In autumn when you need to rack up the dried leaves many might find it as a nuisance. The labor needed in piling the leaves up might make you feel tired and irritated. But, what if I tell you that there’s a better and easy way to do it. Mulching leaves is an inexpensive and very good alternative to deal with dried leaves in autumn. In this article, we’ll discuss all the details about leaf mulching and how it’s done.
What Is Leaf Mulch?
The materials which are placed on the top of the soil to enhance the landscape are called mulch. There are several types of mulches and a leaf mulch is precisely what you thought of. The leaf mulch acts as an organic decompose and eventually improves soil fertility. Mulching of leaves offers more rapid decomposition especially when you have planted deciduous trees in your garden. Many gardeners prefer to buy composts and other manures for their plants. But, if you are looking for something cheaper and to do it on your own you can go for leaf mulches.
Reasons Why Leaf Mulches Are Good For Plants
- Leaf mulches keep the soil warmer by buffering its temperature in winter. This also works in summers because it keeps the soil cooler by then.
- Lessens the irrigation needs
- Helps in the reduction of soil erosion
- The soil’s fertility increase as the leaves start decomposing.
- Prevents unwanted plants like weeds from growing.
How To Make Leaf Mulch?
- To start with you need to collect all the fallen autumn leaves. This can be done using a leaf blower a vacuum or your rake. (if you are using a rake, we suggest using a rubber one because the metal one is too harsh on the garden floor. )
- While you collect the leaves make sure to keep the diseased ones out. If you mix it with the mulch the disease might spread to other plants and would spoil them too. Also, avoid using leaves with litter on them. The litter does not break down easily and might contaminate the soil.
- After the collection, you need to sherd the leaves. If you are using a good gardening vacuum then it will automatically do it while collecting. If you did it manually then you can use a garden shredder to do so.
How To Use The Mulch?
After shredding all the leaves place the much in your flower eds keep the layer thickness of about 3 to 4 inches. While doing so make sure that the mulch doesn’t cover the smaller plants or saplings. Always place the mulch around it. It’s better to avoid the mulch from directly touching the plant as it is a decomposing material.
Few Extra Tips
- You can use a thicker layer of mulch around trees and shrubs. This will help protect their bases.
- Your soil will begin filling with earthworms and other creatures that help in decomposition. This will make your soil more fertile
- Shred the leaves as much as you can. The reason is while mulching the section of two leaves might get interlocked and will block the waterway. Smaller pieces will ensure no such thing.
- Always remember to remove the mulch in spring when the growth cycle begins again.
- You can even use this leaf mulch in your compost pile because it is rich in carbon and this might help you to balance out nitrogen-rich waste.
Some FAQs About Leaf Mulch
What’s the difference between leaf mulch and leaf mulch?
Leaf mulch and leaf mold are two different things many confuse it as the same. Leaf mould acts as a soil conditioner. It is a thick, black and crumbly substance that helps to maintain the moisture in the soil.
Compare leaf mulch to bark mulch.
bark mulch is a much inexpensive and accessible alternative to leaf mulches. It is excellent for insulating roots and retaining the moisture in the soil. But, you need to be careful about it because it does not mix so efficiently in soil.
How long will the leaf mulch last?
A leaf mulch can last for a year if you keep the layer thick enough. For flower pots and small plants, you can keep it 3-4 inches thick. For trees, you can increase it slightly to about 5 inches thick.