Rake Up a Leafy Conditioner

Leafmold is one of the finest soil conditioners and makes excellent use of a resource that's free and abundant in autumn: fallen leaves. All you need to make leafmold is a plastic bin liner, leaves from deciduous trees and lots of patience.

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Rake Fallen LeavesEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: Autumn
At Its Best: The following autumn
Time to Complete: 1 hour

Materials Needed:

  • a rake
  • leaves
  • plastic bag
  • hand fork
  • watering can

Rake Up Fallen Leaves

When leaves start to fall in autumn, rake them up. For larger supplies, collect leaves from local parks or woods, but do not use those close to main roads.

Place in a Plastic Liner

You can make a leafmold bin, but a plastic trash can liner works just as well, and has an added advantage, which is that it can be kept in a small space, such as behind a shed. Put leaves into the liner, pushing them down as you go.

Leafmold LinerEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sprinkle With Water

As you pack the leaves in, occasionally stop and sprinkle them with water. Wet leaves will rot down much quicker than dry ones. Keep filling and wetting until the bag is full. One bag of leafmold won’t go very far, so try to collect enough leaves to fill a few bags.

Combine Leaves and Water to Make LeafmoldEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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