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Using shredded leaves as mulch

Updated on May 8, 2011

There may be a time or season for when leaves start to shed off from the trees or plants that they were once a part of. And as others may perceive these as a form of yard waste by now, then they’re completely misguided. Fallen foliage still has a place in making the environment trash-less. How is this possible? Well, leaf mulching for one is a great alternative to recycling leaves into a nutrient source for your garden; and mulching leaves is particularly good for your soil.

The difference between leaf mulch to compost

Remember to note that mulch is different from compost. Although mulch using leaves also decomposes after some time, it also starts in a different process. For example, when you’re composting kitchen scraps or other garden wastes, then you’re going to have to wait for the organic materials to finish decomposing before you can use the actual compost for using as a fertilizer (as a natural supplement for your garden plants and soil). The mulching of leaves on the other hand, can be used almost immediately. You won’t have to wait for it to decompose before you can use it for your garden soil.

Leaf Mulch – A form of defense

Leaf mulch can be made into a form of protection, especially when it’s applied/spread on the surface of your garden soil. Not only does it help control the growth of weeds on your soil, it also helps protect it from extreme weather conditions (from exposure to heat, cold, wind). 

What to do with unshredded leaves that are lying on your lawn or garden

Make good use of these nutrient-rich organics by storing these inside composting bins. But do make sure that you provide a bin that is separate from all the other organic scraps. Whether it’s a rotating compost bin or any ordinary bin, the leaves should only be the sole ingredients inside the composter (no other mixtures). There are a lot of composters that you can make on your own or avail of, that will help you store these leaves for later use.

How to gather these leaves

You can gather or collect these leaves manually by hand, or by using a few gardening equipments (you can consider leaf raking). You can either choose to use the following garden leaf collectors: leaf mulchers or a leaf sweeper. 

There’s so much that you can reap out of Leaf Mulching. And since the fallen leaves on your garden are a cheap resource that you can have at anytime, it’s also a safe material to use in the environment (since it rarely gets touched with chemical sprays). 


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