Less Noise, More Green: Autumn leaves are gardening gold

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Autumn leaves are gardening gold

This time of year in New England is all about the leaves - not the colors (that is so last month) but the clean up. seemingly endless amounts of leaves are now on the ground, in yards and on the roads. Everywhere except for my house. Over the last year we lost two trees in front of our house to disease and our neighbor lost one of their trees. The result is very few leaves littering my property. On one hand that is a good thing - less raking- but on the other hand I want those leaves!

All tucked in for the winter. A few cabbages and Brussels sprouts remain.

 Leaves are such a fabulous resource for the gardener. In the fall, I mulch with them to protect the top soil in my empty annual beds. This year, I used the leaves as mulch around my perennial plants in my front garden as protection through the winter months. In the spring, I will remove about half of the leaves from the vegetable beds and turn the rest into the soil. The removed leaves will go into the compost. I'm not letting this organic material go to waste.

Where did my leaves come from this year, if not from my trees? From my neighbor who has an enormous tree in front of their house and an even bigger pile of leaves. They were happy for me to take their full leaf bags. I even raked up some more for them!

A bed of carrots will remain in the ground. I'll pull them s needed. The mulch will help prevent the soil from completely freezing.

 To hear more on mulching with leaves and the wonders of leaf mold, listen to this great pod cast of "For The Love of Gardening" radio show. It is in two ten minute parts : Part One and Part Two.

After listening to Sejal talk about the benefits of leaf mold I am going to try and find room for a pile in my vegetable garden.

Do you use your leaves?



  1. I do the same as you do, I am just lucky to have "too many" trees around my house, a lot of work collecting them though. Check my post at : http://www.gardeninginnewjersey.com/fall-leaves-leaf-mold-and-compost/

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