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How to turn leaves into potting mix | DIY Garden Projects | Gardening Australia
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Alex Hammer
Published 5 months ago |
Use fallen leaves to make leaf mould - it's the easiest compost you'll ever make and the perfect base for homemade potting mix and seed raising mix.

00:46 How to make it
- Bag It – Possibly the easiest way to get started with leaf mould is to fill large plastic bags with leaves, punch a few holes in them and place the bags in a shady spot. This is a tried and true method, and as long as they leaves are kept moist, you’ll have a fantastic usable leaf mould in around 6 – 12 months. Remember, the bags can break down to, so it’s important to check regularly.
- Tarp It – The same as bagging up the leaves, but on a larger scale – think a large leaf-filled bonbon, in a nice shady spot.
01:04 - Cage It – Using an upright roll of chicken wire placed in a dark, shady spot in the garden, pile as many leaves into the cage as you can – really pack them in. Just about any leaves will do (even Eucalypts) but Millie does avoid the leaves of the Plane Tree as they are slow to decompose and can cause allergies. The leaves must be kept moist during this process, and lining the cage with cardboard or palm fronds can assist in minimising water loss. - Cover the cage with hessian or shadecloth and walk away…. for around 6 to 8 months.

How to speed it up
- Run over the leaves with a lawn mower or run through a mulcher before bagging
- Add chicken manure or organic fertiliser to the pile
- Keep moist throughout the process
- Turn or fork pile every month

02:56 How to use it
- Leaf mould can be used anywhere that you would use a homemade compost, can be used as a mulch and as a soil improver. Unlike compost, leaf mould is quite low in nutrients, and rarely contains viable seeds, making it ideal for homemade seed raising and potting mixes.

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