Leafmould is formed from decaying leaves and makes a really useful soil conditioner or compost additive. The best leafmould is made from the leaves of Oak, Hornbeam or Beech but any leaves will do. Tougher leaves including evergreens such as holly should be shredded first.

Step 1 – Choose a day that is dry and still to collect your leaves. If needed, shred the leaves. You can do this by piling them up and using a lawn mower, or use a leaf blower that shreds the leaves when sucking them up.

Step 2 – Place the leaves in a jute sack, if they are dry then you will need to wet them quite a bit, tie the top loosely and place it out of sight. Alternatively, make a frame out of chicken wire and wooden stakes in a sheltered part of the garden. Pile up the leaves and moisten if it becomes dry. It can take up to two years for it to break down completely, depending on how shredded it is and the leaves you are using, Oak, Hornbeam and Beech break down quickly. 


  • Use well-rotted leafmould as seed compost.
  • Mixed equally with sharp sand, garden compost and good quality soil for potting compost.
  • If less than 2 years old or not completely broken down, use it as a mulch or soil improver.