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Leave the Leaves for Natural Mulch

By postmandug
October 7, 2011

Don't rake the leaves from your flower beds in the fall. Leave them until spring. They will help insulate your plants and decompose to enrich your soil.

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Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
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Oct 6, 2011 7:34 PM CST
I swear by this! And, come spring, I don't rake them off the garden. I just move them over wherever there's a plant coming up.
I mean....plants come up every year in the woods with a covering of leaves....why not my garden too?
Name: Sheila F
Fort Worth TX (Zone 8a)
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Oct 6, 2011 9:30 PM CST
I blow leaves from the yard into the beds when they fall. I have a lot of extras sometimes so I bag them to use in the compost bins later in the year. I do rake back some of the excess in spring, but not all by any means.
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
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Oct 6, 2011 10:33 PM CST
I love this tip and wisdom.
NOT doing garden work is beneficial. Thumbs up
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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Oct 7, 2011 4:51 AM CST
Good tip. I do this ... even raking more leaves under my azaleas. They block weed growth in the Spring and as they decompose, they turn my soil more acid which the azaleas love. Thumbs up
I garden for the pollinators.
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
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Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Colorado Ponds Roses Sempervivums
Oct 7, 2011 9:12 AM CST
I do this depending on the type of leaves. I dump all the maple leaves in my rose garden for insulation. They curl and stay dry, and eventually break up. Same for the oak leaves. But the cottonwood leaves mat, stay wet and get nasty, so they get thrown out.
Name: New username - Crittergarden
Unexpectedly Green Pittsburgh (Zone 5b)
NEW USER NAME: Crittergarden
Oct 7, 2011 9:19 AM CST
My earthworms really appreciate the leaves being left for them.
Decisions, decisions.
I tried a couple of usernames and have finally settled on:


That's it, no more changes. I'm done. I will be crittergarden here, on Cubits, and when I renew my Dave's Garden subscription on Noveber 4, I'll be crittergarden over there, too. DONE!~~~ UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL, PART OF THEIR SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED ~~~
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA (Zone 5a)
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Oct 7, 2011 10:30 AM CST
I run the leaves for my spring bulb beds through the lawn mower, which is more work, but the chopped leaves stay fluffy and don't mat. I've had problems in the past with bulb shoots growing up through whole, wet leaves, especially with tulips. Picture the leaf with the shoot having pierced it and growing right up through it. When the leaf dries, it squeezes the shoot and prevents it from unfurling. This usually results in misshapen leaves. For the rest of my beds, I just leave the leaves whole.
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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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Oct 7, 2011 2:21 PM CST
The magnolia and holly leaves take forever to break down so I rake some of them....the rest and other leaves I leave.
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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Jan 26, 2013 10:17 PM CST
I run the lawnmower with the mulching blade over the piles of leaves and collect the leaf mulch. We have left whole leaves before and found that snakes like to hide beneath the warmth. EEK! Blinking Then in the spring or fall, depending on the need, we put bark mulch over the leaf mulch and end up needing way less of the expensive stuff.
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uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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