Last year, I piled a ton of leaves up at my parent’s acreage. They are basically all Poplar leaves, and probably a little bit of spruce needles, and any low growing foliage that I ended up raking in with the main leaves.
I didn’t anticipate they would be completely broken down and beautiful compost. That will probably take longer than a year. I was pleasantly surprised, after pulling away the top dry layers of leaves, that I had a wonderful developing leaf mold! It isn’t a compost yet, but should make a great mulch layer and soil conditioner back in my yard.
So I just bagged it up and brought it back home with me to put on as a mulch layer once I am planting things. It should work out great! It smells just like when you are walking through the forest. I only disturbed one of the three piles I created last year. I want to see how they look later in the year.
I thought I should also update you on the non-leaf mold situation I have going on at home. I mentioned it in the original post last year, so an update on it now is keeping with the pattern.
In my yard, I have a my little experiment going . I’ve heard a few different sources say that if you put the old perennial roots of weeds and grass into a black plastic bag, moisten it and put it in a sunny area for a year to 18 months then you will have a nice compost. So last year when I was creating the beds around the yard, I bagged up some old sod and grass roots, and stuck them along the back side of the house. Not a super sunny area, but it needed to be out of the way. I couldn’t leave garbage bags out in the open sunny areas, and that was really the only place I had that I could try this out in. When I got home from my parents’ house and checking on/collecting my leaf mild from there, I ran back to check on this experiment as well.
The bottom of the bag is starting to break down really nicely. The top layers, as you can see above, will need more time. I will probably need to put these in a thicker bag. I’m thinking maybe too much light got in and didn’t help the process. Since I have ripped the bag open, I need to re-bag anyway, so I might take out what has broken down enough to use, and just keep the stuff that needs some more time.