As fall progresses, more and more leaves will fall onto your landscape. While these leaves may look lovely with their warm autumnal colors, you must decide what should be done about the leaves that cover your grass and garden beds. There are many ways you can use fallen leaves in your landscape to provide nutrients and insulation for your grass and plants. Scientific Plant Service can recommend the best ways to use your leaves for your landscape. The following tips can help you decide how you may want to use your leaves this season.
Do I Leave Fallen Leaves on My Landscape?
Leaves can benefit your landscape, but that doesn’t mean you always leave them exactly where they fall. If fallen leaves on your landscape go completely unmanaged, layers of leaves can block out light and smother plants. Redistribution of the leaf layer can prevent a thick mat from forming and creating that kind of damage. Excessively thick layers may need to be reduced or removed altogether.
Distributing chopped fallen leaves around your yard can help support native pollinators and other wildlife. These insects rely on the shelter fallen leaves provide, especially during winter. Dead leaves then decompose, creating compost that can improve soil structure and fertility.
Do I Need to Remove All Leaves from My Landscape?
Your grass needs light, water, and nutrients to produce food. In the fall, lawn spaces beneath large trees are frequently covered entirely with leaves. The leaf debris prevents these turfgrass plants from manufacturing and storing food before winter dormancy. The leaves can also block the light, which results in patchy areas of dead grass.
The areas with many fallen leaves on the landscape must be managed. You can use a rake or leaf blower to collect leaves. Leaves can then be gathered in bags and removed from the lawn. You can add leaves to your compost pile or use your mulching mower to chop up the leaves. These chopped leaves return organic matter to the soil; this method is often easier than bagging and removing all leaves on your landscape. Mowing is best done when the layer of fallen leaves is thin and dry. The leaves must be chopped into small pieces, tiny enough to fall between the blades of grass.
What Can I Do with Fallen Leaves in My Garden?
Fallen leaves can be an excellent resource for your garden. They break down and add to organic matter and nutrients in the soil. As they decompose, they act as a mulch by suppressing weeds and helping to maintain consistent soil moisture. They can also help insulate the ground over the winter, protecting perennials from frigid temperatures. However, continue to ensure a thick mat of leaves does not form over the crowns of perennial plants or at the base of shrubs and trees.
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, Instagram, and Pinterest.