You must look in your garden and see those fallen autumn leaves. You might also think they are such a nuisance and want to get rid of them immediately. However, I would suggest you don’t do it. Instead, think of them as an investment because they can be a free amendment for your garden soil. That’s right, you can turn those multi-colored autumn leaves into something beneficial for your garden soil. Thus, you will be making a DIY rich leaf mold to enhance soil structure. Keep on reading to see how!
First off, what is leaf mold?
Thus, you need to know what it is to get to why you need it. Hence, leaf mold is a form of compost that is created by letting leaves decompose over a period of time. Thus, this leaf mold will be beneficial for your soil structure. How does it do it? Well, this rich leaf mold increases the ability of soil to retain water. Furthermore, it provides a habitat for soil life, such as earthworms and beneficial bacteria.
Perhaps the best part of all will convince you more. Other than the cost of a black garbage bag and a few sore back muscles, leaf mold is free and ridiculously easy to make. Thus, if you want to proceed now, let’s get into how to do it yourself.
DIY rich leaf mold
1. The first step would be to place a construction-grade black plastic bag over an empty garbage can.
2. Then, you need to rake the leaves and place them in the garbage bag. I know, a little bit of work but it will totally be worth it. Now, you can also shred them running over them with a lawn mower. This part is optional but preferable because it will speed up the decomposition process.
3. After this, you need to compress the leaves to pack as many as possible into one bag. For this, you could also take out the garbage bag from the rim. That way, you can remove air pockets and make more space.
4. Then, tie the bag very tight and try to leave an opening for the insertion of a hose. Now, set the bag out of the way in a part of the yard or garden that gets rain.
5. Poke holes all over the bag’s surface with scissors to create entry holes for worms.
6. Now you can insert the hose in the hole you made at the top of the bag and soak the leaves.
7. Let it there for six months. Then, turn the bags over. The leaf mold should be broken down into flaky one-inch particles of a rich, dark brown color. That’s it. Now that you have it, let see how to use it!
Use of rich leaf mold
Thus, you can use the rich leaf mold in perennial beds or in vegetable gardens. Furthermore, you can turn it into the soil between seasons as a mulch. Also, you can mix it up with more water to create a homemade tea for watering roots or to have a homemade foliar spray. It’s also great to use in containers because of its ability to retain water. You could also reuse the bags if they are not deteriorated in order to add the next leaves from the trees of the next fall.