Gardeners tend to dread autumn. Shorter days mean less time to potter around and enjoy our prized plots. As the leaves on trees start to turn various shades of amber and gold, there are some important jobs to keep on top of at this time of year.
In our latest How To YouTube series, our expert horticulturists, Charlie and Malachy, talk you through the jobs they will be calling out during the month of September in their own gradens.
Now is a great time to be turning your attention to grass maintenance and specifically to dealing with leaves which have fallen on lawns. Apart from cutting away trees altogether the only solution is determination and lots of elbow grease!
Newer rake designs are specially designed to make it easier and faster to rake leaves on lawns. Simply put, the best way to keep on top of leaves in your garden is to rake them up every couple of days. It is quicker and less daunting in the long run to do it as it comes, before you end up with a mountain of leaves to clear away at the end of the season.
Making Leaf Mould
Once you have collected the leaves you have a couple of options of what to do with the fallen leaves. You can either add them to your compost heap or bag them up and turn them into leaf mould. Leaf mould can be used to enrich the soil the following year, it is like liquid gold in the garden as it adds so much to the soil and gives plants a great boost when you plant them.
Making your own leaf mould simply involves collecting the leaves and bagging them up into sacks or black bin bags. If the leaves you collect are very dry then add a jug of water on top of them to aid the breakdown. Finally, pierce a few holes in the bag and tie it loosely at the top. Once you have all your bags ready you can leave them in corner of the garden for around a year to a year and a half until you have rich dark leaf mould.
If your leaf mould is slow to break down, try turning it regularly to aerate the leaves and speed up the breakdown process. It is important to make sure that the leaves do not dry out so moisten the pile if necessary in hot, dry weather.
Good quality, well-rotted leaf mould (more than two years old) can be used as seed-sowing compost or mixed equally with sharp sand, garden compost and good quality soil for use as potting compost, while leaf mould that is less than two years old can be used as mulch, a soil improver, autumn top-dressing for lawns or winter covering for bare soil.
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True Temper Poly Leaf Rake With 60cm Head
This True Temper poly leaf rake comes with a super light plastic head and is complimented with a lightweight wooden handle. The poly head is extra large in size with a width of 60cm and consists of a total of 26 flexible plastic tines ensuring maximum gathering capacity.
True Temper Kodiak 24 Tine Leaf Rake
The True Temper Kodiak 24-Tine Leaf Rake can be used for clearing leaves and debris from lawns and prepare seed beds.
True Temper Wire Leaf Rake 16 Round Tines
The True Temper Wire Leaf Rake 16T Round Tines is designed for gathering leaves and grass cuttings, general purpose maintenance in the garden and preparing seed beds.