When Life Gives you Leaves, Make Mulch

Fall leaf cleanup usually starts with one question, what am I going to do with all these darn leaves? There are ways you can use a portion of your leaves by keeping them on site. Leaf mulching!

Using a mulch mower to mulch your leaves is one way to add great organic matter to your lawns and beds. Adding leaf mulch to lawns and beds injects them with nutrients that not only improve your soil’s fertility but help Georgia’s clay soil to drain better. At TriGem, we run over the leaves with mulching mowers that have a mulch plug installed. Using the side discharge or bagging functions usually does not get the leaf mulch fine enough.

If you are using the leaf mulch on your lawn, blow the leaves on the lawn in an even layer and run them over with your mulching mower. You will need to be cautious with how many leaves you mulch into your lawn. Make sure there is not a significant build up of leaf mulch that will matt down your grass blades.

You can use mulched leaves in shrub beds as well. When using them in beds, we like to blow the leaves onto the driveway and mulch them very small with the mower. As with the lawn, you can add too much mulch to the beds. This can have a negative impact on plants like rot or fungal diseases. Do not build the mulch up around the stem or trunks of plants and never cover the crown of the plant.

Tip: We have found that scooping the leaf mulch with a snow shovel helps us move quicker to distribute it throughout the beds.

Once your leaves are mulched and dispersed, let the earth worms and other microorganisms do the rest. Your garden is sure to thank you in the future, just wait and see.

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