Most people know the importance of paper and plastic recycling, but what about leaves? The advantages of leaf material in the landscape are numerous. Keep these benefits in mind when raking this fall:
- Leaves are an excellent source of organic matter that will promote microbial activity in the soil, which in turn helps plant growth. Garden soil is enriched with the nutrients provided by the leaf material, making it a great choice for mulch or as a soil additive. Shred the leaves before using as mulch to increase air circulation and decomposition. Adding whole leaves may help with winter weed growth, but may also smother other garden growth.
- Fallen leaves make a great addition to a compost pile. The leaves add a much needed nitrogen-rich component to compost, creating healthy gardens in the future.
Before recycling leaves in the landscape, ensure the leaves didn’t come from a diseased tree. Leaves should be completely removed from the landscape if the tree suffered from fungal issues or other diseases during the growing season. This will help prevent re-infection the following year.
Re-using leaves from healthy trees promotes healthy garden growth in the future and prevents the leaves from being hauled away as waste. KTS offers leaf mulch as a landscape option. Click here for more information on leaf mulch.