Finding out what to do with autumn leaves is once a year garden task that can last a month. There are many things to do with them and they are a valuable resource, so don’t burn them, don’t put them in the bin, make the most of a great gift from mother natures.
The beauty of autumn leaves is twofold, the wonderful colours of autumn foliage, and what they can do for your soil. If they are left to break down you will eventually have leaf Mould. This does take time, however it is the best use. So lets take a look a four things you can do with autumn leaves.
Five things to do with Autumn Leaves
- Make leaf Mould
This is what would would happen naturally, however you can speed up the process and we have instructions for that in a short video on how to make leaf mould.
- Use the leaves as a mulch.
Simply mow the leaves to reduce them is size and spread them over any area of bare soil. It will help prevent weeds as well as help retain moisture and attract worms to the garden. All of these are great for garden soil.
- Use them in Compost.
If you are short on brown material for the compost bin, then simply mow the leaves (again to reduce the size of them) and add a layer to the compost bin.
- Use them to suppress weeds.
Thats right suppress weeds. If you have a lot of autumn leaves and ab weedy area between plants try this.
a.Put down a thick layer of newspaper,
b.Mow the leaves and them spread them thickly over the newspaper. At least 30 cm (1ft) They will slowly break down and as the newspaper is beneath the weeds will be staved of light at die back.
c.You can top up the cover with some pea straw, sugar can or similar mulch later on.
- Do what Mother Nature Intended
Simply pile them up around the deciduous trees that they came from, if you have the room. They will eventually break down and help retain moisture . You can do this right out to the drip line. You can also underplant the leaves with spring bulbs such as daffodils.
Four things not to do with autumn leaves
- Throw them or blow then onto the garden allowing them to cover small plants. This can do a fair bit of damage to small plants and ornamental grasses.
- Avoid mowing them and leaving them on the lawn unless you do not have many leaves. If you mow to many leaves onto a lawn area you can actually smother the lawn. If you only have a few leaves, use a mulching mowers to break them down first.
- Don’t through them out or burn them as thats just a waste.
- Avoid storing them in plastic bags for later on. They are much more useful as Leaf Mould.