What is leaf mold? Leaf mold is decomposed leaves. Think of a forest floor with years of fallen leaves decaying over time to produce a loamy black soil. 

Benefits of adding leaf mold to our soil for gardening and landscaping?  By changing the structure of your soil by adding leaf mold will:

  • Improve water retention while not drowning plants
  • Help keep your soil aerated
  • Help create a sustainable environment for earthworms and micro-organisms which in turn produce organic matter for your plants to feed from

Creating leaf mold is simple, and does not require attention once you start the process. A simple structure to hold leaves while decomposing is using chicken wire to make a 3 ft diameter cage(s) about 3 ft tall to pile your leaves in.

Shredded leaves decompose faster, so chipping them is recommended. Otherwise, once you pile you leaves take your weed-eater and shred them.

Cover your cage to prevent leaves from blowing out, and let time and Mother Nature do their thing. Shredded leaves may be ready to use by as early as the following spring or summer. Unshredded leaves may take a year or longer to break down.

How to apply to your soil

  • Method one: Work 2-4’of leaf mold into the top 6’of soil with a tiller or by hand
  • Method two: Spread 2-3 inches of leaf mold on top of your soil, and let the earthworms bring it down into your soil.

Method two will bring slower results, but requires less work.

NOTE: Avoid composting black Walnut leaves as they contain a natural herbicide that will prevent seeds from germinating

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