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Autumn leaves


Time to harvest all those fallen leaves, just avoid walnut, laurel, holly and other leathery leaves. I have used mainly horse chestnut, sycamore and lime though oak, hornbeam and beech are usually recommended. I use a mower to mince them up a bit, if you want them really fine, do it twice. I stick at once and that takes long enough. Traditionally they are put in an enclosure that allows good airflow but I use two 'daleks', they are not much use for actual compost. I alternate layers of leaves then a thick layer of coffee grounds. if the leaves are dry I thoroughly wet each layer of leaves after putting it in. I leave the lids off the daleks but either leave them a little short of full so the wind doesn't blow them away or put a heavy wire mat over them. I have used a builders bulk bag in the past to hold them. Fill it then pierce the sides with a pickaxe if you feel the need, I didn't bother. If you are given, or acquire bags that are too ripped to use, all is not lost, cut them up for strawberry mats! I leave the leaves for two years but gather them every year so that each year I have a supply of crumbly leafmould.

I have a builders bag that has done sterling service and looks it.  Strawberry mats sounds good. 

We don't rake the leaves, but also mow them.  The bits of grass help speed up rotting down a lot and also of course they get chopped up as you described.  Maybe that does not make it pure leaf mold, but that is of little consequence.  :wave:


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