06/10/2014

Uses for fallen leaves

Around September / October it is the time that leaves begin to fall from the trees. It happens every year and causes a headache for most homeowners, yet brown fallen leaves have a number of helpful uses also.

Leaving fallen leaves on your lawn can suffocate your grass. By blocking out the sunlight from reaching the grass blades it prevents the grass turning this sunlight into food which enables it to grow, and after a few weeks the grass will start to turn brown and eventually die. 

Fallen leaves are a particular problem on pathways also. When wet they can become slippery creating a hazard for adults and children alike. They can also block drains, gutters and prevent water running away from your property which can cause damage which is expensive to repair. 

This is why it is critically important to remove fallen leaves from your property. But don’t make the mistake of just throwing them into your garden waste bin or burning them. Fallen leaves have a number of uses that can help make sure your garden stays lush and green all year round. 

1. Help you lawn: If leaves have fallen on your lawn, then a good way to use them is to put your rotary lawnmower on its highest cutting high and mow over them. This will shred them into small pieces (sometimes referred to as mulching) enabling them to break down into the lawn. This makes a great soil conditioner and helps the soil retain moisture helping it remain healthy throughout the winter.

2. Make compost: Fallen autumn leaves are a great source of brown material for your compost bin. By ensuring they are moist – not wet – mixed with green material and turned once a month to allow oxygen to circulate, they will eventually break down into a thick black compost that is rocket fuel for your plants, flowers and lawn.

3. Leaf mulch: If you have a large number of fallen leaves then using them as mulch is a great alternative to throwing them away. First collect them up and shred them

A Flymo GardenVac is a quick and easy way to do this. This electric garden vacuum will collect even wet leaves and shred them at the same time making them ideal to use as leaf mulch or for adding them to your compost bin. You can buy a Flymo GardenVac at the Official Flymo WebShop or in most good retailers.

Once you have shredded your leaves carefully place them around your plants and in the flower beds 2 or 3 inches thick and avoid allowing the leaf mulch from touching the stem of plants.

Leaf mulch has a number of great benefits. Not only does it break down into a great soil conditioner, but it will act as insulation for plants and vegetables and also protect useful animals like worms from prey like birds. Leaf mulch will also act as a brilliant weed barrier helping to stop them from growing. 

4. Bag them: During the spring and summer months it can be difficult to find sufficient brown material for your compost bin. By storing them in bags in a cool dry place it allows you a rich source of brown material for the following year.

5. Insulation: Collect as many fallen leaves up as you can, dry them out and bag them up. Pack as many as you can tightly together and store them in cold areas of your home like basements and garden sheds. These bags of leaves will act like insulation helping to keep your home warm during the winter.

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