Leaf Mold Compost: Turn Fallen Leaves into Black Gold

Leaf Mold Compost: Turn Fallen Leaves into Black Gold

How to Make Leaf Mold Compost

While temperatures have refused to drop throughout much of the United States this autumn, we still have plenty of reminders of what time of year it is: holiday displays in big box stores; piping hot pumpkin spice-flavored coffee drinks; and best of all, fall foliage. Not only is the changing of the leaves a wonder to look at, but those beautiful bursts of red, orange, and yellow currently painted on your treetops can soon be used for a more practical reason as well - to make a leaf mold compost.

What is leaf mold?

According to Organic Gardening, leaf mold is an excellent soil amendment that helps improve soil texture and fertility, and increases water retention by more than 50%. Gardner's Supply Company mentions that in addition to helping retain moisture in the soil, leaf mold also absorbs rainwater to reduce runoff; and in hot weather, it cools roots and foliage. Leaf mold also provides a fantastic habitat for soil life, including earthworms and beneficial bacteria.

How do you make leaf mold compost?

  • Pile your leaves in a corner of your yard or into a three-foot-by-three-foot wood or wire bin, and thoroughly dampen the pile.
  • Use a shovel or a garden fork to break the leaves into smaller pieces to expedite the decomposition process.
  • Every three to four weeks, use the same shovel or garden fork to turn the leaf pile, which introduces air into the process.
  • Do this for six to 12 months, until the pile is mostly black and is soft and crumbly.
Leaf Mold Compost

To speed-up the process you can add nitrogen-rich materials such as grass clippings, egg shells, coffee grounds and plant clippings to your leaf pile.

How do you use leaf mold compost?

Leaf Mold Compost around Veggies
To get the most out of your leaf mold, Gardner's Supply Company suggests distributing it around your perennials, vegetable plants, and shrubs, no more than three inches thick. You can also incorporate leaf mold right into your soil because unlike raw leaves, it won't deprive surrounding plants of nitrogen; and you can use your leaf mold instead of peat moss in new garden beds.

But wait, isn't mold bad for you?

As it is with the mold in your home, the fungus commonly found growing on dead leaves in leaf mold composts does hold the potential to trigger allergic reactions. Depending on the severity, moldy conditions can lead a variety of health problems including coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, itching, and even respiratory failure. If you have a weak immune system, take precautions like using a gardener's mask while working in your garden to avoid inhaling fungal spores. If you suspect mold in your home, call a professional remediation service to take care of the problem and keep you and your family safe.

More info? For more information on mold allergy symptoms, check out our post, 10 Mold Exposure Symptoms: Who is vulnerable to mold exposure?

Call AdvantaCleanat 877.800.2382 to set up a mold inspection or mold remediation service today.