What To Do With All Those Fall Leaves
As nature's way to renew the earth's soil, leaves play a huge role in all our lives when we're homeowners or commercial property owners. It seems at times that there's never an end to the amount of leaves that can fall for months on end, especially in moderate to warm climate areas where they continue fall on into January and February.
Leaves, beautiful leaves. They float on the air, are beautiful when they change colors, and smell wonderful when they first fall from the tree. Their beauty can be so breathtaking when you have the luxury of seeing an immensely forested area. What would we do without leaves?
Leaves are necessary to the earth in renewing itself, so why, oh why, do we continue to bag them up and throw them out when there's so much we can use them for around our homes?
Why not use leaves for mulching our garden beds? Leaves make wonderful mulch! Virtually nothing gets through them when they're laid in thick enough and watered. They're great weed blockers, but you may need to pick out some tiny acorn trees that sprout from some acorn debris.
Otherwise, they're terrific mulch and you can use them anywhere you like from piling them high along the acreage fence line in order to keep out brush and wild vines to using them as at the base of trees to keep the moisture in.
Did you know you can grow potatoes in leaf beds? It's true! And the best thing about container growing your potatoes in leaves is you won't have to dig them up! You'll just need a pot or some container where you can put in at least three feet worth of leaves with about 1.5 feet of width. You can make it larger as you want, but they only need about three feet of depth.
You'll put your potato pieces in with the sprouting shoots down. Place them about 6 inches from the top of the container and water them. Be sure you keep the leaves moist and don't ever turn the leaves. Be sure the container is in an area with full sun and before you know it you'll be pulling potatoes out! All you'll have to do to get to them is pull them up. There's no digging involved!
Leaves make great compost for the natural land. If you have a corner or spot you can use to accumulate them, you should start a compost heap. Throw in any type of vegetation that comes from your cooking (before you cook them), like banana peels, veggie pieces you cut off that aren't edible, egg shells, and more. The leaves help build bulk yet will eventually break down. Also throw in grass clippings for a quicker compost. Once the pile starts to break down, you'll want to turn it and keep it somewhat moist so it continues to make soil.
This compost is wonderful, and if you've ever seen a forest floor it is very reminiscent of this type of soil. Lush, earthy, fragrant, and purely packed with fertilization potential.
If you have any part of your property where you can discard the leaves, it may take some time but they will eventually break down and create soil all by themselves. Piling them up along outer fence lines goes a long way to keeping away unwanted tree growth, weed growth, wild vines, and more.
One word of advise from your Richmond landscaping company about using your leaves instead of getting rid of them, be sure you don't pile up or allow leaves to pile up around the foundation of your home. This only adds to problems with water pooling and insect infestations. All in all, leaves give back to us more than we know. They were recently living things that are meant to renew the earth's crust. And so there's no sense in piling them in some landfill while wrapped up in plastic bags that never decay. Instead, use them yourself for a few things around the house and you'll have contributed to your own little area of paradise!