This is the time of year to gather your leaves and make the best soil improver you can find – Leafmould. It is by far the most efficient way to deal with leaves and it means you can re-use them in the garden, saving your petrol on the dump-run or the cost of someone else disposing of them.
Leafmould is a good alternative to peat in your potting mixes, plus it makes for a fantastic organic mulch and all-round soil-improver.
It is really easy to make. Either gather your leaves up and store them in a chicken-wire bin, where the air and moisture can help the decaying process, or simply pack them into black plastic bags which have air holes punched into them and which can be stored in a hidden corner of the garden for next year. Just make sure they don’t dry out, stalling the decomposition.
Monty Don’s tip is to spread your leaves along a path and mow them with the blade on a high setting. This chops them up and gets the process off to a good start. You can also buy leaf blowers/vacuums that will do the same.
The leaf mould will be ready for use next autumn when it will have fully broken down into a gorgeous friable and fresh mixture for you to use.