In this fall episode of Garden Answer, Laura is making leaf mulch from her fallen leaves. It’s a free resource that will help build healthy soil. Instead of going to all the trouble of bagging leaves, recycle them.
She begins by blowing all of her leaves onto an open grassy area and mulch mowing them. Laura has a large riding lawn mower but you can get the same results with a regular walk-behind model. Just go back and forth until the foliage is fairly small and then attach the bag to suck them up.
Laura wants to enrich the empty raised beds in her vegetable garden. She pours about two inches of shredded leaves on the top of each one. Followed by a sprinkling of Espoma’s organic Blood Meal. She’s creating a mini compost pile. In summer, grass clippings would provide the nitrogen to help break down the leaves. Since she isn’t cutting grass anymore, she uses the blood meal as an organic nitrogen supplement.
Blood meal may keep plant-eating pests away but it can attract meat-eaters like dogs, raccoons, and possums. If that would be a potential problem, put the two inches of shredded leaves down and wait until spring to add Espoma’s organic Garden-tone.
More leaves? Try making leaf mold. It might sound terrible but it’s a fantastic soil conditioner. It improves soil structure, helps the soil retain moisture and creates the perfect habitat for beneficial microbes. Simply take shredded leaves and pile them up in a wire bin or a quiet corner of the yard. The following spring you will have the most beautiful, natural-looking mulch for garden beds. It’s gardeners’ gold.
Here are a few more videos from Garden Answer we hope you will enjoy:
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