener do it"
    :D

  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    I did wonder how you'd weighed it @Palustris! 😁
    I also fill two 'tonne' bags, and last year a third but with dry leaves, kept undercover, to top up the other two ( but it didn't happen!) so although too heavy to drag, that bag wasn't a tonne. 
    Perhaps half as much again goes into my compost bins.

    You have a lovely garden, and beautiful trees. I can appreciate how much work goes into it and hope it repays you with enjoyment.


  • FireFire Posts: 18,019
    @Palustris why so few worms?
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,248
    @Fire. No idea, probably because he previous owners swept up and threw away the leaves so that the soil is rather humus depleted. We are working to improve the soil as fast as we are able. There are definitely more worms now than there were when we started here.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,019
    How long have you been there?
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,248
    Three and a half years now.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    Lots of leaves raked up on the riverbank ready for collecting, I've always mowed them up in the past but was stopped by the environment agency man who lives in the village and told me to cease and desist with the mower 😢😢. I know him well and he's a customer but says it got back to some pen pusher and they aren't happy (thinks someone has reported me). 
  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    Oh heck, @Wilderbeast. Did he give a reason? Maybe the EA think you're staking a claim to the riverbank..... 
  • BenCotto said:
    I’m trying to visualise 3 tonnes.

    I’d guess a fertiliser bag which is half full of leaf mould so it’s not too heavy to lift might weigh 20kg. I think you could manage to barrow 4 of those bags at a time. Therefore 3 tonnes = 40 wheelbarrow loads. That’s a lot.

    Applying the mulch at a depth of 10 cm, how many square metres are covered?
    1m cube of water is one ton, this is 1m wide, 1m high and 1m deep, that's 1000kg.
    Obviously this is very dense so a 1m cube of soil is approx a ton too.
    If leaf mould is a similar density/weight to soil or water then 1m cube is about a ton.

    1m cube of leaves is nothing like that, but it depends if it's loose or compressed! 
    A reasonably strong man could drag 1m cube of leaves, so reckon on about 100 -200kg.

    The upshot is, any gardener/composter is crying a bit at all that good material being possibly wasted.....
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