leaves in garden - Knowledgebase Question

Demarest, Ne
Question by jesserosenbe
September 24, 2010
Should i leave leaves in my garden over the winter? will they decay from when they fall until spring begins?


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Answer from NGA
September 24, 2010

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Leaves will decay over the winter months but they can cause problems if left on the ground. The cover makes an attractive winter home for field mice, voles and shrews and these critters can munch away on plants and tree bark. The cover can also suffocate plants if it is thick enough. I think it's better to rake the leaves and either shred them or pile them up so they can decompose in a single place in the landscape. In the spring you can rake through the pile to further help decomposition or you can gather them up and use them as mulch around your plants in the spring and summer months.

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