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Digital Subscriptions > Kitchen Garden Magazine > 266 - November 2019 > TIME TO TURN OVER AN OLD LEAF

TIME TO TURN OVER AN OLD LEAF

Autumn is marked by dramatic change as the natural world sheds its summer cloak. Make the most of this leafy abundance by collecting what you can to make your own lovely leafmould. Benedict Vanheems will get you raking
CREDIT Don LaVange

They call it the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – all those fruits filled with ripeness to the core, the swollen gourds and plump hazel shells.The poet Keats was on to something. But joining this edible abundance is a plentiful harvest of another kind: leaves. Lots and lots of leaves.

As a gardener you can view this windfall in one of two ways. Yes, it’ll take several bouts of energetic raking and gathering – and just when you were hoping to wind down for the season! But this is also nature’s gift to you.

Use it wisely to gently nourish and improve your soil, to mulch around established crops such as fruit bushes, or as the basis to a homemade potting compost.Think of it as the gardener’s gold it is and the annual rake-up won’t seem nearly as daunting.

OLD INTO NEW

While leaves may of course be left on the ground to decompose where they are over winter, collecting them up to make leafmould opens up more uses for this seasonal plenty.

So what is leafmould? Put simply, it’s decaying or decayed leaves. It smells like the stuff of dreams, earthy like a woodland floor, with a dark and friable consistency that you just know is going to do great things for your garden.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine In this issue: A WALLED GARDEN FIT FOR A PRINCE ✪ Janice Hopper travels to Scotland’s beautiful Caste of Mey THE GREEN TEAM Writer Emily Collins travels to Goole in East Yorkshire to visit a charity that uses gardening to help the local community BARRICADE AND MARMALADE Gardening expert Sally Cunningham has a recipe for a productive security hedge And much more!