What to do when leaves fall in the garden?
Updated: Sep 7
Many homeowners are afraid of fallen leaves. Scraping and wrapping can be a tedious task that lasts for hours. Leaves offer more than just the beauty of fall. It can offer the thinking gardener a way to grow sturdy and beautiful flowers and plants.
leaves and grass
Leaves in the garden are usually not a problem, but leaves on the lawn can be a problem if not handled in the right way.
Layers of leaves on your lawn can also look pretty in the fall. And, to be honest, it'll save you the drudgery of raking them together. However, when leaves cover your lawn, it can suffocate your lawn.
Grass needs sunlight to produce nutrients. Covering your lawn with leaves blocks sunlight. Cover the lawn for a few days and you may see yellow blades of grass.
Grass that has been covered for more than a few days does more than just turn yellow. Leaves act as Mother Nature's blanket to retain moisture. It turns your front yard into a petri dish. It creates the perfect environment for mold to grow.
The moral of the story is that a few leaves are not a bad thing. Try to pick it up before you have a big moldy blanket.
Three natural fertilizers
If you're a gardener, don't view leaves as your enemy, but as Mother Nature's windfall. The leaves provide an almost magical view in the fall and are the perfect natural fertilizer.
You can pay big bucks for end-of-life fertilizer at your local horticultural center, or you can receive Mother Nature's gift. You don't have to do more than you're already doing to turn your leaves into fertilizer.
Leave the leaves untouched and whizz the lawn mower over them a few times. Chop the leaves with the blade of your lawn mower. Then the leaf confetti will rise between the blades of grass and on top of the soil.
Make your own mulch
Mulch is expensive, and anyone who has ever had to unload a bag or truck will tell you it's a daunting task. Fortunately, there is a free way to make your own mulch without hurting your back.
To make your own mulch, simply mix grass clippings and chopped leaves. Packing your lawn with leaves you already have is a great way to mix up some DIY mulch.
Mixing this natural combination will give you free mulch that won't damage when spread around mulch and tree rings. You will also have a waterproof, nutrient-rich ground cover.
Strengthen the soil
Fertile soil can bring beautiful flowers and colorful, delicious vegetables to life.
Start by digging a trench around your flowers or vegetables. Create a trench 2 feet wide and 1 foot deep. Next, fill the gutters with pesky leaves you want to get rid of. If a piece of already cut grass mixes with the leaves, you will be ahead of the game. If not, mix up your lawn mowing.
Don't underestimate your lawn mowing. They provide nitrogen that helps break down the leaves, allowing plants to better absorb nutrients. If you don't have grass clippings, mix fertilizer with nitrogen. It should have the same effect.
However, if you add fertilizer, be sure to use only fertilizer.
The final step is to cover the trench with excavated soil and water the area thoroughly. The best thing about this trick is that you can repeat it whenever you need to. As you collect more leaves, you can start digging another trench.
Stop weeds growing
As mentioned earlier, the layers of leaves act as Mother Nature's blanket. If you have open spaces in your garden and are worried about weeds coming out, a blanket of leaves is great.
All you have to do is sprinkle the remaining leaves generously over the areas you want to get rid of weeds. The leaves block sunlight and prevent weeds from sprouting.
When the weather warms up, you can use the leaves as mulch or compost and set your plants up for a spectacularly successful growing season.
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