Leaf mould

so i went out and bagged 4 large black sacks worth of leaves.

seems quite embarrassing to collect off of the street but luckily not out side peoples houses. probably another 20bags worth on this small 200yards of country lane.  I feel i will need to go back for more but could also do with other types of trees.


 got my chicken wire area


not sure how im going to chop the leaves uip though, dont think my fly mower would work that great.

i want to use a fair bit before winter to put on rockery and beds to stop weeds and keep warm and then also leave a load to create leaf compost next year


any further tips?







  • I'don't think that's quite how it works B-M.

    Leaves need a long time to break down - at least one year, and better still, two.

    I keep a pair of leaf mould areas, one vbuilding this years heap, and one containing last years. As it becomes ready I either spread it around, or bag it up for future use.  It rots down to about an eigth of the original (compressed) pile.  That way you have cleared the area ready for next autumn.

    It's well worth dong, if you have the space.  Good Luck.





  • Yes a year to rot down but can also just use as mulch

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,660

    Marc, be careful using the leaves on your rockery. They're inclined to blow about and you might end up with something smothered.

  • also, if you don't let them rot down first you may be introducing all sorts of pests and diseases into the soil, especially as these are collected from the wild.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Deffo - wait a year or more till they're well-broken down into leaf mould.  You therefore need two heaps - one of this year's leaves rotting down and one of last year's, rotted and nearly ready to use.

    You can use a rotary mower to chop them up before they go in the heap; they will take up less space and rot quicker that way, but still several months.

    Good idea about collecting them from the streets, as long as there's not too much rubbish and dog effluent mixed in.  I always wait till the council roadsweeper has swept and bagged them for me, then go round in the car collecting a dozen or so bags at a time.  Three trips like that produce enough leaves for each year's heap.  Quite right to go for a mixture of leaves.  Oak and beech are the best (of course), sycamore are awful (of course), holly and ivy are slow and anything coniferous takes years to rot (because of the resin) and produces acidic and poor-quality stuff.

  • I have a hover mower that may not be that good but will a bit

    Main places I wanted around garden are places to stop things growing/over growing.  And weeds 


    Most councils normally bag and take

  • High up here in the hills the main trees are sycamore and a few ash. Most of my leaf mould is sycamore and neither I nor my plants have a problem with it!

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    That's good Buttercup; I've found they take ages to rot and the resulting leafmould doesn't smell and feel as good as from other leaves.  Chacun a son gout!

    BM - my council takes it away as well.  The sweeper leaves (ahem) the bags in piles on street corners for the lorry to pick up later but I get in first.  Having said that, I shan't be doing it thia year coz I'm not there image

  • My leaf mould that I made just over 12 months ago has come out quite good. Would not say that it has rotted down completely, but good enought to spread on my boarders as an autumn mulch. Some other I made 18 months ago is just a bit finer in consistency. That  leaf mould was created by using simple black plastic bin liners with a few holes made In them. Quite simple really if you haven't got the area for chicken wire compound

  • B3B3 Posts: 11,384

    Why is sycamore awful?

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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