Friday, November 7, 2008

Making Mulch

When life gives you a towering Maple tree in your neighbour's yard...

...there's no need to moan about the fall clean-up.

Instead, break out the mower and start mowing.

In no time at all, your huge piles of leaves will be cut down to size.

Tuck the shredded leaves around your plants (in this case a wild geranium) and consider your perennials tucked in for winter.

Unlike whole maple leaves, the shredded variety won't form a dense, choking mat that can kill you garden favourites. Besides there's nothing wrong with helping Mother Nature along. Shredding will speed up decomposition and come spring there will be hardly any clean-up at all. Winter and the worms will have taken care of returning all that organic matter back into your soil.

I used to hate cleaning up the maple's fallen leaves for weeks on end every fall. After making leaf mulch for the first time last year as an experiment I realized what I was missing. Making mulch is a great work-out (especially for me and my push mower). It does my soil and my perennials a huge favour. And, after dropping some big change on new plants during the summer, it feels pretty good to improve the garden without spending a cent. That's right, home-made leaf mulch is free and I find it hard to say no to a freebie.


Connie said...

You are so right about the wonderful benefits of leave mulch.
I finally bought myself a leaf shredder this year and I am loving it! I previously used the gas mower to shred the leaves, but this works great and shreds them quite garden purchase I ever made!
I use leaf mulch to overwinter my garden beds, and store some in bags to add to my compost pile as needed.

Viooltje said...

Well said. I used to feel same, until I discover the nature's gift I was missing on and moaning about. ;-)

Ottawa Gardener said...

I do this every year. Actually, I find that most times whole leaves don't create the dreaded 'matting' but I use that to advantage when using whole oak leaves on the pathes of my veggie garden. No leaves wasted in my yard! And I need one of those manual lawn mowers (the electric cord is a pain)!

Northern Shade said...

Tree leaves make a great mulch and soil improver. They also make a great insulating layer for perennials in a cold climate. I run the mower over the leftovers on my lawn too.