Making Good Use of Fallen Leaves

Fallen leaves can be put to good use by raking them off the grass and onto beds and borders so that they decompose into nutrient rich leaf mould - a natural soil conditioner.

Leaves that fall on lawns and beds can prevent light and air getting through, suffocating underneath. It also encourages unwanted slugs, snails and fungal diseases.

If there is an excess of fallen leaves they can be composted down. Leaf mould compost should be kept separate from a conventional mixed compost heap, when leaves are layered with other compost they form a soggy mess that doesn’t decompose as well. Dry, dead leaves decompose at a slower rate than living green material.

The best way to compost leaves is in a small wire-netting enclosure with four inch layers of leaves being interspersed with light coverings of soil. A heap like this will take about a year to decompose. A conventional heap will take about six to eight months.