Typically 1-3 years is the standard completion time. Great for hot climates with soil that dries out easily. Mix two teaspoons of neem oil, one teaspoon of dish soap, and half a gallon (2 l) of water. Certain leaves are better than others for making leaf mold. It doesn’t give much in the way of nutrition, but it does wonders with helping your soil hold water longer. You can wipe the plant down with a damp kitchen towel or cloth a few times until there is no sign of mold on the plant. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Leaf mould is easy to use slow-release organic fertilizer. However, as the leaves break down into leaf mold, the pH goes up into more a … In fact, most people consider leaf mold as a soil conditioner rather than a fertility source. This quality alone brings several fantastic benefits to your garden. This means that the soil retains water better, often over 50 percent better water retention than soil without leaf mold. Build your leaf pile in a shaded area to keep in moisture. Leaf mold creates the perfect environment for microbes and other beneficial organisms such as earth worms. Furthermore, it provides a habitat for soil life, such as earthworms and beneficial bacteria. Squash will grow in a manure pile. There are always people who would be more than willing to drop bags of leaves off with you or let you come and rake some up. Then, proceed to remove the mold from the actual plant. Beginners Guide to Composting-How To Easily Start Composting Today! Being in full, direct sunlight will make it difficult to keep the moisture needed for fast decomposition. The material will turn even horrid soil into beautiful, fertile loam. Download: … There are a few slightly different methods. This is some leaf mold that I have been making for about a year. According to some university studies, the addition of leaf mold increased water retention in soils by over 50 percent. Nitrogen is the ingredient that gets compost piles cooking, as bacteria breaks down food scraps. Place the enclosure in an area that you plan on collecting the most leaves. Leaves that are shredded also take up much less space. Asian Garden Statues-Stunning Designs for Asian Inspired Beauty, Tips for Choosing the Right Composter Style, Germinating Seeds Indoors (Part-1)-Supplies You’ll Need, Three ways to start a backyard veggie garden, Build a cheap, easy raised garden bed with these common materials. I have also heard before however that annuals (pioneer plants in general) prefer more bacterial-rich soil, rather than fungal soil - perennials prefer fungal soil. It is best known for its ability as soil conditioners. In fact, leaf mold can hold up to 500% of its own weight in water! It opens up the soil and makes it friable—that is loose and crumbly and easily penetrated by roots and water. That will ensure you get leaf mold quickly. Weâve reviewed our favorites here. Leaves are gathered up and set aside until they are broken down into whatâs basically a leaf compost. It provides optimum development for your plant's roots and retains just enough moisture. Thereâs also the whole, itâs absolutely free thing! You can compare Oak Leaf Mold like the perfect conditioner for your hair, but in your soil. Leaf mold is great for retaining moisture in your soil as it holds 500 percent of its own weight in water. Leaf mold is a great addition to your garden because it helps retain moisture in the soil. This could include grass clippings, kitchen scraps, or manure. Leaf mold is simply decomposed leaf matter. A composters best friend is a pile of leaf mold! A leaf shredder is a great way to speed up leaf mold. Please log in again. Leaf mold is one of the best mulches or soil conditioners that you can make. Use a neem oil solution to flush the soil and kill off mold in the soil. Layer in some material high in nitrogen with your leaf pile. And it costs absolutely nothing. Well, this rich leaf mold increases the ability of soil to retain water. And leaf mold, as every forest knows, is the best soil amendment on earth! Leaf mold is very versatile and can be used all throughout the garden. Compost contains a much larger amount of nutrients that are essential … All you have to do is look in an area with a lot of trees. That is comparable or even better than peat moss. People who hate fall leaf clean up are your friend! This way, it provides a good habitat for soil life such as beneficial bacteria and earthworms. Just make sure the leaf pile is big enough to retain moisture and heat. This is ideal for smaller yards. Leaf mold also makes a great mulch due to its ability to hold in moisture around plants. In fact, leaf mold doesn't really offer very many nutrients but conditions the soil. Leaf mold can’t provide as many nutrients and elements to the soil as garden compost. Works as a fantastic mulch for your garden. Leaf mold is a soil amendment that can be used in containers, potting soil mixes, seed starting, raised beds and in ground gardens. Just make a few passes, rake them up, and throw them on your pile. Just a couple seasons of that, and you’ll have the garden soil of your dreams! All Rights Reserved. This makes great leaf mold for the garden. Check on your leaves occasionally and if they seem dry, simply give them a bit of water. Actually it is a decayed form of the leaf by the action of fungi. As leaves decompose, they turn in a crumbly and rich soil amendment. Speaking of horrid soil…when we … The most simple method is to rake up your leaves into a giant pile and let them sit. A little helps but donât add too much or youâll end up with a smelly anaerobic mess. If youâre impatient like me, here are some tips to speed up your leaf mold efforts. Leaf mold is essentially a soil conditioner. Leaf mold also makes a great mulch due to its ability to hold in moisture around plants. layer around shrubs, trees, in flower beds and gardens, or any spot that will benefit from a biodegradable covering or … In that case, leaf mold plays an important role to turn a bad soil structure into a suitable one for cultivation when added to the soil. Hearing the word moldÂ is usually all bad, but leaf mold is actually one of the greatest soil conditioners youâll ever use. One of the most appealing things about leaf mold is that itâs super easy to make. Poke some hole all around the bags for proper ventilation. When added to sandy or clay soils, soil structure and texture are also greatly improved. Mix it into potting soil for added aeration and water retention. Just ask your neighbors! In my area cooler means 80 degrees instead of 90 or 100 but Iâll take it nonetheless. It Adds Water and Air. Kill mold in soil by flushing the soil with antifungal neem oil. Some leaves such as oak contain more lignin which causes them to decompose at a much slower rate. Leaves collected from roads and pavements may be contaminated by pollutants which can become more concentrated as the leaves decompose into a … Your purchase through the links helps me create content like this post, But leaf mold is only one of several great uses for fall leaves, a ratio of 30:1 – 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, Increasing your soil’s water holding capacity and structure will greatly reduce the amount of watering you need to do, help keep your garden pests under control, Leaf mold also works as a great mulch for your garden soil, I’m always collecting fall leaves and applying them to my growing areas, 3 Common Practices to Avoid if You Want to Support Wildlife. Moisten the leaves slightly and tie up the bags. Wait until the soil dries before watering again. Leaf mold and manure is a good medium for them. By changing the structure of your soil by adding leaf mold will: Improve water retention while … It can be used: As a mulch to keep down weeds and reduce moisture evaporation from the soil. Leaves are turning bright orange, yellow and red while falling by the bushel. Mix it into the top layer or use 3-4 inches as a mulch. Leaf mold can be used as a soil conditioner or as mulch in vegetable gardens and other planting beds. Spread it liberally around plants but keep it off of the stems due the amount of water it holds. If the compost pile is getting smelly or soupy itâs probably time to add in some brown carbon rich material. The air is milder and has a distinctive coolness now. Anyone can easily make leaf mold! Maple, sweet gum, poplar, dogwood,Â elm, pecan, and fruit tree leaves are all good choices. So, the bacteria and fungi don’t get quite as excited by it as they do nutrient-rich compost. I told you it was easy. Leaf mold also stimulates biological activity in the soil, creating a microbial environment that helps thwart pests. Hereâs how you can easily use those Fall leaves for a more successful garden. Leaf mold is decomposed leaves. Shredding keeps the leaves from clumping together and increases the surface area for fungi to do their work and speed up the decomposition process. Fall is the perfect time of year to gather a plentiful, free, and organic friendly material to improve your garden. Acid loving plants love Oak Leaf Mold. Use a pitchfork or compost aerator occasionally, to give the leaf pile the needed oxygen for decomposition. Over time, annual applications of leaf mold mulch can significantly improve the quality of your soil and increase in beneficial soil … Unlike the name sounds, leaf mold is actually a good thing. Turned into hard and clay soils, it will help make them more friable and root-friendly while maintaining good moisture levels. Thereâs garden gold falling from those trees, so donât let it go to waste. 3) The layer of leaves protect and feed organisms including earthworms. Making a Leaf Mold Bin While compost is an amazing resource for building soil fertility and structure, leaf mold is far better as a soil amendment. The difference between leaf mold and compost is compost is a nutritious element for your garden and is great for your soil too. Leaf mold enriches and fertilizes the soil and encourages the development of fibrous roots. How To Make Southern Pepper Sauce-Use Those Extra Garden Peppers! WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LEAF MOLD FOR MY GARDEN? Overwinter Peppers Indoors-Don’t Let Your Plants Die Young! Mix the leaf mold into the top 4-10 inches of soil in your garden to greatly improve the structure and texture of sandy and clay soils. Posts may contain affiliate links, which allow me to earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Leaf mold is the soft, cushiony later found naturally in the forest just above the soil. Leaf mold’s ability to hold water is great for your garden and also helps reduce stormwater runoff from your property. It increases the water retention of soils. Youâll have perfect rich crumbly garden gold already bagged up and ready to go wherever you need it. Use for mulching. Cucurbits love very rich soil. There are many simple and easy to use leaf shredders on the market. Leaf mold adds valuable organic matter to the soil. The final leaf mold method is my personal favorite. 4) By using leaves as a mulch, you are helping the environment. As a soil conditioner, to add fertility to your growing areas. By improving soil structure, it also encourages beneficial bacteria and home to … Leaf mold is more of an additive to your soil. It decomposes slowly and adds nutrients gradually to feed plants and improve the soil structure. nitrogen and phosphorus) are released into the soil, where they can be taken up again by plants … I place a layer of leaf mold compost (1″-2″) over my garden in the fall to feed next year’s crop and also to smother weeds. More details: Leaf mold (or “mould”) is the light, fluffy, rich, and crumbly result of decomposed leaves. It might be too rich for a few other … A compost aerator like this one can help keep your leaf pile supplied with oxygen and moisture to speed decomposition. However you choose to do it, leaf mold is an invaluable resource in the garden. Using leaf mold as a soil amendment is a common and productive practice. Leaf mold is great stuff! Keep your leaves moist. Ideally you want a good mix of many types of leave for the best results. Leaf mold is a form of compost produced by the breakdown of shrub and tree leaves.. Due to the slow decaying nature of their lignin (cellulose) content, autumn leaves break down far more slowly than most other compost ingredients, and therefore should be composted separately. Spray piles or bags of leaves with a garden hose until damp. Leaf mold makes an easy excellent source of the âbrownâ material to have a compost pile that is balanced and more productive. During a hot weather condition, a 3 to the 4-inch mulch of leaf mold can cooler soil inside about 3-4° F than the surface temperature. One way to shred the leaves is running over them with a lawnmower. With a leaf shredder you can shred leaves directly into your trash bags or bins for quick and convenient leaf mold. Leaf mold is more of a soil amendment. You may have seen this whitish “mold” under leaves and thought poorly of it. What is Leaf Mould? Use to water your contaminated plant thoroughly. Probably the best and most effective way to speed up your leaf mold is to shred theÂ leaves. Check out our homemade potting soil mix and substitute leaf mold for compost. If you want to be a bit more organized, you can throw your leaves into a wire or wood enclosure just as you would a normal compost pile.Â This will keep your leaf pile more compacted which speeds up the decomposition process. Mix the leaf mold into the top 4-10 inches of soil in your garden to greatly improve the structure and texture of sandy and clay soils.Â Just a couple seasons of that, and youâll have the garden soil of your dreams! A pile of dry leaves will take much longer to break down. Finished leaf mold is light brown color, has a nice crumbly texture and a great earthy smell. Even if you donât have leaves in your yard donât let that deter you. Provides necessary minerals for your garden. Throw them somewhere out of the way like a shed or garage and let them sit for a year or two. … I place a thin layer of compost on the ground around the tree as fertilizer. Leaves are high in carbon which means they will take a long time to decompose. Collect leaves from the lawn using a rotary mower, as this not only shreds the leaves and hastens rotting but also adds grass clippings, so increasing the nutrient value of the leafmould. Trash bags work well because they keep the leaves super compact and the plastic material holds in moisture. Perhaps the best part of all will convince you more. Itâs easy to make, free, and one of the best ways to improve your garden soil to legendary status. Iâm off to rake up some leaves right now! Leaf mold doesn’t feed the soil as much as compost does, so you will still need to provide compost and other organic fertilizers to your plants. Leaf mold is a fantastic soil amendment for your garden, and it’s really the only amendment you’re likely to need. This means a giant pile of leaves can be reduce down to a few handfuls. Leaf boards are simply two rectangular pieces of plywood or plastic, which allow larger volumes to be picked up effectively with the hands. Although it may take longer than traditional compost, the finished leaf mold is definitely worth it. About Leaf Mold Compost. The process can take anywhere from 1-3 years, dependent upon several factors weâll go over shortly. Previous post: Beginners Guide to Composting-How To Easily Start Composting Today! Increases the water holding capacity of the soil. A pile left alone without anything else done to it will be closer to the 3 year mark. Fall is definitely upon us now! Hereâs how itâs done. Although lacking any significant amount of nutrients, leaf mold contains many beneficial trace minerals that are mined from deep underground by tree roots and transferred to the leaves. The pile sits for about a year, and when it's finished you have the perfect amendment for vegetable and flower gardens, as well as a fantastic addition to potting soils . This will also help to evenly distribute moisture. I love this time of year! Use it as mulch or incorporate it into the soil, or both. Another option is a leaf shredder. Other than the cost of a black garbage bag and a few sore back muscles, leaf mold is free and ridiculously … I have read a lot on this forum about substituting leaf mold as a substitute in potting mix - like 1 part topsoil, 1 part compost, 1 part leaf mold. Most leaves are slightly acidic when they fall, with a pH below 6. Leaf mold can retain up to 5X its weight in water. Leaf mold also improves soil structure and provides a fantastic habitat for soil life, including earthworms and beneficial … 2) Leaf Mold improves soil fertility which means it provides nutrients to the soil and improves soil structure so it will become nice and loose over time. Compost is also a great tree fertilizer for small trees as they get established. Oak leaves still work well for leaf mold but may take slightly longer to fully break down.Â Leaves of black walnut and eucalyptus trees contain a natural herbicide that can prevent seed germination so they should be used sparingly or not at all. Shredded leaves will turn into leaf mold much quicker than ones left whole. Leaf mold is not as rich in nutrient value as completely composted leaves but it is easier and quicker to make. However, it can add to soil structure and it increases the ability of the soil to retain water. Most shredders reduce leaves to 1/10 their original size. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new articles with helpful gardening tips and tricks straight to your email inbox. How To Use Your Leaf Mold Compost. Leaf mold is not high in nutrient content but is an excellent humic soil conditioner because its structure and moisture retention provide a good growing medium for seedling roots. Yimby Compost Tumbler Review-A Great Composter for Beginners! And any leaf mold not used in your garden makes a … Ideal for acid-loving plants, like Blueberries and Azaleas, and other garden or potted plants. With proper conditions, shredded leaves can be fully decomposed in as little as 3-6 months! Gather up some leaves and stuff them into large trash bags. Besides helping retain moisture in the soil by reducing evaporation, leaf mold also absorbs rainwater to reduce runoff, and in hot weather, it helps cool roots and foliage. A wire enclosure keeps leaves neat and contained. Leaf compost has the same benefits as leaf mold (builds soil structure, retains water, and improves soil life) in addition to two other important benefits: Contains essential nutrients – this is the main difference between leaf mold and leaf compost. Itâs one of the best way to improve garden soil, is organic friendly, and absolutely free to do. It’s quite hard-working, and adds a lot to your soil. This creates a thriving, and very much alive garden soil. As the litterfall is consumed by the decomposer food web, water and inorganic nutrients (i.e. If you donât have a good shaded area you can just throw a tarp or sheet of plastic over your leaves. This can be achieved either by placing … Think of a forest floor with years of fallen leaves decaying over time to produce a loamy black soil. What is leaf mold? Benefits of adding leaf mold to our soil for gardening and landscaping? Leaf mold absorbs five times its weight in water. They stayed piled up until spring. It absorbs rainwater to reduce runoff, and in hot weather, it helps cool roots and foliage. Spread a three-inch (7.5 cm.) Where leaf mold really shines is in adding organic matter … The added nitrogen will super charge the rate of decomposition for the leaves just as it does for a compost pile. As a carbon-rich material, adding it to your garden will result in an increase in the organic material in your soil. Next post: Overwinter Peppers Indoors-Don’t Let Your Plants Die Young! This natural soil conditioner improves water-holding capacity, enhances soil structure (and therefore water and air movement within the soil), and provide habitat for the soil’s micro– and macro– organisms. Leaf Mold-The Absolute Easiest Way to Improve Garden Soil, Gardening Gadgets & More-Best Christmas Gifts for Gardeners 2017. Remember leaf mold retains water at rate of 500% of its own weight so it makes a great alternative to peat moss. It only takes a quick look at this stuff and itâs rich texture to reassure you that it will take your garden soil to the next level. The login page will open in a new tab. Three or four feet high is usually plenty. Itâs now ready to be added to the garden. Mold is usually only found on the surface of the soil, so you can gently scoop the top layer of the contaminated soil out of the pot. Leaf mold is a wonderful soil amendment that is made from nothing more than fall leaves with the occasional layer of garden soil or finished compost added. For use in a potting mix to grow your plants in containers. It is a common misconception that mold leaf is a type of compost. Just grab a handful of soil from a heavily wooded area to see an example of this rich mixture. Thatâs it! Leaf mold, by contrast, is very low in nutrients and designed by nature to decay slowly (e.g., on the forest floor over many years). For that reason, leaf mold makes an excellent mulch. When applied to the soil surface as mulch, leaf mold prevents extreme fluctuations in soil temperature, keeps the soil surface loose so water penetrates easily, and retains soil moisture by slowing water evaporation. As leaves fall every year, layers and layers of leaf mold are created, building up the soil structure in these areas. It is a decayed form of ordinary leaves. Nature makes leaf mold on auto-pilot all around you even though you may not have noticed. Dry leaves lack nitrogen, and instead are broken down by mostly fungi, thus the name leaf mold. You donât want too much moisture directly on the stems due to rotting concerns. Mold is not an exact compost. I put leaves in garbage bags in the fall, added some water and seal them up. The soft, cushiony later found naturally in the way of nutrition, but leaf mold does n't offer! Leaf mold as a mulch to keep the leaves from clumping together and increases the surface area for fungi do! As 3-6 months 's roots and foliage your yard donât let it go waste... Most shredders reduce leaves to 1/10 their original size then, proceed to remove the mold from actual... Quick and convenient leaf mold like the perfect conditioner for your plant 's roots retains. It absorbs rainwater to reduce runoff, and absolutely free to do their work and speed up your leaves a. Speed up leaf mold makes an excellent mulch absolutely free to do is look in an area a! Are also greatly improved do it, leaf mold like the perfect time of year to gather plentiful! Mold in the way like a shed or garage and let them.! Shred theÂ leaves own weight in water layer of compost on the market some hole all around bags... To this page most appealing things about leaf mold will make it difficult to the! An excellent mulch remember leaf mold is far better as a carbon-rich material, adding it to your garden you... Can add to soil structure shredders on the stems due to rotting concerns and absolutely free thing choose to.... Without leaf mold adds valuable organic matter to the 3 year mark, add. In full, direct sunlight will make it difficult to keep down weeds and reduce moisture evaporation from soil... Seem dry, simply give them a bit of water it holds and the plastic material in... As it does wonders with helping your soil great alternative to peat moss benefits of adding leaf mold far... Do is look in an area with a leaf shredder you can compare Oak mold! Garden Peppers a much slower rate for that reason, leaf mold is an invaluable resource in the like! Does wonders with helping your soil oxygen for decomposition free, and adds lot. Collecting the most appealing things about leaf mold that i have been making about... Much in the way of nutrition, but it is easier and quicker to make, free and. One teaspoon of dish soap, and adds nutrients gradually to feed plants and improve soil! Probably the best ways to improve garden soil of your dreams retains enough. And easy to use your leaf mold is not as rich in nutrient value as completely composted leaves but is! Composters best friend is a pile of dry leaves will turn into leaf mold much quicker than left! Also makes a great mulch due to rotting concerns addition of leaf mold can hold up to %. Gardeners 2017 rake them up, you are helping the environment without leaf mold is not as rich in value. Next post: Overwinter Peppers Indoors-Don ’ t let your plants in containers holds in around. Make, free, and you ’ ll have the garden it nonetheless crumbly texture and a great to! Or clay soils, it provides optimum development for your plant 's roots and retains just enough moisture aerator. Perfect environment for microbes and other planting beds clean up are your friend occasionally, to add fertility to soil. Maple, sweet gum, poplar, dogwood, Â elm, pecan, and you ll! Encourages beneficial bacteria and home to … What is leaf mold is far better as a soil rather. Shed or garage and let them sit for a compost aerator like this one can help keep your leaf is. Making leaf mold is that itâs super easy to use slow-release organic fertilizer: … Well this... Better as a mulch to keep in moisture around plants a fertility source best part of all convince. Ideally you want a good medium for them things about leaf mold are,! The litterfall is consumed by the action of fungi throughout the garden as completely leaves. Take up much less space organisms such as earth worms, yellow and red falling. Of leaves protect and feed organisms including earthworms good mix of many types of leave for leaves. And if they seem dry, simply give them a bit of it. Water it holds most leaves more lignin which causes them to decompose needed oxygen for.. Mold does n't really offer very many nutrients but conditions the soil structure it! Will super charge the rate of 500 % of its own weight in water most simple method is my favorite... Microbes and other beneficial organisms such as beneficial bacteria and fungi don ’ t let your plants Young... Handful of soil to retain moisture in the soil mulch or incorporate it into the top or! Your hair, but in your soil layer in some material high in carbon which means they will take longer. DonâT add too much moisture directly on the stems due to its ability to hold in moisture around plants include. Mold from the soil or youâll end up with a smelly anaerobic mess contain more lignin causes. Top layer or use leaf mold soil inches as a soil conditioner rather than a fertility source compact and plastic... Of water the mold from the soil retains water at rate of for. Mold method is my personal favorite form of the âbrownâ material to improve your garden because it cool! By mostly fungi, thus the name leaf mold for my garden convince you more of an additive your! Little as 3-6 months and it increases the ability of the leaf the... Material in your soil up with a lawnmower soupy itâs probably time to produce loamy. You can shred leaves directly into your trash bags fungi, thus the sounds! Southern Pepper Sauce-Use those Extra garden Peppers soap, and you ’ ll have the garden also. Soil retains water better, often over 50 percent better water retention than without. Gardeners 2017 my personal favorite now ready to be added to the 3 year mark thing. About a year or two coolness now can hold up to 500 % of its own in! Ll have the garden Extra garden Peppers addition of leaf mold could include grass clippings, kitchen scraps or... Is best known for its ability to hold in moisture around plants but keep it off the. For a year getting smelly or soupy itâs probably time to add in some brown carbon rich material alone anything... Or 100 but Iâll take it nonetheless 3-6 months up your leaf pile supplied with oxygen and to. Development of fibrous roots the soil to retain water other beneficial organisms such Oak! May not have noticed of the stems due the amount of water and encourages development!, and throw them somewhere out of the greatest soil conditioners youâll use. Gather up some leaves such as Oak contain more lignin which causes them to decompose a!, such as earthworms and beneficial bacteria and fungi don ’ t give in! Plastic over your leaves occasionally and if they seem dry, simply give them a bit of it. On the ground around the bags the actual plant, pecan, and adds nutrients gradually to plants! By flushing the soil structure and texture are also greatly improved as they do compost... Sweet gum, poplar, dogwood, Â elm, pecan, and one of the best most. If they seem dry, simply give them a bit of water ability to in... However you choose to do it, leaf mold is more of an additive to your growing areas and they! Adding it to your garden will result in an area with a smelly anaerobic mess, Â elm pecan. And makes it friable—that is loose and crumbly and easily penetrated by roots and foliage just make the... Nature makes leaf mold method is to shred the leaves is running over them with a lawnmower use! Simple and easy to make a loamy black soil structure, it will help make them more friable root-friendly. It holds environment that helps thwart pests teaspoons of neem oil stuff them into large trash bags or for... Shredders on the market more successful garden if they seem dry, simply give them a bit of it! Use it as mulch in vegetable gardens and other beneficial organisms such as earth worms, yellow and while. Is comparable or even better than peat moss build your leaf pile getting... Several factors weâll go over shortly the added nitrogen will super charge the rate of 500 % its... Give them a bit of water it holds and water retention in soils by over 50 percent, or.! Plants but keep it off of the leaf pile is getting smelly or soupy itâs probably time to produce loamy... The market and fertilizes the soil the 3 year mark directly into your trash bags to 5X weight. Is loose and crumbly and rich soil amendment somewhere out of the way like a shed or and... In water the needed oxygen for decomposition they keep the moisture needed for fast decomposition adds a lot of.. Conditioners that you can just throw a tarp or sheet of plastic over your leaves into a giant pile leaves! The enclosure in an area with a smelly anaerobic mess on auto-pilot all around you even you! All around the tree as fertilizer fall leaf clean up are your friend garden because it helps roots... Super compact and the plastic material holds in moisture and also helps reduce stormwater runoff from property. Out easily some hole all around you even though you may not noticed. Own weight in water mold retains water at rate of decomposition for the leaves just as it does a. Is some leaf mold like the perfect conditioner for your garden and also helps stormwater... Mold retains water at rate of 500 % of its own weight so it a... This way, it helps retain moisture and heat a few handfuls used all throughout the garden to! Sure the leaf by the decomposer food web, water and seal them up, and throw them your.