Sunday , June 25 2017

Leaf mold is one of the most valued sources of organic matter a gardener can use. It makes an excellent soil conditioner, improve drainage and water retention, but it also has low levels of nutrients and is usually slightly acidic.

Although leaves can be included on the compost heap, they are best composted separately, as they are slow to break down, which is likely to take a year or more. Mid autumn is the best time to start making a leaf mold because of the quantity of the fallen leaves.

For large gardens, the traditional method of making leaf mold is to have wire-sided composters that hold the leaves as they decompose. Staple chicken wire to 2 wooden stakes of equal length. Then hammer the stakes 30 cm into the ground. Insert 2 more stakes into the ground and staple the wire to them, securing the 2 cut ends of wire to one of the stakes.

Make Leaf Mold

A leaf mold bin should be broad and reasonably low to allow for easy access to the middle. You will need to compact the leaves after putting them in by treading on them, or firming with a rake. Except for watering in dry weather, they need little further attention while decompose.

But if we take into consideration that the average garden is small, it may be difficult to find room to make leaf mold, but this does not mean it is impossible.

Plastic bags, such old potting compost bag, trash bags or fertilizer bags make good alternative containers for bins and they ca be stored in any extra space around the garden. Make few holes with a fork in the bag for drainage. Collect the leaves and place them in the bag, to every layer of leaves add a small amount of organic fertilizer, this will help the leaves to decompose a bit faster.

When the bag is almost full, place it in the position where it is to be left while its content decompose and water it thoroughly so that the contents are soaking wet. Check it from time to time to see when is ready.

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