When life sends sycamores…

…Make Leaf Mould.

Okay, so suddenly the allotment looks like this:

image3

There’s a long, steep, grassy sward down one side of the actual plots, which always gets covered in leaves, most of which just get left, but I try to sweep mine up as they tend to blow onto my plot and kill the grass (I leave any that fall on the beds.)

Plot Number Three is on the same steep hill, overhung by the same gigantic sycamore. In many ways it’s not ideal, but this year has all been about working with what I have.image7

I thought I didn’t have the space for a leaf mould stack (you can’t put large quantities of leaves into a regular compost bin because they decompose using different processes – basically compost rots with the aid of heat and worms; leaf mould is exactly what it says – fungal, and therefore slower.)

image6But, looking again, first at a roll of unused chicken wire, then at a particularly steep bit of not-quite-plot (aw, c’mon, no one else is using it…) I figured that with the aid of some metal poles I had knocking around and some bamboo canes, something could be fashioned.

My great pal Paul brought it to life, I’ll admit it now, and I extend my hugest thanks to him.image1 It was quite quick and dirty but it’s easily filled, keeps the leaves tidy and, eventually, will turn them to a great soil conditioner. In fact the most difficult thing about building it was trying not to slip down the hill as we made – and filled it.image3

But it’s done now, and I’m delighted. It doesn’t need to be touched for a good 18 months, and of course, when I do, I’ll be extra-special careful. You never know who might call my new Leaf-bin ‘home.’

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