The Bride's Picture And A Bit About Leaf Mould

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Sjoerd, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    tuin6.jpg

    So, she said, "why don't you take a foto of the leaves"?
    I fetched the camera and then she proceeded to tell me what angle, how to compose the setting and the enumerated the various attributes this foto would show. "It's not just a foto, it shows many things". That is true it shows our little work area with some tools, shady sitting bench, tidily stored sticks and hoops, water butts, nicely pruned Buddleja, the wheel barrow and of course the leaves. The greenhouse can also be seen through the distant arch.

    Well, I tapped the button on the fone...but it is, in all honesty her pic. One mistake that I made was to leave the blue and black leaf bags lying over by the water butt. Oops!

    It is a wonderful soil conditioner.
    Now then, there are a couple of ways of making leaf mould.
    You can make is regularly (using beech, hornbeam or even oak); or out of leaf/needle sorts that will produce a great acidic pH product for use with blueberry bushes, azalias, rhodi's and the like.
    ** sycamore, chestnut and walnut leaves are thicker and tougher, thus break down more slowly.

    The purists maintain that the best leaf mould must taker at lease two full years. I sometimes make some and wait, but usually I just heap all leaf sorts available into my compost bins and let them break down. I am not sure why but they totally disappear over the winter and it looks like fine dirt.

    How to make:
    1-- Gather dry, dead leaves. Shred them (exempli gratia, with the lawnmower).
    **Perhaps you would want to add some grass clippings to the leaves and this will make your mould even more nutritious.

    2-- Moisten the leaves with water.

    3-- Place them in a dark bin liner (plastic garbage bag) and loosely close it at the top. Perforate the plastic bag with a border fork or some other impliment, making several holes.

    4-- Set the bags aside for a couple of years and wait.
    ** You can turn the leaves inside and add more water over the months. The aeration will help with the breaking-down process.

    Uses:
    You can use finished leaf mould as a seeding medium. This can be mixed with sand, compost or good topsoil. It can also be used as a potting soil. Leaf mould that is not two years old or of a poor quality can be used for mulch or to add to your soil as an improver.

    Well, a big thanks to the Bride for suggesting this foto which gave me the opportunity to chat about leaf mould as well.
     
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  3. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Inspiring SJ. Please tell the bride I like her photo composition. You were good to let her direct you.
    Too late here to get industrious about the leaves: they are already snow covered. We mulch them with our lawn mower & leave them on the lawn to decompose. I'll need to spread lime in the spring...too late now!

    I like your "recipe" though...maybe I'll try it next year.
     
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  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    There's just nothing like a big bag of leaf mould for the garden is there? Nice photograph - you followed you bride's instructions really well Sjoerd!! ;)
     
  5. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    I shall indeed tell her.
    "Let"....Let her direct me? Chortle. One doesn't let this strong woman do anything. cackle.
    No but she is an accomplished photographer and has made some really lovely foto's in the past. She has a great eye for "the shot", if you know what I mean. I have posted many of her foto's on this website through the years. Further when we travelled extensively, she also took some of the slides of the important things that we saw.

    If you try leaf mould it will be interesting to hear how it goes.
    I am a little surprised to hear that you already have snow on the ground over there. Gowad!

    EILEEN---Thanks much. You are right--there's nothing like leaf mould. It is an undervalued gardening process, I feel.
     
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