Posted: 15/11/2016 at 21:56
I make leaf mould every year. I only have a small garden so am very picky about the leaves I collect! There is a fantastic old lime tree and those leaves break down very easily I find, within a year. I put them in black bin bags, punch some holes in them and make sure they are wet or at least somewhere where they will get rained on. After a while, when they have noticeably reduced in volume, I empty them into two old bins, which are effectively giant wormeries and the worms break them down into sticky, crumbly "black gold" in no time. I sieve the leaf mould and return most of the worms to the bins. There are lots of other trees around, and most of their leaves seem to end up in my garden. Not having a shredder or a mower, I don't bother with London Plane leaves - they are huge and like wooden dinner plates and take years to break down - I just put those out for the council to collect and process and burn some for woodash which goes on the border or in the compost bin. Similarly, I get rid of most of the sycamore leaves, as I find they just go slimy. I can put up with the bags stacked in various corners around the garden in the winter. From spring, I gradually process them and spread the leaf mould on the borders in the summer to help reduce watering. It is lovely stuff. Usually by the time the first leaves start to fall - at the end of August - I have processed the previous year's harvest and it all starts again! It has really improved the quality of my soil, which was sick and yellow when I took on my garden and is now black and full of life. It's definitely worth doing.