Leaf mulch

Those of us in deciduous forest habitats (and with lots of deciduous trees in our gardens and neighborhoods) have plenty of free organic mulch.

First, save your own leaves -- don't let any of those go to the curb.

Second, snag your neighbor's leaves.  We collect bags full of them.

one of our leaf stashes!
Finally, corral the leaf-vacuum trunk (if available) and have them dump a load or two in your driveway!

Why buy hardwood or pine bark mulch for your garden when leaves are free?


  1. I was outside this morning looking at the leaf covered gardens. I wonder if I should be chopping them up or if they will break down quickly enough as to not smother the garden. Think the areas where the ferns and shrubs are is fine, it's the herbaceous perennials that I want to make sure have enough sunlight/air to emerge next spring/summer.

  2. It's the sun-loving perennials that aren't accustomed to heavy leaf cover that we have to 'care' for -- chopping them up is always good, or simply raking them to mulched areas that aren't so sensitive. And it depends on how deep the leaves are, and what sort they are, too. Apparently leaves on lawn are fine, if the leaves are mowed/chopped up and the grass is high (according to recent Cornell research); our (short and dense) zoysia is not in that category, however.

    I'm afraid my gardening companion's leaf-loving ways have smothered a few of my meadow/prairie perennials over the years!


    The woodland plants thrive with leaves, of course.

  3. I won't let the leaves get too deep on the sun lovers. Right now the leaf cover isn't too deep now and I think the leaves are just about done.
    We have centipede, hoping the leaf mulch will help amend the soil.


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