There were several large old oaks who suffered some damage in the recent thunderstorms we've had a week ago or so. Now they've dried out and I scored some goodies, some great mossy branches and several bags of sun dried dried leaves to make oak leaf mold and leaf litter.

Here's the steps for making Oak Leaf Mold aka Leaf Litter for your terrarium soil composition and soil dwelling organisms like Isopods and springtails, roaches will eat it too.

1) Collect leaves, they can be sun dried on fallen branches like these, fallen autumn leaves collected from a clean area never touched by Chem Lawn or any of that kinda toxic stuff or green leaves is OK too.

2) Bring the leaves home and make up a "clamshell" of foil to cover them in the oven and set it for 200*F and let them bake an hour or two. This kills any nasties hiding on them.

3) Take them out to cool. Then crush them into fines if you are using it as part of your soil mix, you can leave them whole if you plan to use it as decorative leaf litter/surface food for terrarium inhabitants.

Here you can see the difference between crushed and uncrushed oak leaf litter, both bags were full when I carried them home.

You can store a lot of material once it's been crushed, I will make up a bunch of material for winter since the stores have quit selling Oak Leaf Mold so now instead of paying $5 for a gallon ziplock full I pay nothing... Damn!