Leaf Mold (leafmold) is an economical (free!), organic and effective soil enhancer for your garden soil!
First: What is Leaf Mold (leafmold)
Leaf mold (leafmold) = well-decayed leaves.
Why Use Leaf Mold (leafmold):
breaks up clay soil
helps sandy soil hold moisture and nutrients
is a garden fertilizer that can be used instead of manure
Leaf mold is a reasonably neutral soil enhancer, even if using acidic leaves such as oak leaves, in that once the decaying process has completed, most of the acid has deteriorated and is no longer present in the end-product.
Note: Leaf mold (leafmold) is also helpful as an economical nutrient-rich organic mulch for the garden and landscaping.
How to make Leaf Mold (leafmold)
Any deciduous (not evergreen) leaves will do.
Select a spot in your yard that is out-of the way, and does not hold standing water
Rake you leaves to that location, into a pile
Keep the leaves moist during dry spells
Turn the pile with a pitch-fork, every 6 months or so
Each fall, start a new pile, to provide a continuous supply of leaf mold
Depending upon your climate, it will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 years for the leaves to fully decay.
Note: Try to use only leaves from healthy insect-free plants. If you have leaves that are diseased or infested, the best thing do with those is to burn them in a controlled setting.
How to use leaf mold in the garden?
Use it when planting your garden (or containers) at a ratio of 1/3 leaf mold to 2/3 soil.
Mulch around your seedlings or landscaping to:
Fertilize the plants
Keep the roots cool
Help cut down on the need to water as frequently
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.