Mulching is a natural way to build up soil and add nutrients, but if you let your leaves stay where they fall they can create a natural habitat for pests and some diseases. If you put your leaves in a compost pile you may notice that many are still intact while the vegetable matter is broken down.

This is because many leaves that fall during autumn contain “liguen” a protein, which rots by fungi instead of bacteria, causing the leaves to take longer to break down.

The best way to make leaf mold is to separate it. Take a large black plastic bag, tie the bag closed, then puncture it all over and store it for about a year. Make sure you give the pile enough time to break down.


  1. While the premise is sound, your results using this method will vary wildly. Do Not puncture your bags as you may/will get ant and other insect infestations. I shred my leaves with a mower and bag (sealed) for next years use in a compost tumbler throughout the entire summer as well as using them as a base before putting in any other soil or mulch in beds and gardens. As I empty the mower bag into the Large contractor brand trash bags I have found using an octagon cut scrap piece of granite on top each time, step in compress and remove. With this method I can put 8 or 9 mower bags of shredded leave int one bag. You can also use this as a mix with potting soil for your container gardens or plantings.


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