To make quickly available, dry off leaves in sun or heat and work through a sieve. The resulting ‘dust’ is splendid for potting and is more quickly absorbed. The ordinary way of piling leaves in a heap covered with earth takes at least a year to be ready. Beech and oak leaves are best. Leaf mould as an ingredient of potting composts is now largely displaced by peat which is free from disease spores and weed seeds.

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