As you’re raking leaves off your lawn, beds and borders, don’t consign them to the recycling bin. Instead, we’ll teach you how to make leaf mulch out of them which will protect your borders.

Leafmould is such an easy thing to make. All you need is a good rake, some plastic bags – and patience.


How to make leaf mulch

1. Get raking

How to make leaf mulch
Raking leaves (Thinkstock/PA)

Use a good wide-fanned rake (Bulldog rake, available on Amazon) to clear leaves from your lawn, beds and borders. Gather them in one spot so they’ll be easy to scoop up.

If you have a large garden, a leaf blower may make the job easier. Try the VonHaus 3 in 1 leaf blower (available on Amazon).

Alternatively, use a rotary mower on your lawn to shred and gather the leaves in the grass box. We recommend the Bosch Rotak 36 R electric rotary lawn mower (available on Amazon).

2. Suitable candidates

How to make leaf mulch
Beech leaves are ideal. (Thinkstock/PA)

Beech, hornbeam and oak provide some of the best leaves for leafmould, because they break down easily, although tougher specimens including needles from conifers will eventually break down.

Thicker leaves from sycamore and horse chestnut will need shredding as they take longer to break down. You’ll be better off shredding holly and cherry laurel and adding them to the compost bin as they take much longer to decompose.

3. Stuff into bags

How to make leaf mulch
Leaf composting sacks. (Burgon and Ball/PA)

Virtually any container with airholes will do, and you can buy biodegradable leaf compost sacks, (available on Amazon).

Alternatively, you can use black plastic bin liners with airholes punched into them with a garden fork. Wet the leaves if they are dry, then pile them into the bags, tying loosely at the top.

4. Leave to decompose

How to make leaf mulch
Leaf mulch (Thinkstock/PA)

Place the bags in a quiet, sheltered, preferably hidden-away spot in the garden, where they will start to break down.

You should have a rich, dark leafmould within two years. Make sure you rewater it regularly in dry weather and turn the heap if it is slow to break down.

Best uses for leaf mulch

How to make leaf mulch
Use it as a mulch. (Tim Sandall/RHS/PA)

Add leafmould to beds and borders as a mulch, to suppress weeds and keep moisture in the soil.

Well-rotted leafmould left for more than two years can also be used as seed-sowing compost. But watch out for weeds in the leafmould and remove them when you start to use it.

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