A use for fAllen leAves
In the wood bed, an ash was fast to drop its leaves. Already they have broken down; a carpet of blackened midribs on the path is all that is left. Other areas are cloaked in fallen hazel leaves. These thick, coarse leaves do not break down very fast. I will get as many off as possible and into the leaf mould bin. It is time to see what last year’s full bin has reduced down to. The wood bed will be the main recipient of this dark chocolate leaf mould. Creeping woodlanders, such as wood anemones, impatiens and disporopsis, will spread in this friable layer. Each year, it builds upon the dusty soil on which I over-optimistically started the wood bed.
Autumn leaves from healthy trees can be left to break down into leaf mould, which is an excellent soil conditioner.