Daylilies forum→Fallen leaves on garden?

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PA (Zone 6a)
Mar 13, 2020 12:15 PM CST
The part of my daylily garden near the treeline has fallen leaves on it. I know that leaves can make a good mulch which will eventually break down and enrich my soil. But I'm quite sure I read somewhere that garden debris can harbor pests and diseases. So, is it better to leave them on the garden and just clear away an area around each daylily, or is it better to remove what I can? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with me!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
Mar 13, 2020 1:20 PM CST
I can only speak from experience ,and my seedling beds are thick with oak leaves, the beds were actually made from mostly oak leaves and grass trimmings. I haul leaves in every year, I have added tons of leaves to the soil in my beds.
I also have oak trees in my own yard which provide a lot of leaves. I never get enough. I often mix pine straw and grass trimmings in with the leaves.
If you have a very wet area the problem with leaves once they decay and basically break down into soil is that they pretty much become a mushy soil, so I have been adding fine pine bark over the past year to improve drainage. Most people will not be growing daylilies in spots as wet as I have, so that will probably not be a problem. Do insects hide in the leaf mulch? Yes, but the mulch provides the plants with a blanket over the soil to protect from cold in the winter and heat in the summer and I consider the trade off worth it. I don't know that the insects in the mulch are not as beneficial as they are pests. I do get aphids, I am treating this year for trips, normally each spring I have to spray for snails and slugs...but not so far this year. I could see the snail and slugs becoming a problem in the mulch is they were not controlled.
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Nebraska Organic Gardener Dog Lover Bookworm
Mar 13, 2020 2:27 PM CST
I do the same, I leave leaf litter and try to keep my beds mulched with it for winter protection and summer cooling.
Bravery is not being unafraid. Bravery is being afraid and living life anyways.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
Mar 13, 2020 4:06 PM CST
Same here. I don't even remove the dead daylily foliage. We live at the edge of fields and forest, no way could I even begin to eliminate all the bugs. I don't apply any herbicides or insecticides. I just let nature do it's thing. Don't want to kill anything out here, with the exception of those darned Japanese Beetles.

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