Your home vegetable garden requires lots of nutrients in order to provide a season’s worth of bountiful fruits and vegetables. The best way to ensure that your soil is filled with those nutrients is to continually add plenty of compost. One such great compost source is leaf mold and if you are like me with plenty of leaves around at the end of autumn to work with then you have everything you need to get started. Here is how you can make leaf mold to use in your home vegetable garden.
Set up an area in your yard where you can create your leaf mold pile. There are a variety of ways to keep the leaves in place, from open piles, to leaf bins, you name it. The method I like, is to use a piece of fencing and shape it in circle to create a tube looking structure. You can see photos on our website and at our vegetable gardening fan page on Facebook.
Once you have your structure in place, take your leaves and add them to it. Put as many of the leaves in there as possible, all of them if you can. I know some people actually use a leaf shredder to reduce their size and then add them to the pile. Smaller sizes help break down the leaves faster, but do not feel that you need to run out right now and go buy a shredder. Allowing Mother Nature to do her thing if you give her plenty of time is all you need to get started.
As you add the leaves to the pile wet them down with a hose. Keeping the leaves wet along with the bacteria, fungus and mold breaking down the leaves is what invariably creates the leaf mold which you will notice at the bottom of the pile of leaves once it starts forming. If you have ever walked through a forest in the springtime just as new leaves were forming then you more than likely have seen leaf mold on the ground from the leaves that fell the previous autumn.
Add the leaf mold to your garden by mixing it in with your soil. This type of compost is especially good for plants in the cabbage and carrot family. Leaf mold is one of the easiest forms of compost you can make since it requires virtually no work. This allows you to do something productive with all of those leaves and your garden soil will thank you for it by providing a bountiful harvest. Besides, your time can be better spent harvesting the fruits of your labor.
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