Fall Gardening Tips: Put Your Leaves to Work
Fallen leaves: a (dis)advantage to your garden
If you look up, you’ll see the gorgeous golden, red, yellow, orange colors that scream “fall is here!” But, then you look down and you see your beautiful garden, planters and vegetable beds covered in leaves and you sigh knowing you’ll spend a good portion of your weekend raking up leaves. Like everything else in life, you have to take the good with the bad. But the good news is, the bad part of fall (raking) can become the best part of spring (award-winning flowers and veggies). All you have to do is put those fall leaves to work! Here we’ll explain how.
Effective ways to recycling your fall leaves
Once you’ve raked up your fall leaves, find a way to shred your leaves into tiny pieces. Investing in a shredder might be good. You just spent the better part of your day raking, you don’t want to be up all night shredding. And a shredder (or a mulcher) will do the trick much better than you ever could.
Turning your fall leaves into a fine mulch is the best medicine you can give to your garden for the spring bloom. Think of all the delicious nutrients and minerals that the trees have been sucking up all year long and storing in the leaves. You want to swoop up this miracle mulch and feed it to the rest of your garden.
Shredded fall leaves with all their bright, fall colors make for an attractive cover in your flower beds. And the leftover mulch can go straight into your regular compost. The high carbon content of your mulch is a great way to balance a nitrogen-heavy compost bin.
Your fall leaves will do miracles for your spring garden
You can use fall leaves for your veggie garden that’s been harvested and is empty through the winter. Take a bunch of your mulch and mix it in with the soil in your vegetable garden. Come spring, your edibles will eat this up and you’ll be ready to show your blue ribbon tomatoes to the county fair.
Any leftover leaves can be bagged and stored so that once your spring garden starts to bloom and you need to plant new flowers, herbs and veggies you’ll have a delicious mix of mulch for your garden to munch on.
If you have tips to re-using fall leaves or other organic matter we’d love to hear them and share them.
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Darrell and Kathi Unruh