Soil Prep. - Knowledgebase Question

Philadelphia, PA
Avatar for AudioAJB
Question by AudioAJB
November 8, 1997
I was raking the leaves up today and wondered if I should
just leave them on the ground where I planned to plant in
the spring. Would it be better for the soil if I did?
Or should I bag them up like everybody else and throw them out with the trash and just buy top soil in the spring?

Answer from NGA
November 8, 1997
Don't throw out those leaves! They are gardener's gold waiting to be used. Plus the landfills are filled enough with leaves and grass clippings. There are a number of things you can do with the leaves. Spread them in annual vegetable or flower gardens and till them under this fall, chop them up with the lawn mower and leave a 1-2 inch layer on the lawn as winter food for your lawn or build a compost pile using leaves, grass clippings, vegetable debris... mixing a layer of leaves with a layer of green, nitrogen rich material such as grass clippings. In all these cases, you're garden will benefit and you won't have to clog the landfill with your leaves.

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