This season is instantly associated with fiery fallen leaves, but according to Monty Don, their value stretches far beyond their aesthetic.
The garden guru who is best-known for presenting BBC’s Gardener’s World has shared that now, in particular, is the time to gather leaves for leafmold – which produces soil conditioner that will benefit your flowers long into 2022.
Discussing these fall garden ideas on his blog (opens in new tab), Monty revealed how your actions now will lead to healthy soil – and how to use this natural tool for free. Here, he explains what you need to know.
Monty Don’s leafmold tip
While Monty admits that the majority of leaves fall in November, it is important to gather and store ‘every last one this month, as this will lead to more abundant leafmold for your entire garden.
‘Climate change has meant that – in my part of the world at least – leaf fall is gradually getting later, and the autumnal color is getting more dramatic, although this obviously varies from year to year,’ he says.
‘But every day, there is a gentle drift of leaf fall that picks up in volume as the days pass. If there is a frost, the frozen leaves clatter to the ground as the sun thaws them, and they can be raked, brittle and stiff, to head towards the leafmold heap.’
Monty, who confesses he is ‘obsessive about making leafmould’, recommends gathering the leaves before ‘mowing them to chop them up and then stacking them in a big open heap.’ Leaving them in the heap will give them time to ‘break down into a lovely rich, crumbly texture and become an essential component of our homemade potting compost.’
The garden expert adds that ‘nothing makes for a better soil conditioner or potting medium,’ so it is important to gather as many as you can. However, you need to act now, especially if you need to create a small garden storage solution.
‘If you do not have somewhere to store them sort this out early in the month,’ Monty says. He recommends creating a ‘simple bay from four posts and chicken wire’ – which you can pick up on Amazon (opens in new tab).
Monty's cottage garden idea will organize your exterior and enrich your plants for free – it’s time we get picking.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
We're calling it: this kitchen innovation – inspired by an ancient Chinese game – will reshape kitchen design forever
Forget sharp angles and rigid lines, the latest kitchen island trend draws inspiration from classical architecture to riff on the circle
By Jennifer Ebert • Published
Bedroom layout mistakes – that make your room feel smaller and more cluttered
Expert designers explain common bedroom layout mistakes that make a space feel cluttered, and what to do to fix them
By Chiana Dickson • Published