As summer comes to an end, so too does the season for deciduous plant life. While your first reaction at the sight of dead leaves may be to get your rake out of the shed, there are alternatives as to what can be done with them. In today’s blog post, we will take a look at some ideas.
Winter Mulch – Perennial plants depend on having a coating of mulch to protect their roots in the winter season from frost. For shrubs, cover the base with a 4 to 6 inch layer of dead leaves. For flowers and smaller plants, cover them in their entirety. When doing this, it is important to remember to remove the leaves as soon as the temperature begins to rise in the spring, in order to avoid roots overheating.
Lawn Fertilizer – While allowing your leaves to stay on your lawn is bad for lawn health, there is an alternative method to using up this organic matter. Instead of raking the leaves up, mow the lawn with the leaves still on them. This will break the leaves down to be small enough so that the grass can use it as nutrients.
Aquaria Supplement – For those of us with fresh water aquariums adding dead leaves into the tank can be quite beneficial. Adding leaves to the water releases tannins into the water, which lower the PH in it, making it a healthier environment for fish. Dead leaves are also useful in fighting bacteria, fungi, disease and some fish will even eat them as well.
Compost – Using your dead leaves for compost is another great way to get the most out of them. This may seem like the most obvious choice next to lawn fertilizer, it is not just a matter of leaving the leaves on your garden bed and hoping for the best. Leaves should be first dried to avoid rot and only then dispersed on the garden.
As shown above, dead leaves can be used in a variety of ways. It is just a matter of finding which method would be most beneficial for you and your property.