Composting & Prevention
With nothing added but time, fallen autumn leaves make a lovely composted product called leaf mould. Simply collect them and pile them in a wire mesh enclosure to stop them from blowing away. Even simpler, gather them in bags when the leaves are moist and leave the bags loosely piled. They do not need to be turned or have any green materials added – they will decompose in their own by the action of fungi and other decomposing organisms forming wonderful leaf mould!
Suitable Materials: leaves, leaves and more leaves!
- Leaf mould is low in nutrients and when mixed with compost, sand and soil makes a great potting soil.
- It is also an excellent soil improver due to its crumbly texture.
- Leaf mould tends to be slightly acidic (though how acidic depends on the type of tree from which the leaves came) so it’s good for acid-loving plants.
- Leaves (shredded is best) also make a good mulch around your trees, shrubs, and perennial plants. Read the full mulch and mulching guide.
Finally, leaves can also be stored near your compost bin or pile, so that you have a ready source of browns when you are composting grass, weeds, or other greens in the spring and summer. Simply mix an equal quantity of leaves with your greens, be sure to add moisture if needed and then place the mix in your compost bin or pile.