Fallen leaves make for an excellent mulch

By Ros Runner - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Fall is a magical time of year when the trees transform into a magnificent display of orange, red and yellow.

While fall leaves can be labor intensive once they've touched the ground, they also serve an important purpose, and can even save you money in the long run.

Mother Nature is providing us with a golden opportunity this autumn season. The leaves are already falling and will continue to fall over the next several weeks. Fallen leaves provide an excellent source of mulch for our lawns and gardens

"And it's free," said Doug Hensel of the Great Big Greenhouse.

Your lawn mower is a simple tool you can use to grind up those leaves and spread the debris around perennial plants and shrubs for the winter. This material breaks down quickly and it adds rich organic material to the soil.

"I'd rather see people use this natural, great additive to the soil, than put them in plastic bags and having them go to the landfill," Hensel said.

Any and all leaves are ideal. Oak, maple, elm, sycamore, and even pine needles. In fact, pine needles are a wonderful choice, and you don't even have to grind those up.

Although a pile of leaves may seem like a mountain, it's really more like a mole hill.

"When you mow them or mulch them, it's amazing how big a pile can be whittled down, once you finally mulch and break them up," Hensel said.

And don't forget the clippings that are left behind after you've finished mowing the yard.

"Studies have proven that by adding, allowing your clippings to stay on your lawn, equates to, one application of fertilizer, nitrogen fertilizer. Those leaf cuttings are just full of nitrogen," Hensel said.

It's a simple way to get the most out of our lawns and gardens, and in a struggling economy, keep some extra money in our pockets as well.

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