The end of the summer garden is always bittersweet for me. I miss my daily fresh cut lettuce but I also love the falling leaves and bright reds and oranges of autumn. Luckily, those fallen leaves are more than just pleasing to look at. In this helpful guide, we’ll walk you through a few easy ways to use your fallen autumn leaves as zero waste and cheaper options around your place.
One of the best sustainable and organic ways to help prepare your garden is to add a mulch, and the beautiful fallen leaves of autumn are a great way to this. According to Ready Nutrition, in the gardening community, leaves are huge. When they are composted they become known as “black gold,” a nutrient-rich material that can be used in a multitude of ways in the garden.
The life cycle of a leaf begins when a tree makes its leaves in the spring. The tree concentrates all of its energy and nutrients into making the leaves because the more leaves there are, the more photosynthesis can occur. When the leaves drop in autumn, they create a ground cover for the trees to conserve moisture. As the leaves decompose, they provide the tree with nutrients and resupply the depleted soil with microbes. The roots of trees can then absorb the nutrients and minerals via the soil in order to create even more leaves the next spring. It’s a unique life cycle that can be taken advantage of.
To use your leaves as mulch, you’ll want to start by shredding them. If you don’t have a leaf shredder, Gardeners suggests running over them several times with a lawn mower after a good layer has blanketed the ground.
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