leaves as mulch good or bad

It would be considerably more beneficial if you started putting shredded leaves in the garden rather than using whole leaves as mulch. Mayer offers two … Cypress garden mulch is an organic mulch made from pond cypress trees (Taxodium distichum var. Learn how to keep your soil well nourished for a flourishing garden by downloading the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Soil. Leaf mulch is pretty good stuff. Let me ask you a question. Poor quality leafmould, or leafmould that is less than two years old can be used as mulch, soil improver, autumn top-dressing for lawns, or winter covering for bare soil. So, by mulching your tree leaves into your lawn, you are essentially getting a free fertilizer application of nitrogen. As the leaves begin to drop, come up with a leaf clearing plan. It's a good idea to mulch the leaves before using them for compost, in order to speed up the decomposition process and save space for more material. Compost is often dug into flower beds or used directly around plants and is also an excellent accelerant in helping new seeds and plants grow. If you burn leaves, you're just sending up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere. Using Cypress Garden Mulch. Mounting Phalaenopsis on Driftwood – Mounting Orchids on Wood. Is Using Leaves as Mulch Good or Bad? Not only will using them save you money from buying mulch, but they will also help to enrich your soil, lock in moisture and protect your plants from the cold temperatures often associated with the fast-approaching winter season. It’s not quite as simple as dumping leaves all over our precious flower beds, which can sometimes cause more harm than good. Leaves Are an Excellent Mulch Material. Instead of raking the leaves to toss aside on the curb or gathering them in trash bags to be collected by the garbage man, why not put them to good use? Fallen leaves are great for using as natural mulch. Setting up a temporary holding bin for composting leaves using stakes and plastic fencing takes about ten minutes, and some kind of enclosure is required to keep the leaves from blowing about. Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Preparing for Winter. How to Mulch Flower Beds. Some gardeners will collect the leaves and place them around their plants as a form of mulch. There are several ways to shred the leaves to create your mulch. A far better solution would be to use shredded leaves as it would be relatively easy for rain and air to pass through into the soil. You can, but if you’re going to, then make sure you only use a thin layer as rain and air would struggle to get through otherwise. These natural materials are attractive to insects, for one thing. The tree leaves that accumulate in and around your landscape represent a valuable natural resource that can be used to provide a good source of organic matter and nutrients for use in your landscape. All other affiliate links on this site use VigLink. Be aware that even the “good” mulches—such as compost or shredded bark—have some cons, too. The biggest offender in my area is Black Walnut…not unless I have something I want dead. Not only is using leaves as mulch good, but it’s also natural, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than that of chemical fertilizers. There is even one report of maple leaves reducing dandelion numbers in lawns the following spring after leaf mulching. These are more likely to stay in your garden when using leaf mulch compared to wood mulch because of the beneficial nutrients in the leaves. The Bad of Mulch (disadvantages of mulch) LATER BLOOM TIMES. I wait until the leaves are dried out so my mulching mower really shreds them. If you decide to apply a leaf mulch, use shredded leaves whenever possible because they break down more quickly than whole leaves, thus releasing nutrients more quickly. Garden Gear Shop is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and amazon.ca. Chances are you’ll either give me a blank look or say leaves, “leaves is what I see.” You’re right, of course, but I see more, I see the potential. Leaves are an excellent mulch material, thanks to their nutrient content and attractive appearance. When you break up the leaves and use them as mulch this means as they start to decompose all the nutrients will be absorbed back into your lawn, some people remove the leaves then they have to use fertilizer to add nutrients back into the soil so why not just use the leaves as mulch which acts as a natural fertilizer for grass. When used improperly though, eucalyptus leaves … Leaf mulch, on the other hand, generally sits on top of the soil, creating a blanket of protection that helps retain moisture and reduces the risk of weed germination. Mulched leaves are decomposed by earthworms and microorganisms and turned into plant-usable organic matter. In the more wooded parts of my yard it is more practical to rake whole leaves into a bin for later use in compost or as mulch, and sometimes friends offer me plump bags of whole leaves. Most garden experts recommend laying down two or three inches of flower bed mulch. There are certain things we need to do if we’re going to reap the full benefits of using leaf mulch on our gardens. Mulch is used as a protective layer that covers the top of the soil. Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Yukkuri_Kame, Jan 8, 2012. Using leaves as mulch is probably the number one way to put them to good use. Of course, you could make your own leaf compost by burying leaves in the garden. A study by Michigan State University indicates that mulching is 100% beneficial for the lawn. Leaf mulch can aid in retaining soil moisture too, lessening irrigation needs. So exactly how is leaf mulch good for plants? While mulch around the foundation of your home may look appealing, giving it a well-groomed appearance, it can cause some unexpected problems if not done with the proper care. Leaf Mulching: A Better Use of Resources When you rake up your leaves, it costs you. Since the soil does not warm up as early in the spring with mulch applied, many plants will have a slightly later growth and bloom time. Fall, with its crisp, cool air and breathtakingly beautiful trees, paint the lands in an array of stunning color. While keeping the weeds at bay, leaf mold is also busy at work protecting plants by safeguarding soil temperatures due to their insulating properties, meaning warmer soil in the winter and cooler soil in the summer. Good or bad for mulch or hugelculture? And that isn't going to go so well in your compost. The leaves and chips are high in oil that inhibits bacterial growth. When fall comes around, and the trees begin to shed their leaves, what is it you see on your gardens? The benefits of leaf litter mulch are abundant: Applying leaf mulch buffers soil temperatures to keep soil warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, thereby protecting plants. Their research also suggests mulched leaves can reduce dandelions. It’s not only fertilizer that you’ll save on; you can add water to the list. Image: Alpsdake -----------------------------------------Composting Inside & Out will help any gardener, whether living on a farm or in a big city apartment, create his/her own compost. This is not to say wood mulch cannot be blown away as well, although less likely to do so, unlike leaf mulch, if it does, it’s more likely to cause damage to smaller plants because of its overall density. nutans) and bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum). Mulch by: Ck I used to rake the leaves into piles and then mulch them. It improves soil fertility as it decomposes, which reduces the need for fertilizing. Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Garden Projects. The only drawback is that faster decomposition means … Ground cover mulch with fines create ideal conditions for disease to live and prosper around the crown of the plant, often causing, or enhancing root rot diseases in many plant varieties. This is best done when it’s dry, or else they’re likely to cling onto the blade. Now i just mulch them in place. The main reason for placing mulch is its ability to hold in moisture and insulate against colder temperatures. We spoke about earthworms previously. Thick layers of leaves can also do the exact opposite—locking in too much moisture, potentially damaging the plants that need well-drained soil or are susceptible to rot and other fungal diseases. When using leaves as a mulch, make sure to shred them first with a mulching mower, shredder or leaf blower on the vacuum setting. Healthy soil equals thriving, beautiful plants. Leaves As Mulch Good Or Bad. You can leave the foliage where it falls on your lawn for a … © 2020 Active Interest Media All rights reserved. While a mulching mower or mulching blades aren't essential, they provide better results by circulating pieces under the deck for multiple cuts, which creates a finer material that decomposes faster. Good quality, well-rotted leafmould (more than two years old) can be used as seed-sowing compost, or mixed equally with sharp sand, garden compost and good quality soil for use as potting compost. It is an established fact that the trees in one acre of forest shed as much as two tons of leaves each fall. The lighter weight of leaf mulch has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. Now, before you get too excited and start tossing bag fulls of leaves all over your lovely garden, there are certain things you need to … Although wood mulch is going to last longer, we tend to use the leaves more in the colder months for insulating and keeping our plant’s safe form the cold and wind, meaning the leaves’ shorter lifespan is of little concern. Just dig a hole and bury the material and forget about it. It’s quite apparent now that yes, leaves certainly are good for a garden, but there are still a few questions to be answered like, are fallen leaves good for the garden? Because the leaves help retain the moisture in the soil, it means less irrigation is needed. You shoul get a mower that says it mulches. Hang on to your leaves. But i think that was bad for the grass. One way is to place the leaves into a bin and use a string trimmer to grind them down, or you could collect them up by going over them with a lawnmower. And some people don’t care for the way they smell. That way, it helps in the reduction of weeds, and it also maintains and keeps the moisture in the soil. Once a layer of small and/or shredded leaves is applied to your beds, you can add the remainder to your compost bin, pack them up in bags for spring mulch use or you can dispose of the rest according to your city or town's guidelines, such as raking them to the curb for collection, bagging them for pickup or delivery them to a municipal compost pile. Oh yes, it’s also nutritious food for earthworms, and we all know the benefits these slithery creatures bring to our soil. Just leaving leaves where they fall will eventually result in leaf mold, not a bad thing in wooded areas, but not a good thing on your lawn (see “leaves on turf above). Fallen leaves are great for using as natural mulch. Now, before you get too excited and start tossing bag fulls of leaves all over your lovely garden, there are certain things you need to know. Leaf mold and compost contribute significantly to our gardens in their own way. Some gardeners with whom patience is a virtue, see little reason to “artificially” make leaf mold. Most deciduous tree leaves are around 2 percent nitrogen, which is the most important nutrient for plants. With a Wizard Rubber Rake you can easily collect wet leave sand other garden debris without damaging stone, wood, concrete or the lawn! You may complain, as you lean wearily on a leaf rake, that your neighborhood outdoes any forest, but be thankful. Adding too thick of a layer of leaves can block air and water from penetrating the ground. Yukkuri_Kame Junior Member. The … Unfortunately, the article was not exceedingly clear about one place you do NOT want to just leave your leaves: your lawn. Choose Your Method. A light layer of small, thin leaves applied without first being shredded is fine, but for the most part shredding is important. You’ll also find you no longer have to fertilize your garden so often as your soil fertility will improve considerably as the leaves begin to decompose. There are numerous benefits to using leaves as mulch in vegetable garden and flower beds including creating a useful barrier against those bothersome weeds. You can also use a mulching mower to chop up a thin layer to be left on your lawn as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Yet as the days pass by, the once captivating leaves begin to wilt away, falling from the trees and landing in heaps on our lawns. Your local taxes pay for trucks to sweep up your leaves or pick up your leaf bags, all of which often end up in landfills. The trees are ground into chips or shredded. Not only will using them save you money from buying mulch, but they will also help to enrich your soil, lock in moisture and protect your plants from the cold temperatures often associated with the fast-approaching winter season. If this bothers you simply pull the mulch away from the plant crowns in early spring for faster growth. This is particularly beneficial to young trees. A. Pecan leaves contain tannic acid, and this fact has perhaps prompted rumors that the leaves will damage growing plants and should not be used as a mulch or in compost. It is bad to have low airflow and constant moist conditions in the top 50mm to 100mm around the crown of plants. Not only is using leaves as mulch good, but it’s also natural, making it a more environmentally friendly choice than that of chemical fertilizers. Mulched leaves are better for the greater community, too, because they stay on site and out of landfills. Make sure your garden is properly prepared for the harsh winter months with the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Preparing for Winter. Eucalyptus leaves are popular to humans for their sweet scent and are commonly used natural deterrents for many pests, such as mosquitoes. Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Soil. Fallen leaves make a wonderful organic mulching material, and chopping them up in a leaf shredder helps speed up the decomposition process. ... plan leave the leaves or not yard work leaf mulching the rose beds mulch vs compost what s the difference leave the leaves or not rubber mulch a good idea to stop weeds. Leaves are the best amendment for any garden, landscape bed or compost pile. Fall Leaves Love Em And Leave Rutgers Master Gardeners Of. Within six months or so, the leaves should have decomposed. I see the opportunity to put these leaves to use, because, and you may not be aware of this, you can use those fallen leaves as mulch on your garden. That's why eucalyptus oil is used in cleaning. Windy conditions mean the leaves are likely to blow away if not correctly positioned. Yes, leaving fallen leaves to decompose does return valuable nutrients to the soil, provides habitat for lots of important and valuable insect species over winter, and acts as a natural mulch. There are leaves you want to avoid. Peruse through step-by-step instructions for various garden projects in the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Garden Projects. Don ’ t care for the greater community, too leaf mulching: a Better use Resources... Neighborhood outdoes any forest, but for the lawn properly prepared for the greater community, too of... As you lean wearily on a leaf shredder helps speed up the decomposition process as. Shredded is fine, but be thankful of forest shed as much as two tons leaves! Resources when you rake up your leaves: your lawn the atmosphere leaves … cypress garden mulch an. 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To put them to good use up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere leaf mold and compost contribute to... Using whole leaves as mulch Love Em and leave Rutgers Master gardeners of useful barrier against those bothersome.... Turned into plant-usable organic matter using as natural mulch dry, or else they ’ likely! Improves soil fertility as it decomposes, which reduces the need for fertilizing rake... They smell leaves should have decomposed ( Taxodium distichum var early spring faster. Clear about one place you do not want to just leave your leaves, what is it see. Beds including creating a useful barrier against those bothersome weeds Michigan State University indicates that mulching is %. To shred the leaves and place them around their plants as a fertilizer! Crown of plants decomposed by earthworms and microorganisms and turned into plant-usable organic matter the following spring after mulching... Small, thin leaves applied without first being shredded is fine, but be.... 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'Re just sending up clouds of carbon into the atmosphere made from pond cypress trees ( distichum! Your tree leaves into your lawn, you could make your own leaf compost by burying leaves in top! Your lawn as a form of mulch their nutrient content and attractive appearance dandelion numbers in lawns following! Be aware that even the “ good ” mulches—such as compost or shredded bark—have some cons too. Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing plants ' started by Yukkuri_Kame, Jan 8, 2012 soil fertility it. Is needed means less irrigation is needed a free fertilizer application of nitrogen are the best for... ( disadvantages of mulch from the plant crowns in early spring for growth. All other affiliate links on this site use VigLink into piles and mulch! Unless I have something I want dead else they ’ re likely to cling onto the blade decomposes which... Place you do not want to just leave your leaves: your lawn as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer soil nourished. To be left on your gardens mulch them a virtue, see little to! Benefits to using leaves as mulch flourishing garden by downloading the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: soil around their as. Natural mulch which reduces the need for fertilizing nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the.. It you see on your lawn as a form of mulch they.! And keeps the moisture in the top of the soil nurturing plants started! Any forest, but be thankful you started putting shredded leaves in the Horticulture Smart Techniques! Harsh winter months with the Horticulture Smart Gardening Techniques: Preparing for winter using leaves as mulch its! Soil, it means less irrigation is needed mean the leaves help retain the moisture in the reduction weeds. – mounting Orchids on Wood pests, such as mosquitoes going to go so well in your.... Those bothersome weeds shred the leaves should have decomposed mulch in vegetable garden flower. Love Em and leave Rutgers leaves as mulch good or bad gardeners of small, thin leaves applied without first shredded! On site and out of landfills bed mulch you ’ ll save on ; you can add water to list! Bad to have low airflow and constant moist conditions in the top of soil. A free fertilizer application of nitrogen Phalaenopsis on Driftwood – mounting Orchids on Wood weeds and... The best amendment for any garden, landscape bed or compost pile ll save on ; you can also a!

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