Use Autumn Leaves for Mulching

None of us enjoy raking or even blowing all those autumn leaves around, but there is an upside!  All those leaves can provide amendments for your lawn and garden.  Here are three great ways to use those leaves to your advantage.

  1. Leaf Mold can be created over the winter months and used as soil amendment for the flower beds around your home later.  Leaf mold is made by layering shredded fall leaves with a thin occasional additions of garden soil or finished compost.  This can be done in an area of your property or in a garbage can in the garage or backyard.  It does take about a year, but once you get a cycle going, you’ll have fantastic rich compost to add to gardens, flower beds, and trees all around your property.
  2. Lasagna Gardening is a perfect way to use your autumn leaves, as they can provide one of the layers to compost down over the winter, making your soil nice and rich for your spring planting beds! Your fall leaves are the “brown” layers that go on top of your cardboard (wet) base and between each layer of green kitchen scraps.
  3. Mulching is a great way to create nice warm mulch beds to help your trees and shrubs stay cozy throughout the winter.  To use leaves as mulch, rake them around the base of trees, under shrubs, and over the roots of bedding plants.  Avoid “volcano” and think “crater.” Piling leaves around the trunks and stalks can lead to mold and other issues, so make sure you leave a gap between the stalk or trunk and the crater edge of the leaves and mulch.  Many people avoid using leaves as mulch because it’s not as attractive as store-bought mulch, but NO PROBLEM, just put a thin layer of store bought mulch over the leaves!