Leaves, leaves everywhere

November 9th 2016
By: Melanie
Leaves, leaves everywhere

The change in light and the temperature has made all the leaves fall from the trees of St Albans and Harpenden, creating a blanket of dead leaves everywhere. For some this creates the seemingly endless task of raking them up but instead of burning them or transporting them to the tip Alan Titchmarsh suggests turning them into leaf mould - free compost worth its weight in gold.
A rubber rake is the best tool says Alan for gathering leaves from lawns, paths and patios, but a spring-tined lawn rake or even an ordinary garden rake can be used. If you like your power tools, a leaf blower can huff leaves into heaps, they can also be good at blowing the leaves that accumulate on top of small plants into piles.  If you don’t have one remove theses leaves by hand to prevent damage to delicate plants.
Leaf mould is a good source of fibre that helps soil both retain moisture and improves drainage, especially useful if you want to grow dwarf bulbs, unusual woodland plants, and or alpine plants in raised beds. Most deciduous leaves take a year to become good leaf mould but beech and oak leaves contain more tannin so can take two years to rot down properly. If you have only a few leaves in your garden just mix them with other biodegradable materials and add them to your general compost heap. If you have loads of leaves in can be worth composting them separately. A little bit of time spent tidying and composting your autumnal leaves will help your St Albans and Harpenden gardens bloom for years to come.