It has a rich earthy scent and a crumbly compost texture. Looking for the perfect camping gift for your outdoorsy friend or family member? Leaf Compost, Leaf Mold, Leaf Mulch. And you can make it too. If they don’t get raked up, they’ll make a nice mat when the rain comes and smother the grass below. In fact, a second bin can be helpful to catch the liquid that leaches out of the first bin. You can make a dedicated leaf mould bin for them (see picture), make a loop of chicken wire attached to an upright post, or just stuff them into a plastic bag. You can use a standard compost bin to make leaf mould too, but bear in mind that you won’t be able to put other garden waste in it for quite a while! Unlike a regular compost bin, making leaf mould compost is done in an open container, with a mesh net holding your leaves in place. link to When To Fertilize Blueberries: Seasonal Plant Food Timing For Blueberry Bushes, link to 32 Camping Gifts Perfect For Outdoorsy Friends Or Nature-Loving Family Members, this excellent small-scale composting guide from the Cornell Waste Management Institute, Fall Leaves (lots of different types of deciduous leaves is perfect), Coffee Grounds (or other nitrogen-rich organic material such as grass clippings or manure), Watch to see when the leaves fall to the ground. These bins are then lined with chicken wire to allow air flow and to help the leaves break down. Too much nitrogen, however, will cause the compost to become slimy and smell bad. The collected leaves need air and moisture to break down. Traditional way – for large amounts of leaves (2 years +) Quick bin liner method – Smaller amounts of leaves (12 months) The traditional way of making leaf mould involves creating composting bins of at least 1m x 1m in diameter. - About Mary Jane (https://www.homefortheharvest.com/authors/about-mary-jane-duford/), When To Fertilize Blueberries: Seasonal Plant Food Timing For Blueberry Bushes. According to the this excellent small-scale composting guide from the Cornell Waste Management Institute, leaves have a C:N ratio of anywhere to 30-80:1. Carbon-rich materials are generally dry and brittle, like shredded paper or fallen leaves. We have only a two-bin compost system, so we don’t have a storage bin (the third bin). When nitrogen is not used, leaf mould is the result. First, we mow over the leaves with a mulching lawnmower. The bin should be no smaller than 18 gallons, and it must have a lid. Thicker leaves like sycamore, beech and chestnut take longer to rot down - though you can speed up the process by shredding them first. Logged Gardening organically on chalky, stony soil. Coffee grounds are a particularly good nitrogen resource. Not only does shredding create smaller pieces to compost, it tears multiple edges of the leaf fragments, causing them to deteriorate even faster. Some grass clippings are dry and not all that nitrogen-rich! How to make leaf mould: Monty Don’s top tips. The benefits of leaf mould composting. 2. Lastly, leaf mold compost makes perfect organic plant food! There’s no need to cover the leaves to keep the rain out, but if you do then check the pile from time to time to make sure it’s still moist. Leaf mould can be used as a mulch, as a soil amendment, as a substitute for peat moss in containers and raised beds, and it can be added as brown matter to your compost bin. It’s a great organic method for creating homemade compost. Use it as mulch or incorporate it into the soil, or both. Green mold is seen in compost with a lot of food waste. Another easy way to make leaf mold is to use a large composting bin. Don’t worry if you’re mixing in grass clippings as you go – that’s a good thing! Store the bag(s) somewhere out of direct sunlight. The compost bin doesn’t have to be a complex structure and you can even compost in a pile. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site. Composting leaves also reduces the overall space required in landfills. Good quality, well-rotted leafmould (more than two years old) can be used as seed-sowing compost, or mixed equally with sharp sand, garden compost and good quality soil for use as potting compost. Pile leaves up separately in a bespoke leaf mould bin or cage and you’ll have the perfect material to use for mulching and potting in years to come. D. Do not To do in December. Use the wheelbarrow to transport the first load of leaves to the compost bin or designated patch of land. The compost is finally transferred to the third bin, which is used to store finished compost for immediate use. New blueberry bushes can be planted in pre-fertilized soil,... 32 Camping Gifts Perfect For Outdoorsy Friends Or Nature-Loving Family Members. 4. Nitrogen kick-starts decomposition. Then the leaves fall to the ground surface, providing nutrients to smaller plants and back to the tree. Leaf mould is a great organic method for creating homemade compost. Trees fill their leaves all summer with nutrients drawn from deep within the ground. It adds nutrients to the garden soil and the larger particle size helps enhance the tilth and loosen compacted earth. On our lawn however, leaves must be raked up. Dianne Oxberry ‘Sunshine Garden’ for BBC North West, Traditional way – for large amounts of leaves (2 years +), Quick bin liner method – Smaller amounts of leaves (12 months), Garden Shredder (if you’re really in a rush for the good stuff!). You get some exercise while you work on your compost. m.). Don’t let the fallen leaves kill your lawn if you don’t want them to. Because it can be difficult to create a pile with an exact ratio of 30:1 carbon to nitrogen, I generally err on the side of excess carbon because I’d prefer the pile take a bit longer than to have a slimy, smelly mess in my yard. This is one of the processes that trees use to out-compete grass! Vegetable bed, newly mulched with leaf mold & homemade compost. The Bin Bag Method It’s best done when they’re damp, Monty says, but don’t worry if the times when you can gather aren’t those when there’s been rain as you can … Most weeds and weed seeds are killed. You can eventually get fancy with compost if that’s your jam, measuring the temperature, perfecting the moisture content, and calculating your amounts of ingredients….but for now, just get started! As far as pH goes, pine needles tend to make an acidic leaf mould. How to Compost Leaves Grass clippings have a C:N ratio of 12-25:1. The process is slow - a couple or three years - but the product - leaf mold is … Add an equal mix of green and brown materials. Also, It will take more time to prepare than ordinary compost using kitchen waste. The easiest way to make leaf mould is to collect leaves in black plastic bin liners. It helps to improve soil structure, improves drainage (in heavy/clay soils), improves moisture retentiveness to assist in drought, and adds healthy beneficial micro-organisms and fungi to your soil. Site the bin somewhere out of the way and fill it with layers of leaves as they are collected, treading down the pile periodically to get more in. This isn’t the fastest way of composting, but it’s the most practical for our household. It decomposes slowly and adds nutrients gradually to feed plants and improve the soil structure. Leaf mould is an excellent mulch which can help improve your soil condition and protect plants from water stress during periods of high temperatures during the summer months. Home-made compost can be generated from all your plant prunings – woody or otherwise – lawn clippings and fruit and vegetable peelings from the kitchen. Just try to approximate as best you can and adjust your recipe as you go to suit your unique ingredients. Keep the 30:1 ratio in mind and adjust for any other nitrogen sources like grass clippings that might be mixed in with the leaves (remember that the. We only get leaves once a year…they should be saved and treasured, not trucked to our landfills to take up space. After 12 months check the bag, if the contents are a dark brown rich colour, then the mould is ready. 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