12 Nov Abundance of Leaves? Don’t Pitch ‘Em, Save ‘Em.
October sees the start of autumn, when all the leaves are still perched on the trees in glorious shades of red, orange and yellow. November sees the leaves slowly, but gracefully, begin to fall to the ground. They collect on the streets, sidewalks and yards. At first, the sight is lovely. They create golden pathways and fiery mounds. However, once they’ve sat for too long, they start to look dull and limp. Of course, the next step is to rake them, but then what?
Well, if you can let the leaves be, do it! Create a pile of leaves off to the side of your yard. Why? Because leaves can provide habitats for pollinators, such as butterflies and native bees, birds and caterpillars.
The other option is to create leaf mold. Leaf mold is very useful in gardens and can help improve soil, suppress weeds and can be used in your own potting soil mix. There are two methods to doing this:
- Mow over the leaves with a lawnmower. The blades will chop the leaves into small pieces, which will help them turn into leaf mold more quickly than using whole leaves.
- The old-fashioned method. Collect leaves from your yard using a rake and scoop them up. Stuff them into a sturdy garbage bag, press the leaves down, tie the bag shut and poke it several times to create small holes. Leave the bag to sit for a while (months or years). Once they’ve sat, they can be used to improve soil, turn into mulch and can be used for potting soil mixes.
Who knew that leaves could be so beneficial? Right now is the perfect time to begin collecting them, so make sure to head outside and start raking those leaves. The animals and your garden will thank you.