Turn Over A New Leaf

Amateur Gardening|October 12, 2019

Turn Over A New Leaf
Don’t waste those fallen autumn leaves by dumping them or burning them, says Martyn Cox, as you can turn them into beneficial leafmould for your garden.
Martyn Cox

THERE was a large lawn in the country garden of my childhood, which was dotted with specimen ornamental trees and several beds containing an array of shrubs. An old hedgerow of native species formed the boundary down one side, while indigenous trees loomed in the adjacent field.

I can recall the amazing display from the many deciduous species in autumn, but the downside was that all their falling leaves ended up in our garden, clogging up beds and smothering the grass. Some of these found their way into the compost heap, but most were consigned to an incinerator.

As a result of my early experience, I grew up thinking that burning was the most effective way of dealing with the glut of leaves that drop in autumn and winter. It was only when I landed a job at a local horticultural college that I learned how all that spent foliage could be turned into leafmould.

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October 12, 2019