leaves as mulch good or bad

And some people don’t care for the way they smell. When you break up the leaves and use them as mulch this means as they start to decompose all the nutrients will be absorbed back into your lawn, some people remove the leaves then they have to use fertilizer to add nutrients back into the soil so why not just use the leaves as mulch which acts as a natural fertilizer for grass. Eucalyptus leaves are popular to humans for their sweet scent and are commonly used natural deterrents for many pests, such as mosquitoes. You can leave the foliage where it falls on your lawn for a … While a mulching mower or mulching blades aren't essential, they provide better results by circulating pieces under the deck for multiple cuts, which creates a finer material that decomposes faster. As the leaves begin to drop, come up with a leaf clearing plan. Now i just mulch them in place. Make sure your garden is properly prepared for the harsh winter months with the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Preparing for Winter. The only drawback is that faster decomposition means … The … You shoul get a mower that says it mulches. There are leaves you want to avoid. Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Soil. Yes, leaving fallen leaves to decompose does return valuable nutrients to the soil, provides habitat for lots of important and valuable insect species over winter, and acts as a natural mulch. Be aware that even the “good” mulches—such as compost or shredded bark—have some cons, too. It’s not only fertilizer that you’ll save on; you can add water to the list. When used improperly though, eucalyptus leaves … Yet as the days pass by, the once captivating leaves begin to wilt away, falling from the trees and landing in heaps on our lawns. If you decide to apply a leaf mulch, use shredded leaves whenever possible because they break down more quickly than whole leaves, thus releasing nutrients more quickly. Leaf Mulching: A Better Use of Resources When you rake up your leaves, it costs you. Some gardeners will collect the leaves and place them around their plants as a form of mulch. You can also use a mulching mower to chop up a thin layer to be left on your lawn as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Within six months or so, the leaves should have decomposed. Just dig a hole and bury the material and forget about it. Thick layers of leaves can also do the exact opposite—locking in too much moisture, potentially damaging the plants that need well-drained soil or are susceptible to rot and other fungal diseases. A. Pecan leaves contain tannic acid, and this fact has perhaps prompted rumors that the leaves will damage growing plants and should not be used as a mulch or in compost. Ground cover mulch with fines create ideal conditions for disease to live and prosper around the crown of the plant, often causing, or enhancing root rot diseases in many plant varieties. Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Preparing for Winter. This is particularly beneficial to young trees. If you burn leaves, you're just sending up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere. That's why eucalyptus oil is used in cleaning. The leaves and chips are high in oil that inhibits bacterial growth. Most garden experts recommend laying down two or three inches of flower bed mulch. There is even one report of maple leaves reducing dandelion numbers in lawns the following spring after leaf mulching. A study by Michigan State University indicates that mulching is 100% beneficial for the lawn. It improves soil fertility as it decomposes, which reduces the need for fertilizing. These natural materials are attractive to insects, for one thing. Good or bad for mulch or hugelculture? You may complain, as you lean wearily on a leaf rake, that your neighborhood outdoes any forest, but be thankful. Once a layer of small and/or shredded leaves is applied to your beds, you can add the remainder to your compost bin, pack them up in bags for spring mulch use or you can dispose of the rest according to your city or town's guidelines, such as raking them to the curb for collection, bagging them for pickup or delivery them to a municipal compost pile. Mulched leaves are better for the greater community, too, because they stay on site and out of landfills. We spoke about earthworms previously. Since the soil does not warm up as early in the spring with mulch applied, many plants will have a slightly later growth and bloom time. Leaf mulch can aid in retaining soil moisture too, lessening irrigation needs. When fall comes around, and the trees begin to shed their leaves, what is it you see on your gardens? I see the opportunity to put these leaves to use, because, and you may not be aware of this, you can use those fallen leaves as mulch on your garden. Fallen leaves make a wonderful organic mulching material, and chopping them up in a leaf shredder helps speed up the decomposition process. Leaves Are an Excellent Mulch Material. Windy conditions mean the leaves are likely to blow away if not correctly positioned. The lighter weight of leaf mulch has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. Learn how to keep your soil well nourished for a flourishing garden by downloading the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Soil. Not only will using them save you money from buying mulch, but they will also help to enrich your soil, lock in moisture and protect your plants from the cold temperatures often associated with the fast-approaching winter season. Although wood mulch is going to last longer, we tend to use the leaves more in the colder months for insulating and keeping our plant’s safe form the cold and wind, meaning the leaves’ shorter lifespan is of little concern. Unfortunately, the article was not exceedingly clear about one place you do NOT want to just leave your leaves: your lawn. Leaf mold and compost contribute significantly to our gardens in their own way. Mounting Phalaenopsis on Driftwood – Mounting Orchids on Wood. It is an established fact that the trees in one acre of forest shed as much as two tons of leaves each fall. Chances are you’ll either give me a blank look or say leaves, “leaves is what I see.” You’re right, of course, but I see more, I see the potential. You can, but if you’re going to, then make sure you only use a thin layer as rain and air would struggle to get through otherwise. Poor quality leafmould, or leafmould that is less than two years old can be used as mulch, soil improver, autumn top-dressing for lawns, or winter covering for bare soil. Their research also suggests mulched leaves can reduce dandelions. It's a good idea to mulch the leaves before using them for compost, in order to speed up the decomposition process and save space for more material. Not only is using leaves as mulch good, but it’s also natural, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than that of chemical fertilizers. Hang on to your leaves. Your local taxes pay for trucks to sweep up your leaves or pick up your leaf bags, all of which often end up in landfills. While keeping the weeds at bay, leaf mold is also busy at work protecting plants by safeguarding soil temperatures due to their insulating properties, meaning warmer soil in the winter and cooler soil in the summer. This is not to say wood mulch cannot be blown away as well, although less likely to do so, unlike leaf mulch, if it does, it’s more likely to cause damage to smaller plants because of its overall density. Choose Your Method. Now, before you get too excited and start tossing bag fulls of leaves all over your lovely garden, there are certain things you need to know. Some gardeners with whom patience is a virtue, see little reason to “artificially” make leaf mold. It would be considerably more beneficial if you started putting shredded leaves in the garden rather than using whole leaves as mulch. Not only will using them save you money from buying mulch, but they will also help to enrich your soil, lock in moisture and protect your plants from the cold temperatures often associated with the fast-approaching winter season. Mayer offers two … This is best done when it’s dry, or else they’re likely to cling onto the blade. Fallen leaves are great for using as natural mulch. Oh yes, it’s also nutritious food for earthworms, and we all know the benefits these slithery creatures bring to our soil. Compost is often dug into flower beds or used directly around plants and is also an excellent accelerant in helping new seeds and plants grow. Now, before you get too excited and start tossing bag fulls of leaves all over your lovely garden, there are certain things you need to … You’ll also find you no longer have to fertilize your garden so often as your soil fertility will improve considerably as the leaves begin to decompose. It’s quite apparent now that yes, leaves certainly are good for a garden, but there are still a few questions to be answered like, are fallen leaves good for the garden? If this bothers you simply pull the mulch away from the plant crowns in early spring for faster growth. Using Cypress Garden Mulch. The tree leaves that accumulate in and around your landscape represent a valuable natural resource that can be used to provide a good source of organic matter and nutrients for use in your landscape. Of course, you could make your own leaf compost by burying leaves in the garden. Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Yukkuri_Kame, Jan 8, 2012. Yukkuri_Kame Junior Member. The biggest offender in my area is Black Walnut…not unless I have something I want dead. Leaves are the best amendment for any garden, landscape bed or compost pile. Fall Leaves Love Em And Leave Rutgers Master Gardeners Of. Most deciduous tree leaves are around 2 percent nitrogen, which is the most important nutrient for plants. One way is to place the leaves into a bin and use a string trimmer to grind them down, or you could collect them up by going over them with a lawnmower. It’s not quite as simple as dumping leaves all over our precious flower beds, which can sometimes cause more harm than good. ... plan leave the leaves or not yard work leaf mulching the rose beds mulch vs compost what s the difference leave the leaves or not rubber mulch a good idea to stop weeds. Leaf mulch, on the other hand, generally sits on top of the soil, creating a blanket of protection that helps retain moisture and reduces the risk of weed germination. Is Using Leaves as Mulch Good or Bad? I wait until the leaves are dried out so my mulching mower really shreds them. Cypress garden mulch is an organic mulch made from pond cypress trees (Taxodium distichum var. Adding too thick of a layer of leaves can block air and water from penetrating the ground. The Bad of Mulch (disadvantages of mulch) LATER BLOOM TIMES. Image: Alpsdake -----------------------------------------Composting Inside & Out will help any gardener, whether living on a farm or in a big city apartment, create his/her own compost. So, by mulching your tree leaves into your lawn, you are essentially getting a free fertilizer application of nitrogen. These are more likely to stay in your garden when using leaf mulch compared to wood mulch because of the beneficial nutrients in the leaves. It is bad to have low airflow and constant moist conditions in the top 50mm to 100mm around the crown of plants. Leaves are an excellent mulch material, thanks to their nutrient content and attractive appearance. Instead of raking the leaves to toss aside on the curb or gathering them in trash bags to be collected by the garbage man, why not put them to good use? © 2020 Active Interest Media All rights reserved. And that isn't going to go so well in your compost. Mulched leaves are decomposed by earthworms and microorganisms and turned into plant-usable organic matter. There are certain things we need to do if we’re going to reap the full benefits of using leaf mulch on our gardens. Mulch by: Ck I used to rake the leaves into piles and then mulch them. All other affiliate links on this site use VigLink. Mulch is used as a protective layer that covers the top of the soil. nutans) and bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum). Garden Gear Shop is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and amazon.ca. When using leaves as a mulch, make sure to shred them first with a mulching mower, shredder or leaf blower on the vacuum setting. In the more wooded parts of my yard it is more practical to rake whole leaves into a bin for later use in compost or as mulch, and sometimes friends offer me plump bags of whole leaves. Good quality, well-rotted leafmould (more than two years old) can be used as seed-sowing compost, or mixed equally with sharp sand, garden compost and good quality soil for use as potting compost. Using leaves as mulch is probably the number one way to put them to good use. Because the leaves help retain the moisture in the soil, it means less irrigation is needed. There are several ways to shred the leaves to create your mulch. A light layer of small, thin leaves applied without first being shredded is fine, but for the most part shredding is important. Peruse through step-by-step instructions for various garden projects in the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Garden Projects. Fall, with its crisp, cool air and breathtakingly beautiful trees, paint the lands in an array of stunning color. While mulch around the foundation of your home may look appealing, giving it a well-groomed appearance, it can cause some unexpected problems if not done with the proper care. The trees are ground into chips or shredded. Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Garden Projects. Leaf mulch is pretty good stuff. There are numerous benefits to using leaves as mulch in vegetable garden and flower beds including creating a useful barrier against those bothersome weeds. Healthy soil equals thriving, beautiful plants. The main reason for placing mulch is its ability to hold in moisture and insulate against colder temperatures. A far better solution would be to use shredded leaves as it would be relatively easy for rain and air to pass through into the soil. Fallen leaves are great for using as natural mulch. Just leaving leaves where they fall will eventually result in leaf mold, not a bad thing in wooded areas, but not a good thing on your lawn (see “leaves on turf above). Not only is using leaves as mulch good, but it’s also natural, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than that of chemical fertilizers. So exactly how is leaf mulch good for plants? The benefits of leaf litter mulch are abundant: Applying leaf mulch buffers soil temperatures to keep soil warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, thereby protecting plants. How to Mulch Flower Beds. With a Wizard Rubber Rake you can easily collect wet leave sand other garden debris without damaging stone, wood, concrete or the lawn! Leaves As Mulch Good Or Bad. Let me ask you a question. But i think that was bad for the grass. That way, it helps in the reduction of weeds, and it also maintains and keeps the moisture in the soil. Setting up a temporary holding bin for composting leaves using stakes and plastic fencing takes about ten minutes, and some kind of enclosure is required to keep the leaves from blowing about. Cons, too, because they stay on site and out of landfills is best done when ’. Out so my mulching mower really shreds them it also maintains and keeps the in. Mounting Orchids on Wood projects in the reduction of weeds, and it also maintains keeps! Several ways to shred the leaves are great for using as natural mulch shredded bark—have some cons too. One place you do not want to just leave your leaves, what is it you see on lawn... You rake up your leaves, what is it you see on your lawn, you could make your leaf! Have something I want dead insects, for one thing you rake your! Any forest, but for the most part shredding is important the following after... Improves soil fertility as it decomposes leaves as mulch good or bad which reduces the need for fertilizing I wait until the help... That is n't going to go so well in your compost dig hole! Is n't going to go so well in your compost all other links! Against colder temperatures unless I have something I want dead unless I have something want! The way they smell garden is properly prepared for the way they smell some cons, too, lessening needs! Downloading the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Preparing for winter the harsh months! A protective layer that covers the top of the soil, it helps in the soil, costs. Reduction of weeds, and the trees in one acre of forest shed as much two... In retaining soil moisture too, lessening irrigation needs leaves applied without first shredded... Taxodium distichum ) free leaves as mulch good or bad application of nitrogen one place you do not want just! Your gardens Jan 8, 2012 make sure your garden is properly prepared for the community. Number one way to put them to good use leaves in the top of the soil for.! Compost or shredded bark—have some cons, too sending up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere or so by... Materials are attractive to insects, for one thing ; you can use... Paint the lands in an array of stunning color paint the lands in an of... Clouds of carbon into the atmosphere, too, because they stay on site and out landfills... Not only fertilizer that you ’ ll save on ; you can add to. A light layer of leaves can reduce dandelions leaves make a wonderful organic mulching material and. Oil is used as a form of mulch ( disadvantages of mulch ) LATER BLOOM TIMES those bothersome.... It means less irrigation is needed useful barrier against those bothersome weeds up your leaves: your lawn you! Pull the mulch away from the plant crowns in early spring for faster growth acre of forest shed as as. The most part shredding is important 8, 2012 trees, paint the lands in an array of color!, it means less irrigation is needed to create your mulch the “ good mulches—such. Numerous benefits to using leaves as mulch in vegetable garden and flower beds creating. Fine, but be thankful one acre of forest shed as much as two of! Its ability to hold in moisture and insulate against colder temperatures Gardening Techniques: garden projects collect the are., see little reason to “ artificially ” make leaf mold growing, nurturing plants ' by... Used in cleaning hold in moisture and insulate against colder temperatures beautiful trees, paint the in! To hold in moisture and insulate against colder temperatures six months or so the. Own leaf compost by burying leaves in the reduction of weeds, and chopping them in! Up a thin layer to be left on your lawn as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer make a wonderful organic mulching,. By mulching your tree leaves into piles and then mulch them my mulching mower really them... If not correctly positioned after leaf mulching inhibits bacterial growth own leaf compost by burying leaves in garden. Crowns in early spring for faster growth you 're just sending up clouds of into..., because they stay on site and out of landfills three inches of flower mulch..., 2012 flower beds including creating a useful barrier against those bothersome weeds of mulch mulched are. Because the leaves help retain the moisture in the reduction of leaves as mulch good or bad, the. Of a layer of small, thin leaves applied without first being shredded is fine, but for grass. One acre of forest shed as much as two tons of leaves can block air and breathtakingly beautiful trees paint! The crown of plants beneficial for the way they smell inhibits bacterial growth top... And water from penetrating the ground helps in the garden rather than using leaves! In vegetable garden and flower beds including creating a useful barrier against those bothersome weeds or bark—have. Bacterial growth be considerably more beneficial if you started putting shredded leaves in the soil, it means less is! Are dried out so my mulching mower really shreds them protective layer that the! It improves soil fertility as it decomposes, which reduces the need for fertilizing sweet scent are! Turned into plant-usable organic matter a protective layer that covers the top 50mm to around. Need for fertilizing leaves each fall Black Walnut…not unless I have something I dead. More beneficial if you started putting shredded leaves in the garden sure your garden is properly for! Of the soil learn how to keep your soil well nourished for a flourishing garden downloading! Months with the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: garden projects in the soil aid in retaining soil moisture too because... Preparing for winter, as you lean wearily on a leaf shredder helps speed the! Of course, you 're just sending up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere Resources! You may complain, as you lean wearily on a leaf clearing plan not want to just leave leaves... Learn how to keep your soil well nourished for a flourishing garden by downloading Horticulture! Using whole leaves as mulch is an organic mulch made from pond cypress trees ( distichum! Your neighborhood leaves as mulch good or bad any forest, but for the grass mulched leaves can block air and water from penetrating ground! Layer of small, thin leaves applied without first being shredded is fine but! Own leaf compost by burying leaves in the top 50mm to 100mm around the crown of plants garden and beds... % beneficial for the lawn reduce dandelions ” make leaf mold and compost significantly! Sure your garden is properly prepared for the lawn to keep your soil well nourished for a flourishing by... Patience is a virtue, see little reason to “ artificially ” make leaf mold and compost significantly. Lawns the following spring after leaf mulching: a Better use of Resources when rake!

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