Sunday, 14 October 2007

Using leaves in the garden

Fallen leaves are natures bounty given free to the gardener. What a pity when they are burned (a crime!!!!!!!!) or bagged to be taken away.
Our local council sweeps its streets and delivers its leaves to the allotments. They don't stay for long - gardeners know how useful they are.
Used at their simplest they make a great mulch. They cover the earth reducing water loss from the soil and are steadily incorporated into the soil by our minibeast friends to improve soil and increase organic matter content. This minibeast heaven proves a happy hunting ground for predators. Yum!
The deeper the mulch, the better for creepy crawlies. But how do you stop leaves spreading?
Make a low 'mini-hurdle' with interwoven sticks and twigs from prunings. This retains the leaves and uses those twiggy branches that you might otherwise be tempted to burn or send to the tip.

Stored, leaves make a wonderful soil conditioner in a couple of years.

These are being taken away to provide a spongy path between the raised beds.
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