Alan Titchmarsh explains how autumn leaves improve soil
Alan Titchmarsh is often seen sharing gardening tips on various television shows with celebrities and other keen gardeners. The garden expert and TV presenter currently hosts his own show on ITV every Sunday called Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh. The show sees the nation’s favourite gardener celebrate the great British countryside including arts, crafts and produce with other well-known celebrities.
The winter can be a tough time for British gardens with heavy rain, frost and snow.
Many Britons often watch their gardens go into decline over the winter months as plants die and autumn leaves blanket the grass.
For those looking to avoid a dead lawn in the spring, Alan has revealed what Britons should be doing regularly to make sure their garden lawns remain looking fresh and vibrant.
Alan explained that although it may be “tempting” to leave dead leaves on the lawn until they’ve all fallen from the trees, Britons shouldn’t take this risk.
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Alan revealed his tips in a video for Waitrose & Partners.
He said: “You may be tempted on the lawn to think ‘I’ll wait until they’re [dead leaves] are all down and then I’ll have one big clean up’.
“Don’t because if they sit there for weeks – and oak leaves don’t come down until Christmas – by the time you rake them off in that one big cleanup you’ll find there’s no grass left underneath and they’ve killed it off. So get them off regularly.”
If you don’t have a composter, getting rid of dead leaves can be a nuisance.
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But Alan has a handy and inexpensive way to use dead leaves to your advantage for the coming months.
He added: “The easiest thing to do with them is to put them into black plastic bin liners.
“Stab the bin liner first with a fork so you’ve got these little holes.
“That allows just a little bit of air to get in there.
“The most important thing is when you put them in, these are bone dry, if they stay bone dry they won’t rot down.”
Alan explained that the leaves need to be dampened and then stuffed tightly into the bags so they seem firm.
He continued: “After a year, stack them out of the way in a corner and they’ll look brown and crumbly.”
Gardeners can then use a garden sieve on the “brown and crumbly stuff” to get a fine, brown consistency.
Alan added: “You get perfect leaf mould.”
Leaf mould can be added to potting compost and makes a good mulch.
The fine consistency of leaf mould means it’s perfect for containers as it retains water and can also improve soil structure.
Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh airs on on ITV at 10am every Sunday.
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