It is that time of year when the trickle of falling leaves will soon become an avalanche and so now is the time to get your leafmould cage ready. All you need is four posts lightly knocked into the ground and some chicken wire and a few nail staples to hold the wire on and then you are in ready for action.
I wrote an article last year about harvesting the previous year’s leafmould and I thought I would just add a follow up. Leafmould is the simplest and easiest (though not the quickest) way to get superb organic material for your garden. Unlike a compost, leafmould is the result of leaves being broken down by fungi so you don’t need to turn a pile of leafmould nor do you need to worry about getting it hot. As the leaves are typically gathered in November and usually from your lawn then apart from the odd twig there is usually very little by way of weed seeds. This means that next year you can look forward to a ready supply of high quality organic matter which can be used in various ways around the garden.
So I am just getting my leafmould cages for this years “crop”. Below is a picture of one leafmould cage as it looks after a year. It has more than halved in height but now I need to see whether the contents are ready for use or if I need to store them for a bit longer.
After having a bit of a rummage around and getting out a few spades worth (see below) I have decided I am going to set it aside until the spring. I think this is largely the result of the hot dry weather we have had over the course of the year. Fortunately I have some leftover from last year to use on the garden this year.
I am also going to make sure all sides are using wire netting. For this particular cage I was using a large piece of old plywood for one side. On the plus side it mades it much easier to dig out the leafmould but as you can see from the image, the leaves on that side are bone dry and really haven’t done anything. So I shall replace that side with wire netting that I can remove as needed and that should help move things on.