Open Copyright Pam Walatka
Your leaves are golden. Rather than send them out with the trash, keep them in your yard as valuable soil conditioners and mulch. Here are three things you can do with leaves.
Bring your patience. This process takes two or more years. Once you get it going, you have an abundant supply of premium soil for free. Your piled-up leaves provide a nice space for pollinators such as butterflies to reproduce.
Details: On the parts of our yard where the surface is dirt with growing things, I leave the leaves where they fall. The leaves very gradually decompose, improving the soil. Meanwhile, the new leaves are mulch.
On our wooden decks, we rake all the leaves onto our adjacent citrus trees. As more is added, the bottom layer is decomposing. The layer of leaves never gets much deeper, because the bottom part is becoming dirt. Several times a year, I pull back a strip of the mulch under the drip lines. I dig compost and fertilizer into the ground along the strip, then pull the mulch back onto the strip.
My sister piles leaves on her rose garden and never adds anything else. Her roses are awesome.
Of the leaves that fall in our driveway, half get raked under fruit trees and berries. The other half get raked onto the leaf mold pile. Sometimes I use partially broken down stuff from the leaf mold pile as mulch for my smaller plants.
I mean, go ahead and mulch trees and bushes with freshly-fallen leaves. Use leaves from last year, partially
broken down in your leaf mold pile, to muclh around smaller plants.
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(I guess another thing would be to let a kid jump in them.)
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