Leaf mould success!

LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,332

My first try seems to have gone well. 

image

It was a very full builder's bulk bag to start with, now much reduced but still a nice amount. This is what it looks like sieved:

image

But I don't think I can face sieving it all! I was thinking of maybe sieving enough for a compost sack and then using the rest as a mulch on my beds. Would that be a good course of action, do you think? Any other ideas of what to do with it / how to make the most of it? 

Definitely going to make some more this year image.

Last edited: 25 November 2016 19:54:53

'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
- Cicero
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Posts

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 24,170

    That looks excellent! I have to confess that I never sieve my leaf mould, it just gets spread around the garden.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,332

    I hadn't thought of sieving it myself until I came across a video showing how to make a big sieve for compost and leaf mould and thought maybe that's what I was supposed to do! Ten minutes of sieving soon convinced me that it wasn't going to work out, but the sieved stuff IS lovely, and I think could be useful. 

    So you use it primarily as a mulch? 

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Worth getting a sieve with an appropriate mesh size if you do need to sieve it - holes not too small or it takes too long. It's easier to sieve over something large like a wheelbarrow instead of straight into a sack - you can shake it around more and hit it with your free hand.

    It looks pretty fine already though so breaking it up with the fork / by hand should be OK for most purposes.

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,177

    I think the purists like Monty use their own leaf mould in their home-made potting compost (not to be confused with home-made garden compost).  There's a formula to be had but it's probably like all things, you find your best recipe given the stuff you have available to you at home.  https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/sites/www.gardenorganic.org.uk/files/resources/fflp/A38-Making-potting-mixes.pdf

  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,332

    Thanks Onopordum, I am wondering about bending some chicken wire (just because I've got some) over my wheelbarrow as a makeshift sieve... or maybe I'll just fork it! The loveliness of the sieved version starts to persuade me then the practicalities change my mind. Need to get stuck in and see how I go. 

    That's a really interesting document, Cloggie, thanks - I'm going to print it out and keep it. I can't believe I've even got the means to attempt my own seed potting mix - feeling rather pleased with myself (and enthused about going and gathering next year's leaf mould from down my road this weekend). 

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,177

    I mix my leafmould with sand, garden compost, bit of bagged topsoil, bit of grit and a sprinkling of bonemeal for a planting mix whenever I put new plants in.  No idea if it's effective but it makes me feel satisfied that I tried! :)

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 24,170

    I just use it as a mulch LG but I do mix it with bought compost too - if I have enough. You start off with loads of leaves and then it goes away to nothing - bit like my steak!

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,332
    I still have some bulbs to plant in pots - can I use it for that? If so, what mix do you reckon? I've a few tulips, crocuses and a lot of alliums I'd completely forgotten about :-(.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 3,364

    I've just vacuumed up about half a green waste bin of leaves.  I can't set up a container to do anything with them at the moment, but could I just spread them as a mulch?  They have been chopped a bit by the vacuum but not shredded.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 13,546

    I do the same as Ladybird, use it as a mulch. There isn't nearly as much nutrition in leafmould as in general compost. I never sieve it, seems like a waste of time.

    It's best to let the leaves turn brown and crumbly, then hopefully any diseases or fungus will have gone by the time you use it. Also slugs and snails like living in fresh leaves. Though I do know a man who uses fresh leaves for mulching.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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