Thursday, November 15, 2012

What to do with all those leaves?

The leaves are falling and the yearly cleanup begins. What strategies are the best to use the leaves in your garden.

1. Discard all leaves of diseased trees or plants from the garden. Do not add them to the compost. Instead, throw them out with the garbage.

2. Masses of leaves should not be allowed to overwinter on your lawn. They will compact and deprive the grass of light and air. Remove the leaves and use them as mulch or add them to your compost pile OR mow them. If you do not have a tremendous amount of leaves, mowing them weekly until they have finished falling will give your lawn nutrients and will provide some shade preventing weeds from growing.

3. Use whole leaves as mulch around plants that have just been planted. The leaves will keep the soil warm and give the roots time to get established. (Leaves should never be placed close to the base of a tree or shrub. It should be a minimun of 6"to 8" away)

3. Use leaves across your gardens bare soil to prevent erosion during the winter.

4. Apply them to established gardens to prevent the soil from freezing and defrosting "heaving" in the winter and premature warming in the spring.

5. Shredding the leaves hastens the process for use as mulch or compost in your garden giving you a dark rich high carbon material.

6. Contact your municipality for information on leaf pick up or drop off . They often shred and make compost to be used in public gardens or provide the community with compost in the spring.
For information on The City of  Philadelphia leaf drive:        Leaf Drive Q&A     Leaf Drive City

7. Finally.........use those beautiful leaves to give artful color to your fall decorating or Thanksgiving Ttable.

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