Leaf Mold: How to make it and use it!

I am starting my first vegetable garden next spring! I am so excited about this because we have never really had a spot for a garden and the growing cost of fresh fruits and vegetables is atrocious! One of our goals before purchasing the land where we will build our off grid home and homestead is to be able to grow our own food!

So far, we had dug up the grass, roots and any plants from an area about 15 feet by 25 feet. We have done this all by hand because we don't have a tiller, yet. {So. Much. Work} We covered what we could with cardboard and leaves to help reduce the weeds and grass in the spring but what we really need is
leaf mold!

What is Leaf Mold?

Leaf mold is what you are left with after just letting leaves decompose over a period of time. When you walk through a forest, the soft and sweet smell of the soil beneath your feet is essentially leaf mold. It is composted leaves! It is an excellent soil amendment to increase water retention and provides a home for worms and good bacteria.

Leaf mold can be used as a mulch, mixed into containers or tilled into your garden to improve your soil!

How do you make it?

There are two ways you can make your own leaf mold. The first is to make a pile of leaves in the corner of your yard in the fall about a meter tall and wide and water it well and cover it with a tarp or a big piece of cardboard to keep the pile from blowing away and moist. That's it! Let it sit there for six to twelve months and you'll have leaf mold!

The second method to making your own leaf mold uses large plastic bags rather than building a pile. Add your leaves to your bags, dampen with water and cut a few holes to allow the air to get in.
Turn your bags upside down every few weeks and add water if they appear to be drying out.

Another helpful tip to make leaf mold faster would be to run over your leaves with a lawn mower or chop them up with your leaf blower so they break down faster. This isn't necessary but will speed up the process!

Now, if only I was able to rake up my leaves this year! Read more about this mishap here!

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