>> Friday, November 18, 2011
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, about now you can be sure of one thing. Your garden is full of fallen leaves. While many people see these as an inconvenience merely to be swept up and disposed of, in reality they are a great resource for the gardener
Given enough time, fallen leaves turn into one of the most wonderful products for your garden- leaf mold. A dark brown crumbly soil conditioner that will enhance the growing power of your soil.
All you need to get from leaves to leaf mold, is time and a small amount of water and patience. If you have a large enough garden, the easiest thing to do is to construct a pen for your leaves- four wooden posts stuck firmly into the soil with something between the posts to hold the leaves in. Chicken wire is traditionally used, and cheap.
Alternatively you could build a bin made of wooden delivery pallets or whatever spare wood you have around the garden. A leaf bin is much easier to construct than a compost heap in which you want to compost foodstuffs,as it does not need to be vermin proof. It does not need to be of a minimum size to allow for hot composting, all it needs is to hold the leaves in an not let them blow back around your garden, allow some air circulation and allow the odd shower of rain to moisten the leaves.
If you do not have enough room for a dedicated leaf mold bin, you could just place leaves in a black plastic sack, punch several holes in the sack and leave for a year or two. Not the most pretty option, but effective. There are also a number of decomposable leaf sacks on the market that you can pack you leaves in. The advantage of these is that if you forget about them, you won't have black plastic lying around your garden, and they look alot prettier than a pile of black rubbish sacks.