Leaf mould - turn those autumn leaves into precious soil

"Imagine if each leaf were a single note in a song, and as they dropped from the tree, it was the tree singing about the summer that had passed."

If each and every leaf matters and belongs on your property, then the next question is how to manage them all? 

Here are some quick tips: 

  • first up, leave some at the base of the tree, this is the natural cycle of each deciduous tree, to create its own mulch for the winter months. 
  • the excess leaves can be bagged up to make leaf mould - see the steps below. 
  • autumn leaves are super in your compost bin, and I just like to remind people to stir their compost periodically, so that the leaves don't form a solid layer inside your compost bin.

Steps to making leaf mould

  1. Bag up the leaves, or get them into an enclosure, so they don't blow away.  I use the giant wool fadge bags (Mitre10 sell these for about $12 each)
  2. Turn them once a month or so. I use a compost aerator for this. 
  3. You'll notice the leaves start compacting after a couple of months, and you can either keep adding more leaves, or keep that mix as is, to end up with finished leaf mould sooner. 
  4. When it's all looking like soil, then you have a choice to make - where to use it? I like this as a summer mulch around fruit trees, but I also find it an incredible ingredient in potting mix, as it holds so much moisture while being very light and airy.

DIY Potting mix

You'll find a recipe for potting mix inside my free course 'Foundations of Edible Gardening'  - once you start making your own soil blends, you may wonder why we were all brainwashed into thinking commercial potting mix was better than what we can make at home from our own ingredients. 

Good luck with this journey of discovery.

Ideas for innovative edible gardening solutions using biodynamic methods to make exquisite compost is what the world needs right now. To see the full range of online courses go to blueborage.teachable.com or get in touch by email at katrina@blueborage.co.nz


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