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Collecting fallen leaves

Posted: Wednesday 30 November 2011
by Pippa Greenwood

This morning the sun was shining and I was tempted to go into the garden, rather than do any work. So I started a leaf mould stack.


This morning the sun was shining and I was tempted to go into the garden, rather than do any work. So I started a leaf mould stack.

This autumn has progressed more slowly than most I can remember, with plenty of trees still in leaf. While some are golden yellow or foxy-brown, many have not turned from green.

However leaf fall has now started after a few blustery days. In fact it’s been so windy that I had trouble seeing out of my windscreen the other night, as leaves buffeted my car on the way back from a delightful gardening club in Wrabster, near Harwich.

I sort the leaves into different types, depending on their texture. The chunkier ones go into their own heap because they rot down more slowly. Beech and oak leaves have another pile as they turn into leaf mould quickly.

I get a bit aggressive with leaves that have large and tough midribs. Piling up horse chestnut and sycamore foliage, I use a sharp spade to cut up the leaves and help them on their way.

It has been dry here so I’ve been adding water to the heaps. I always add a handful of garden soil too – the moisture and micro-organisms in it help the composting process.

There are still a lot of piles to make, and plenty of leafy trees. But at least I’ve made a start – and the grass is no longer being smothered by golden leaves.



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Gardeners' World Web User 30/11/2011 at 09:10

I haven’t got enough room in my garden for a leaf heap so I put mine into plastic bin bags and it works very well. The results I get do wonders for my garden and it feels and smells just wonderful.

Gardeners' World Web User 30/11/2011 at 10:03

That is so like the sort of thing I say, Pippa – “I was tempted to go into the garden rather than do any work”. Many people think gardening too much work but not we aficionadoes who regard it as a pleasure. The sudden wind we had in Bristol yesterday robbed me of some of my leaf mould raw ingredients but, as you say, there are lots to come. The oak trees have not started yet.

Gardeners' World Web User 30/11/2011 at 15:13

Well, in my front garden (North Derbyshire) I have 3 daffodils in flower! Is this a record?

Gardeners' World Web User 02/12/2011 at 08:58

I enjoy picking up the leaves in my garden. I don,t rake much as i get grass and other debris in it that way.I have made leaf mould for a couple of years now. I don’t have a big garden but usually manage a couple of black sacks.
My star of bethlehem is still out( from June).

Gardeners' World Web User 02/12/2011 at 09:46

I’ve had a primrose, forsythia and winter jasmine flowering since November. Seasons have seemed rather confused this year!

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