Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

The leaves are starting to turn

by Diane - October 5th, 2012.
Filed under: Composting.

It’s autumn and leaves are starting to change colour here. Soon they’ll be falling and then is the time to rake them all up. Get as many as you can. If you only have a few then a great technique is to empty them on to the lawn and mow them up. Empty the resulting grass/leaf mix into bags and leave to break down. Otherwise pile them into a heap or black bags and leave to rot down. Leaves take a while to break down so it’s not quick but it is a good organic material that’s worth collecting.
You can pile them thickly on the soil as a mulch.
Leafmold is a great soil covering for winter. The worms will pull it down into the soil where it will enrich the soil and create a better soil structure. it’s especially good for next years carrot and parnsip bed. This is because it encourages a very fine tilth which root vegetables need to grow well.
If you can ever find piles of old leaf mould you’ll discover just how amazing the stuff is. It’s like the best compost soil you’ll ever find. It’s great for growing all sorts of vegetables in. I managed to fill a couple of raised beds with it this year and have grown amazing onions, leeks, and spring onions. It’s given me great sized veggies too and they’ve grown better than ones in the ground!

If you are a kind neighbour then you might also find it’s good to rake up neighbours paths and drives if they are covered in leaves. This will provide you with extra leaves to rot down for next year. A quiet word with your other neighbours might get you bags of leaves dropped off.
You can’t have too much leaf mould. It’s fantastic stuff. Apply generously everywhere as a mulch if you have lots of it. Otherwise apply to a few places in a good layer.
You can compost leaves by having a leaf pile, a leaf wire bin, stuffing them in black bin bags, or by chopping with grass and leaving in bin bags again. Any of these techniques can be used – the mixing with grass cuttings with a mower should be the quickest way to something very usable though.