Deciduous trees shed their leaves every fall, and while the changing foliage is beautiful, it can make quite a mess of your landscape. We recommend gathering fallen leaves to expose your grass to the sun before winter and ensure walkways are free of debris. Instead of throwing away leaves after collection, salvaging fall vegetation can provide numerous benefits to your landscape. We highlight four ways fall leaves can be repurposed in your landscape to ensure the health of your gardens throughout the year.
Fallen leaves are rich in beneficial vitamins and nutrients for your gardens and flower beds. For areas of your garden that go dormant in the winter, mix in a layer of leaves to gradually break down throughout the season. By spring, nutrients will have made their way into the earth to benefit bulbs and perennials that sprout early. In addition to being a great natural fertilizer, organic matter like leaves can help attract beneficial species like earthworms which help aerate the soil.
Mixing leaves into your compost with other organic matter like vegetable scraps and grass clippings creates an excellent fertilizer combination when given the right amount of time to break down and mix. Be sure to turn the compost pile regularly throughout the winter, and by the time spring rolls around, you will have a nutrient-rich formula to add to your flower beds, vegetable gardens, and container plant
Adding mulch to your gardens can help insulate the ground against freezing temperatures in the fall. Ground insulation is especially beneficial for perennials plants and bulbs that experience dormancy throughout the fall and winter. First, repurpose dead leaves into mulch through shredding, which breaks them down and helps prevent leaves from blowing away in the wind. Then, spread shredded leaves around your gardens like mulch to add an extra layer of protection during winter.
Pollinators like butterflies, moths, and bees often overwinter amongst dead leaves. Stocking an insect hotel with foliage or leaving leaf piles out throughout the winter ensures they have protected spaces to stay warm over winter. Helping sustain local wildlife will improve the population and allow pollinators to continue working hard to benefit your plants and flowers come spring.
If you could use help with seasonal cleanup or preparing your property for winter, give us a call! Our schedules fill up quickly, so contact us or call 302-661-1950 today to schedule your landscape maintenance.