5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Garden by Saving Autumn Leaves

Saving Autumn LeavesSaving Autumn LeavesThe bagging and raking of falling autumn leaves is a common weekend ritual for most people. But there is no point in increasing work for yourself when you can use these fallen leaves for decorating your garden. So instead of bagging leaves and cleaning up your garden, use the following five ways to use them in your garden.

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1. Compost - Shredded or chopped autumn leaves can ideally be added to a compost pile using a lawn mower, leaf vac, or a shredder/chipper. These leaves can be added as high-carbon, brown material for the compost. The simple tip is to alternate the brown layer of autumn leaves with regular green things in the compost pile (such as fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, weeds, and other types of plants) and leave it in that state for the winter. Turn or aerate the compost pile often and the compost will be completed by the planting time.

The composting can also be used for lasagna gardening, in case you are a fan.

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2. Prepare Leaf Mold - Leaf mold can be made from simple layers of fallen leaves together with finished compost or garden soil. It is an amazing soil amendment that you can prepare yourself. It takes about a year for the pile to sit, and at the end of the year you have a wonderful amendment for flower and vegetable gardens, as well as an incredible additional element for potting soils.

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3. Mulch - Once the autumn leaves are shredded, you can use them as organic mulch in container gardens, in vegetable gardens, flower beds, or under shrubs and trees. Simply add a layer of about two to three inches of shredded leaves in your beds, and ensure that the mulch does not come in direct contact with the trunks and stems of your plants. This mulch will retain moisture in the soil, limit germination of weed seed and will help the soil stay cool. In addition, the soil will receive more nutrients from the breakdown of leaves, and the microorganisms and worms will also provide benefit to it, resulting in fluffier, lighter soil.

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4. Hoarding - Many people consider that the work is finished once the leaf clean up is complete. However, do not ignore the spring when you are pruning, deadheading and weeding again, adding only the 'green' items to the compost pile. It isn't easy to find brown material during summer and spring. However, if you have saved a bag of autumn leaves during fall and winter, you will have a stock to make ideal compost even during the spring season.

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5. Mowing - Since this procedure does not require raking, it may be the simplest solution of all. There isn't any scientific reason that suggests that you should rake all the fallen leaves from your garden. It is easy to break them down during the winter by simply mowing them with mower. This will provide additional shading and nutrients to the soil which will decrease your worry about lawn weeds in the coming year.

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These are the five simple and interesting ways you can use falling autumn leaves to help improve your garden.

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