The trees around the property are starting to colour, probably triggered by the cool evenings, and some leaves are falling. I love this time of year however if you have lots of deciduous trees, this time of year may even be a chore for you. So here are some things you can do with leaves.

We love the stunning autumn tones of deciduous trees when they colour, however after their spectacular fall show, comes the deluge of mountainous piles of leaves. If you can, let them remain on the garden beds where they fall to eventually break down and complete the natural nutrient cycle. If not, use them in your compost, as a brown or dry layer to alternate with fresh green material. It is worth stock piling bags of leaves for this purpose later in the year.

Finally, another great use of leaves is to make leaf mould, a valuable source of organic matter to increase your soils water holding capacity, and thus reduce the water requirements of your garden. Make a bay from four star droppers spaced 1m apart, and either attach corrugated iron sheets or similar to make solid sides, or wrap chicken wire around for open sides. Then simply pile your leaves inside. There are three things that you can do to speed up their breakdown into leaf mould. The first is put them through a mulcher or run your mower over the leaves as fine rots faster. The second is to add a sprinkling of organic fertilizer every 15-30cm of depth. Finally keep the pile moist and turn it occasionally. In the warmer weather you may need to add water while in winter you may need to cover the bay to stop it getting too soggy.