What To Do With Fall Leaves In Your Landscape Design
Leaves are nature’s way of helping to renew the earth. While alive, they provide food for the tree, offer shelter to small animals, and provide food for insects. When they fall, they turn back into nutrition for the other growing things of earth.
Leaves are beautiful when they turn colors in the Fall. The brilliance can be breathtaking as you take in the view of an immensely forested area. Unfortunately for trees that drop their leaves, they will soon be bare and our lawns will be covered with the dead foliage.
At Lay of The Land, we take the term, “going green,” seriously (smile) when we work with your landscape design. Did you get the pun?
Yes, but seriously, when the leaves fall, there is no need to get rid of them because there are wonderful things you can do with fallen leaves that will recycle them and make them useful for you once again.
Our most favorite method of using fallen leaves is to use them as mulch for garden beds. Gathering and composting leaves in the Fall will make them ready for your garden beds come spring.
This is best done by placing your leaves on your garden beds as you would place other mulching materials. However, you’re going to lay at least a foot and a half to two or more feet in height.
Once you’ve laid all the leaves out, you’ll want to cover it with some breathable material or netting with small enough holes to keep the leaves from blowing away. Be sure the material you choose is air vented enough to not cause mold buildup. You don’t have to cover the leaves, but it helps if you do use a material that will break down like cardboard because it keeps the leaves where they are laid.
One favorite covering material may sound a little crazy but surprisingly it works well, cardboard boxes. Just lay down the cardboard on top and wet it all with the hose. Walk on top of it and you’ve made it stick better to leaf bed.
Once the ground thaws in your Ontario Landscaping area, remove the covering and turn the leaves into the soil underneath, or if the cardboard has sufficiently degraded you can just mix it with the leaves. And viola, you have a nicely fertilized garden bed.
There’s something else you can use leaves for that’s a great way to grow certain veggies. Potatoes can be grown in a pot full of leaves instead of in ground soil. You’ll need a tall pot that’s at least 1.5 feet wide by about three feet tall. Place your potato pieces with sprouting shoots down about 6 inches from the top and water. Make sure to keep the leaves moist and don’t ever turn them.
All the sudden you will have grown potatoes and won’t have to dig them. Grown in this manner, you can just pull up the whole plant out of the pot and enjoy a whole string of healthy potatoes.
Whether or not you use the leaves for your garden bed or in pots, they will always make great compost material. If you don’t have a compost heap or area, why not start one this year instead of bagging up and getting rid of all the nutrition in your fallen leaves?