A Forest Garden - Record of Progress

Easy Way to Make Leafmold

Leafmold is a wonderful material and this is not the first time in covering it on the site.

This is a series of photos that show just how easy it can be to produce leafmold fit for the garden.

So here is all what you need to make it:

  • A big black plastic bag of dried leaves
  • Heat applied to the bag – aka filtered Sunlight
  • Water or urine added into the bag every so often (or leave the bag open to catch rainwater)
  • Time (tick tock)

After 2 months I emptied the bag to see what was going on in there, and we can see here that it was well on its way.

a pile of leafmould backyard

A good number of worms had found a way into the bag, and looked to be in great condition.

a fat worm on my hand

Decomposition is assured with a covering of actinomycetes over the leaves. These little guys exist in huge numbers, and are largely responsible for the earthly smell in compost and degraded organic matter.

Microorganisms living in leafmold

And I just couldn’t contain my amazement. Leafmold, worms, compost. Maybe you just had to be there.


One last time to muck around before middle-age – It is my 40th birthday today!!
+Shane Genziuk

20 thoughts on “Easy Way to Make Leafmold

  1. I use some of the bagged up leaves as insulation around the water faucets and exposed pipes, then come spring I’ll add them to the compost. But most of the leaves are trenched into the raised beds after harvest along with coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, crab shell and anything else I can get my hands on.


  2. Pingback: Autumn Leaves – Summer Soil | Coffee Grounds to Ground

  3. Pingback: Coffee Grounds for Plants | Coffee Grounds to Ground

  4. doing an experiment with some of my chopped up leaves. I have put them in a wheelie bin and filled it with coffee water (nitrogen). I am hoping after a couple of weeks the water will start to soak in. I think part of the problem of leaves decomposing is that they dont asorb water but you will notice the wet ones in the gutter down the bottom of the pile have started to decompose.


    • Yeah spot on mate. Give it time and they will absorb the moisture and start to break down in time for Spring compost. I’m leaving mine in black plastic bags this Winter, then throw them in with the rest of the compost in September.


  5. I suggest you get a couple of outdoor cats or by all means start feeding neighborhood strays you will be squirrel-free in no time! and be helping kitties that need you!


  6. Happy Birthday!!!! My birthday is coming up here in a few days too! My SIL’s birthday was yesterday also! HAHA Lots of May babies it seems!!

    Love your post about leaf mold! I might have to try that! Right now though, I need to figure out a good solution to my ground squirrel infestation! AHH! They are worse this year than they were last year!


  7. welcome to the 40 club. it is ok once you get past the day. Yes my leaves from last year are almost ready. I started off with 6 garbage bags full (reused from coffee grounds collection). I then mowed them so they were smaller. They then fit in 3 bags. Bit of grass in there for nitrogen and coffee grounds. After about 6 months I build a round enclosure out of wire mesh to allow them to be exposed to the weather more. It is nearly a year now and it has really broken down now. I collected my first 2 bags of leaves for the new year last weekend.


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