Are you tired of burning your old leaves? Do you try to throw them onto your garden, but they end up flying all over the place?
Don’t give up on your leaves yet. Instead, put them to good use and let your garden prosper because of them.
Whether you have leaves hanging around from winter, or they’re getting ready to take over your yard during autumn, take advantage of what nature is giving you by making leaf mold.
Unfamiliar with what leaf mold is? I’m going to introduce you, fill you in on the benefits, tell you how to make your own, let you know how to use it, and how it’s different from typical compost.
Here’s what you and your garden should know about leaf mold:
What Is Leaf Mold and How Can It Help my Garden?
If you have leaves in your yard, you may collect them and toss them on your garden as is or add them to your compost pile.
You can now pile your leaves up by themselves and make a simple product for your garden. Leaf mold is basically leaves which are piled up and allowed to decompose.
eaf mold has fully processed when it turns a dark color and has a crumbly texture.
Leaf mold is great for adding to your garden because it helps the soil retain moisture. This leads to less watering during the growing season.
It could also mean you won’t have to worry about your plants as much when dry spells hit during the hottest parts of summer.
If you would like some help with your garden soil, leaf mold is the easy, free, and effective tool which could benefit you.
Is Leaf Mold Fancy Compost?
Is leaf mold sounding a great deal like compost? It is similar which is why many people add their leaves to their compost.
The difference between leaf mold and compost is compost is a nutritious element for your garden and is great for your soil too.
Leaf mold is more of an additive to your soil. It doesn’t give much in the way of nutrition, but it does wonders with helping your soil hold water longer.
It also creates a great grow space for your plants because it draws positive things to the area. For instance, worms and good bacteria love to hang out around leaf mold.
If compost isn’t enough for your garden, and you’d like a different option to use alongside it, use what you already have and make leaf mold.
How Do I Make Leaf Mold?
Make leaf mold. Make leaf mold.
I’ve said it approximately four times now, and you may be saying, “Okay. I’m convinced! How do I make it already?”
There are two basic methods for making your own leaf mold. Here’s how you go about it:
1. Rake the Yard
In this method, you do as you traditionally would when leaves are hanging around on your grass, and you don’t want them there.
You begin by using a rake or leaf blower to gather all the leaves up from your yard. This not only gives you great material to work with, but it makes your yard look tidier too.
2. Make a Pile
Once all the leaves are gathered together, make them into a pile. Try to make the pile approximately three to four feet wide.
You can do this by making a basic pile, or you can build a compost style bin for your leaves to be placed in. The bin might keep your leaves together better than a basic pile would.
3. Wait and Distribute
When all the leaves have been piled together, you should keep an eye on them to make sure they stay moist. The leaves will have to be left to decompose for six months to a year.
But you can wet the leaves during dry parts of the year. You can also speed up the decomposing process by shredding the leaves prior to adding them to a pile. When the proper color and texture have been reached, they’re ready for use.
1. Rake the Yard
Like with the other method, it all must begin with the daunting chore of raking leaves or using a leaf blower to herd them in one direction.
When you’ve tidied your yard and gathered the leaves, you’ll not only feel better but be grateful for this natural product which will help your garden.
2. Bag Up Your Goodies
Take the leaves you’ve gathered and put them in a black yard-size garbage bag. Cut holes in the bag to allow for ventilation.
When all the leaves have made their way into the bag, you can tie the bag up and put it in a safe location where the leaves will no longer be in your way.
3. Wet and Wait
As you’re waiting on the leaves to decompose, remember to wet them periodically. It’s a good idea to wet them when they first go into the bag and again when they feel dry throughout the year.
Keep in mind, leaf mold takes approximately six months or more to make. You can shred leaves using this method as well to help speed up the decomposing process.
Where to Use Leaf Mold
Once the leaf mold is made, what should you do with it? There are three common ways you can use leaf mold. Here’s what you should know:
1. Add to Soil
When your leaf mold has finished decomposing, you can use the simplest method of using it by tossing it into the garden.
You can add it at the same time you add compost and till the leaf mold into the soil prior to planting. Remember, this won’t add much nutrition to your soil, but this will help the soil hold on to water which is great for your plants.
If you add leaf mold and compost to the soil at the same time, you’re giving your garden a boost of nutrition and helping it become the sponge it must be to keep your plants happy and healthy.
2. Mulch It
Leaf mold is also an inexpensive mulch. It can cost you nothing if you have enough leaves in your own yard.
Even if you don’t have enough leaves on your own, I’m sure your neighbors would be more than happy to get rid of their unwanted leaves.
Allow the leaves to break down into leaf mold and apply it a few inches thick around the base of your plants in the garden or around your shrubs.
It’ll make sure everything has the greatest chance of being watered as adequately as possible.
3. Container Gardening
When you grow a container garden, one of the most difficult parts can be to keep each container watered properly.
If you add a layer of leaf mulch to each container, it’ll help the soil hold more water and make it easier on you as the gardener as well.
When plants have adequate water, they become stronger, healthier, and better producers. By adding this one easy-to-make substance, you could improve the health of your container garden drastically.
You now know what leaf mold is, how to make it, how it can benefit your garden, and how it can be used around the garden.
Hopefully, this will inspire you to try some new techniques when gardening. It could be what gives your garden a boost and gives you a magnificent harvest too.
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