Leaf Mould!



  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    My leaves are from my lilac, pear, plum and apple tree. Haven't taken the plunge and looked in the bag yet image Will do tomorrow if the weather is good image

  • Hope it lived up to expectations - if not, just close the bag again and leave it a while longer, maybe even another year. If it seems dry, add some water because leaf mould needs to be kept damp. Apart from that it's just a matter of time and patience.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,923
    My leaves are all bagged up now. Just wondering what's the difference, or why don't i, just put them around plants as a mulch or on the normal compost?
  • you could just put them around plants as a mulch, they should rot down eventually, I find, though, that the wind blows them into corners where  nothing is growing! It depends on the leaves as well. I won't bother trying to rot down the London Plane leaves that will carpet my garden in a week or so. They are so big and woody they take ages to rot and if I leave them on the ground they smother everything, so I gather them up for the council to take away. However I obsessively gather up smaller leaves and especially the leaves from the Lime tree in my garden, as those rot down really quickly - should be ready by this time next year.  Leaves will rot down in the compost heap too as long as you have lots of green stuff - like grass clippings - mixed in with them.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,923
    Nothing easier either gg.thanks.
  • Quite a lot of leaves in our garden do end up getting stuck in the corners, underneath bushes, etc, but we still gather up most of them for composting.

    I think that if you try to use them as mulch, they'll blow around and end up in useles heaps in the corners, by walls etc, or littering your lawns and paths. I suppose this does little harm, but it may provide a cosy retreat for slugs and snails, and sometimes it may smother little plantlets or seedlings that are struggling to reach the light.

    You can put them all in with the other compost, but if there are substantial layers of leaves, they may not break down as fast as the rest, and this may delay the time when the compost is ready to use. We keeps ours separate, so that if the leaf mould isn't ready but the compost is, we can use the compost and cover up the leaves for a while longer.

  • Leaf mould is made when leaves are broken down by mainly fungal action, whereas compost is made by bacterial action. Leaves can be added to compost when it can help speed up the rotting process, but generally it's best to keep leaves separate, as recommended by Punkdoc, Dove, and Green Magpie.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,846

    We sort of combine the two really 

    Dovefromabove wrote (see)

    Our ash leaves are breaking down well in six months in bin bags - in  a year it's fine to use as leafmould, but we actually add it to the compost heap in layers the year after gathering them (so at about 6 months) as we find it helps make the compost mix work better, and because we don't have a lot of space to keep it in bags. 


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • GG if you collect them with the lawn mower they will not be so big.

    Have collected about a dozen bagz so far this year.

    Last years emptied from bags into their own newly constructed compost bin with new bags sitting on top.

    They take time to decay but not going anywhere soon I hope.

  • problem is I have no lawn ...well, not a grass one anyway, I've created a mind-your-own-business one, so no lawn mowing! but agree, if you can mow up leaves with grass you get a pretty perfect mix for the compost bin image. I  prefer to keep leaves separate as leaf mould is such wonderful stuff. I gather it up in bags initially, and then as they break down, some of them go into two old pedal bins which are full of worms and they turn it into fab crumbly compost for me. I only have a small garden so have to limit myself to the leaves that break down quickly. It's definitely worth doing though - you can't buy leaf mould (I don't think so anyway, I've never seen it for sale)

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