Designing Beautiful Borders

Making leaf mould

It's a beautiful Sunday morning and what could be better than spending a couple of hours clearing fallen leaves from your borders and raking (or mowing) up the leaves from your lawn.

If you have some space in your garden and a bit of patience, you can recycle your leaves into leaf mould, which makes a fabulous soil conditioner for our heavy Lindfield soil.

Leaves like alder, oak and hornbeam rot quite quickly, but it may take a couple of years for leaves such as horse chestnut and sycamore to fully rot down

If you have some space in your garden, you can construct a leaf bin out of 4 tree stakes and a roll of chicken wire. Hammer the stakes into the ground in a 60cm by 60cm square, then roll the chicken wire around each stake, attaching it to each stake with galvanised stables or some garden twine.

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Ideally this leaf bin should be located somewhere shady and out of site. Fill the cage with leaves and over a period of time, they will rot down to a crumby black soil “Gardener's gold!"

If you don't have the space for a leaf cage, then you can store leaves in black bin liners that have a few holes punched into them. Fill the bags with leaves, sprinkle a little water into the bag, tie the end, then give the bag a good shake. Store the bags somewhere shady and let natures magic do its job!

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