How To Make Leaf Mould
Rob Scott from Holland Park in London goes through the basics of making leaf mould which can be used to fertilise your soil.
Step 1: You will need
- A wire cage or bin bags
- A leaf rake
- Clap hands to collect the leaves
- A wheel barrow
- A garden fork
- Bone meal
Step 2: Leaf selection
Sycamore, plane, glossy leaved evergreens and gums are not recommended for leaf mould as they break down too slowly. The best leaves to use are deciduous leaves from a variety of species to ensure the leaf mould contains a variety of nutrients. Pine needles should be collected in a separate heap as they create an acid leaf mould which can be used for plants such as rhododendrons, azaleas and heathers.
Step 3: Collect the leaves
Rake up the leaves after rainfall or when they are damp as this will aid the decaying process. Place the leaves in a wire cage to aid circulation, or in a heap in a damp, shady corner of the garden. Leaf mould is low in nitrogen so Rob recommends adding a handful of bone meal to increase the levels of this nutrient. You can also put them in bin bags. Tie the bags up and make several holes to allow air to circulate around the leaves.
Step 4: Leave to decompose
The leaves will take about a year to form a useable leaf mould. They will need to be turned with a garden fork a few times during the year to create an even leaf mould. See VideoJug's 'How to use leaf mould' for tips on what to do next.