As fall moves in, we will start seeing more leaves off the trees and down on the ground. While raking and removing these leaves is a common practice for property owners, these leaves don’t have to go into the trash but can be used to provide nutritional benefits and extra care to your lawn and gardens. If you want to find a few excellent ways to use fall leaves this season, read on for a few suggestions. You can always consult the Scientific Plant Service team to discover more natural ways to feed your landscape.
Add Leaves to Your Compost Pile
Compost piles need a healthy balance of wet, green materials and dry, brown materials. Fresh grass clippings make for excellent green materials and fallen leaves are suitable brown materials.
You can use fall leaves as new brown material for your compost pile. Shred them with a lawn mower to speed up decomposition. If there are too many leaves to add all at once, save them in a dry trash can until spring when your compost pile can use them.
Use Fall Leaves as Mulch
You can use fall leaves as organic mulch. The leaves can act to suppress weeds, and as they decompose, they will improve the soil. However, when using your leaves as mulch, it’s best to shred them first. A thick layer of complete leaves can form a solid mat and block water from reaching the soil.
When shredded the leaves can insulate plant roots from cold weather without blocking the air or water. Shredded leaves can easily blow away so it can help to spray them down with water when you first spread them to help keep them in place.
Use as Plant Insulation
Your fallen leaves can be used to insulate plants from cold weather. To protect your plants, circle a plant with wire fencing. Then you can stuff leaves inside the fencing around the plant. In the spring you can remove the fencing, rake up leaves, and use them for composting.
Instant Lawn Food
If you instantly mulch your leaves into your lawn, you save yourself time on raking and disposing of the leaves.
To use your fall leaves as lawn food, run a mulching mower over the leaves on your lawn. This chops them up into tiny pieces and pushes them into the soil. Don’t leave a thick layer of leaves on the lawn, as this can smother the grass. If you have a light to moderate amount of leaves, your mower can disperse the leaves enough so that your grass can still breathe.
Add As Soil Amendments
Instead of spending time creating compost, you may add leaves straight to your garden beds as a soil amendment. It’s best to shred your leaves first, but it’s not essential.
To use fall leaves as a soil amendment, you can dig leaves into the top few inches of soil or spread a layer of leaves on top of the soil and chop them up with a spade. As the leaves start to disintegrate, they will provide an organic habitat for earthworms and other beneficial organisms in the soil.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.