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When creating leafmould does anything need to be added to the heap?

South Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

I have collected a dozen or so bags of leaves and put them into a specially constructed double cage. Would it be helpful to add any other material [ such as soil, lime or kitchen waste] to aid the composting process?



If you can get horse manure (which is the best), put down 4 inches of leaves, then 4 inches horse manure and so on until your heap is complete. Water from the top, making the whole heap wet, cover the top with a plastic sheet. Leave for 6 weeks, turn the whole heap from top to bottom, do not cover, turn again 6 weeks later. 6 weeks after that it will be ready to use.

12 Dec, 2008


That would turn your leaves into compost. If you want leaf mould proper then do not add anything else to them. The process for turning leaves into leaf mould is different to the one which turns plant material into compost.

12 Dec, 2008


no theres no need thats all i put in mine with pealings and t-bags and alll my plants are lovley

12 Dec, 2008


I agree with Owdboggy.....If its just for leaf mould pure and simple, just keep it moist and give a turn every so often and it will be ready to use next year. Adding anything else will make it become compost not leaf mould

12 Dec, 2008


I stand on mine to squash them down, I keep them damp with a sprinkling of water (when it's not pouring down) I cover them with a compost bag that has been slit open and place the black side upper most, I then turn it and move them around evry now and then.

The only thing I add are worms when I find them. The more the merrier.

Then before I collect the next year I spread them around all the plants that will benefit from the lovely crumbly stuff.

12 Dec, 2008


I like the last answer.

Tresandthi -- got truncated.

This "smart" gardener collected some 20 huge bags of cherry leaves. I just put them to the side for future mulching needs.

We are preparing to see one of the worst arctic outbreaks since 1992. I plopped all of my bonsai down to ground level and mulched them heavily with those leaves. One bag!

The leaves were warm!

I took all those bags into my greenhouse and potting shed and used them under all the benches. I am sure that if the power goes off, their composting will still provide some warmth, CO2 and the shear bulk of mass will buffer some of the winter cold we are expecting to get.

I am praying for snow!. Worms will be hard to find! :-)

All the composting ideas are good. I would always add eggshells when I have them. Lime, greenstone and some form of N. is also good. You then have a great compost!

13 Dec, 2008


This tip is slightly off the question which is about leafmould not compost, but if you are making compost and want to accelerate it but don't want to pay for commercial accelerator then the nitrogen in human urine in small quantities has the same effect. Don't overdo it or the nitrates in it will kill your plants unless you mature it like manure. But it is free (unless you have a very large compost heap, in which case a night in the pub will cost more than the commercial stuff. Lol.)


13 Dec, 2008


I have found that a good way to get pure leaf mould is to fill old compost bags with as many leaves as can be stuffed in making sure they are wet . Nothing else is added. Tie up the tops of the bags.Then make a few holes in the bag with a garden fork. In 6 months you should have good pure leaf mould.

13 Dec, 2008


Leaf mould needs anerobic condidtions, ie no or little oxygen.

13 Dec, 2008


Apologies for veering off the question. I misinterpreted it. Only just realised.

13 Dec, 2008


Amy, is quite correct. That is what I am doing with some 15 bags. Thankfully realizing that they might be more useful INSIDE my greenhouse than outside in the snow.

More carbon dioxide for the plants as well as warmh. I suspect that placement might also give me leafmold in four months rather than six.

13 Dec, 2008


A couple of further points; oak leaves and evergreen leaves do nor make good leaf mould ;conifer needles make acid leaf mould ; leaves from trees grown in lime rich soil ie. alkaline conditions, can and often do make an alkaline leaf mould,

13 Dec, 2008


Thanks to everybody for your help. You have given a range of options but after googling 'leafmould' I am going for the simple approach suggested by 'Owdboggy' and 'Milky' amongst others. I am leaving them outdoor in the recently constructed cages, keep them wet and turning them occasionally in order to have a supply of rich leafmould in 12 to 15 months or so? [Hopefully]

13 Dec, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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