It’s that time of year when the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. Yet, in a few weeks at most, those leaves will cover the ground. Whether you use a rake or a leaf blower to collect them, the question is, “What should I do with all these fallen leaves?” You can deal with leaves in several ways, and not all of them require disposal.
Leaves are good for your landscaping.
Leaves are good organic matter full of nutrients to promote plant growth. Trees collect minerals from deep in the ground–making those leaves full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and other minerals. One bag of leaves can be equivalent to $50 of plant food you would purchase at your landscaping supply store. Take a look at some of the benefits you’ll realize from using fallen leaves in your yard and garden:
- Shredded leaves can break up heavy clay soil,
- Earthworms and beneficial microbes feed on leaves,
- Leaf material will increase the moisture retention of sandy soil,
- Carbon in the leaves will balance the nitrogen in your compost pile,
- Leaves will insulate plants from cold temperatures, and
- Collected leaves can be used as a free and attractive mulch around flowers and plants.
Ways to Use Fallen Leaves in Your Yard and Garden
- Amend Your Soil. Use your lawnmower to mulch the leaves and till them into your garden. Add a little slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to help the leaves decompose. All you have to do is wait until springtime to see all the earthworms and healthy soil ready for your new seeds and plants.
- Make compost. Pile up leaves in a spare corner of your property. Building a circular “barrel” with chicken wire will help keep the leaves from blowing around. Layer the leaves with high-nitrogen material like grass clippings and kitchen scraps. Keep layering and composting throughout the winter. If it begins to dry out, spray it with a little water and turn it over with a rake or pitchfork. Next spring, you’ll have the perfect compost to mix into your garden.
- Mow and mulch them. If you can convert your lawnmower to a mulcher, this is a great way to break up leaves and feed your lawn. Shredded leaves will improve the soil and reduce the need to add fertilizer in the spring.
- Put the leaves on your fall garden. The leaves will keep hardy vegetables warm and growing later in the season. Spread them over carrots, beets, kale, leeks, and other root vegetables.
- Donate them to the wildlife. Wildlife love leaves as food and as shelter. Blow leaves into wooded areas or pile them in an unused portion of your property. Bees, moths, butterflies, spiders, and other good bugs live in leaf piles to shelter from the elements.
Get your yard ready for the winter at Hilton Landscape Supply.
We’re your local source for everything you need to keep your yard healthy and beautiful! Whether your yard needs a fresh load of soil, a new layer of mulch, or the best fertilizers and nutrients for your area, Hilton Landscape Supply is the place to go. We’ve been serving Southern Oregon and Northern California since 1956, so we know what works best for growing healthy plants and vegetation in our regions. Stop by our retail store in Central Point or contact us for more information about all the products we carry to enhance your garden and outdoor living areas.