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2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:49
The dead leaves in the poetry of the Symbolists and the dead leaves in the garden: the same feelings of sorrow and nostalgia for the beautiful season. Since fall flowers for the balcony bring a boost to the environment, you don't want the clumps of deciduous leaves under the trees to be the small downside in your garden. So, why not put them to good use to create some new beauty next spring? Our article will tell you the secret of experienced gardeners, and you will no longer ask yourself the question: "What to do with dead leaves in the garden?" »Zoom in on eight ways to use fall leaves.
What to do with dead leaves in the garden so as not to land them in the landfill?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, garden waste accounts for about 20% of all garden waste produced each year. According to the most recent statistics, the data indicates that 34.5 million tonnes of yard waste were counted in 2014, but only about 31 percent (10.8 million tonnes) ended up in landfill.
Although a few days ago the colorful foliage was an eye-catcher, today the whipping wind sends the leaves in a frantic dance towards the ground. They pile up sadly under the trees and in the corners. So what to do with dead leaves in the garden?
Many communities make compost from the leaves that residents drop off at landfills and transfer stations. Likewise, large cities hold collections of leaves and garden waste. Yet instead of carrying them there, you can learn how to reuse deciduous leaves. Of course, you have the option of leaving the dead leaves on the lawn, but thick layers of matted foliage block soil oxygen and cause disease. For this reason, before spreading a pile of fallen leaves in the vegetable garden, make sure that they are not moldy and will not create other problems.
Tips for using deciduous leaves: protective mulch
Before they start to rot, you should distribute the chopped leaves around trees, fall-flowering ornamental shrubs, and perennials as protective mulch to conserve moisture and control weed growth. The leaves make a good insulating blanket for overwintering tender perennials or root crops stored in the soil. Surely, such a garden arrangement has a protective impact in winter. Leaf cover allows fall planted garlic to root without sprouting and prevents shallow rooted strawberries from lifting during winter freeze-thaw cycles. Foliage-mulch also forms a cover that protects the soil from erosion and crusting from precipitation and irrigation.
Caring for the lawn: mowing
What to do with dead leaves in the garden, scattered on the lawn? Well, mow them a few times, as mowing can cut them so that they quickly decompose in the spring and add valuable organic matter and mineral nutrients to the green space. In this sense, garden maintenance to achieve a perfect lawn all year round consists of mowing frequently, before the fallen foliage forms a thick layer of 10-12 cm. Removing the bagging attachment on the first pass is another maintenance tip. As a result, you will mow the piles of leaves by letting them fall on the grass. Then make a second pass with the bagging attachment in place. The chopped leaves will then be sucked into the bag.
A light cover of leaves can be mowed with a mulching mower or cut in a few passes with a lawn mower. The shredded leaves fall between the blades of grass and lie on the ground. This is why, specialists claim that this technique is most effective with southern lawns because they have a course texture and the leaves can fall between the blades of grass.
Since spring seedlings are stunted and require reliable protection, it is good to use the fallen leaves against weeds. Chopped or left whole, the foliage makes an excellent mulch for vegetable crops, blueberries and ornamental shrubs. Not only does it suppress harmful plants and help retain soil moisture, but since it does not itself contain bad seeds, their spread will not be encouraged.
Make a compost
Since the carbon-rich leaves pair well with summer's nitrogen-packed grass clippings, make compost for a valuable soil amendment. Overlap three or four layers of old leaves 10cm thick with a 3cm layer of fresh grass or other green leafy yard waste. To do this, you need a large storage container which will be your wooden composter. You can DIY it yourself.
Make leaf mold
Since leaf mold is a special type of all-leaf compost that is popular with experienced gardeners, you no longer have to worry about what to do with dead leaves in the garden. It is simply a matter of collecting and storing the leaves, shredded or not, in plastic bags or metal bins. Keep the leaves moist and let the mushrooms take over. After two or three years, the leaves will have disintegrated into a dark, fragrant soil conditioner rich in essential minerals. The result is truly exceptional and the problem of making dead leaves in the garden no longer exists.
Preserve root vegetables
If you have a cool, humid place, you can store carrots, beets, and other root vegetables between layers of crisp, freshly fallen leaves. Sprinkle each layer of leaves with water (don't let them soak). If you don't grow your own veg, visit a farmers market and try to find a vendor who will sell you half a bushel or more of your favorite root crops.
Make a playground
Every child will have fun jumping in the large piles of leaves that are raked from the lawn each fall. Covering yourself with leaves or burying yourself in a pile is a pleasure for young and old. Traditionally, the raked foliage is piled up to burn it to ash later. Most jurisdictions rightly prohibit burning leaves in the open to reduce air pollution, but the smell still triggers powerful memories of idyllic childhood days.
DIY ideas with autumn leaves
Instead of worrying about lacking indoor play projects on a rainy day, get inspiration from our tree leaf and chestnut autumn kids craft ideas. Additionally, the decorative fall leaves get kids involved in creating beautiful natural facilities.
A renewable natural resource
During this time of year, you can admire a common and impressive sight: the litter of fallen leaves.
True, instead of raking them in bags bound for the landfill, experts say fallen leaves can stay put. Then, with a little effort, they will become a renewable natural resource creating the perfect soil to grow new vegetation.
Most tree leaves, grass clippings, brush and other pruning end up being recycled, composted, or burned for energy. Assuming that reusing this waste creates a product that can be used to improve soils, it will grow the next generation of crops and improve water quality.
How to store dead leaves?
In short, if you plan to keep your leaves this year, the few ways to keep them on your property and out of landfills are: mowing (mowing), compost, mulch.
In order to improve the soil, you can simply collect the leaves and rotate them directly in the flower beds to improve aeration, drainage and water capacity. Most people don't have gardens large enough to practice this method, but it is an option. So, mix several inches of leaves into the soil as deep as you want, and then let them decompose before spring planting.
As a result, you have all the free nutrients in an organic form that sit on the lawn and, by bagging them and using them for mulch or compost, you can recycle them back into your landscape in a form that plants are designed to. take: organic matter in natural decomposition.
Effect of nutrients from decomposed leaves
The nutrients in the leaves that fall from a tree during a season are equivalent to about three-quarters of all the nutrients that tree has absorbed during the year. If the leaves are so profuse that they choke the lawn, rake them, but not in piles to burn them. Instead, spread them out under your shrubs. A blanket of leaves prevents the soil from washing away and exposing the delicate nourishing roots. It also keeps the soil warmer in winter and cooler in summer. As a result, your shrubs will grow vigorously and look better.
When spring comes time for planting, remove the leaf cover with a rake, then put it back around the plants as mulch.
These days people are aware of… reduce, reuse and recycle and it makes sense for horticulture as well. No doubt, you are doing what is best for your garden and at the same time, you are not filling the landfills.
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