Greenbelt

The secret power of leaves

The fabulous colours of falling leaves are among the many wonderful features of Autumn.

But did you know these natural treasures can also be used to enrich our garden borders?

Yes, instead of raking leaves and tipping them into the garden recycling bin, why not make a leafmould?

Here’s how to do it in five easy steps!

Collection

First rake leaves from your lawn, driveway and borders (if you have a fancy leaf blower, this will make the job even easier!).

Selection

Some leaves break down easier than others, such as oak and beech, so use these first. Horse chestnut and sycamore are tougher and may need shredding.

Storage

Make sure the leaves are wet then store them in biodegradable leaf compost sacks, available at most garden centres, in a sheltered spot in the garden. In really dry weather (no, don’t laugh, it happens!), rewatering and turning the leaves are essential.

Dispersal

It takes around two years to create your lovely, rich leafmould. Now you can use it as a mulch on garden borders or flower beds, where it will retain moisture in the soil – and help stop pesky weeds!

So why not turn over an old leaf and get mulching?