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Leaf Mold




     Leaf mold is basically a type of compost composed of broken down tree and shrub leaves. It is used in the garden to amend the soil and provides a very effective mulch for the garden bed. Leaf mold differs from actual compost in the fact there there are no greens (nitrogen) added to the leaf mold pile. Add any greens whatsoever (grass, bone meal, fertilizer, etc.) to the pile and you are no longer making leaf mold, but compost... period. The breaking down of leaf mold can be helped along by shredding your leaves before adding them to the leaf pile and keeping the leaves good and moist, but not soaked. Leaf mold is reported to take one to two years from start to finish and our results show approximately 1 year here in Central Kentucky. This takes into account that we did not shred our leaves and added no additional moisture to the leaf mold pile throughout the whole process.

     Our leaf mold "pile" was made pretty simple. We used regular 5 foot fencing that can be bought at virtually any hardware store and formed 3 foot diameter cages to hold the leaves. The leaf bins were situated in their permanent spots and filled to the top with leaves. The leaves were packed in the leaf bins as tight as they would go. Within a week, the pile had sunk by over a foot. We continuously added leaves from a pile of leaves left close to the leaf bins throughout the whole process. By the next fall, our pile was approximately 1 foot tall after decomposition had taken place. To harvest the leaf mold, we simply lay the cage over on it's side and take what we need, then replace the cage. Use the leaf mold when planting new plants in your garden beds or till into your vegetable garden for wondrous results.

      Bottom line, you can't go wrong by making your own leaf mold. It is a project that will reward your efforts for years to come in the garden. If you have any questions about making your own leaf mold, feel free to contact us and we'll be glad to help out.


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