Gardening can be both very exciting and frustrating. It all depends on how familiar you are with the art of gardening and how willing you are to expand your knowledge in this area. For some people, the leaves that fall from the trees in fall can be very irritating, especially when they cover their beautiful lawn. There are people who may not even think twice and remove them. However, did you know about the many benefits of mulching leaves into lawn? Read the following lines and think carefully before raking and removing them, because mulching may seem like a better idea! Sometimes the much simpler solution has better benefits!
Table of Contents
- Benefits of mulching leaves into lawn
- How to mulch leaves in your lawn?
- How to use leaf mulch?
Benefits of mulching leaves into lawn
Mulch is a layer of organic material that is placed around the stems of plants. Organic mulch is composed of natural substances such as bark, sawdust, fall leaves, pine needles or grass clippings. This type of mulch decomposes over time and should be replaced after a few years. Thanks to it, the soil stays moist during the dry days of summer, and it is kept warm in the winter. The advantages are indeed many, and we will look at them in details in the following lines, paying attention to leaf mulch.
1. Leaves as a natural fertilizer
Instead of using chemical fertilizers to fertilize your soil and lawn, it is highly recommended that you use leaves in your yard because they can act as a natural fertilizer. In other words, you don’t need to spend much money, because nature has provided it to you for free.
2. Weed control
It is common knowledge that dried leaves can serve as compost for plants. However, there is a certain way of using them that you should get familiar with. You can’t just leave them in your yard, instead, you need to mulch them first, so they can act as a weed control agent. If you don’t mulch them, they will cover your beautiful lawn and devastate it.
3. Creating a breeding ground for worms and beneficial insects
Microbes or worms play an important role in leaf decomposition and thus, they improve the soil. However, you can’t just leave the leaves without mulching them because this will deprive the lawn of oxygen and sunshine. When you mulch the leaves, microbes can work easily and efficiently.
4. Water is retained in the soil
Mulching leaves into lawn helps retain moisture in periods of prolonged drought and reduces irrigation water consumption.
5. Protecting plant roots from overheating in summer and freezing in winter
Thanks to mulching, the ground maintains a constant temperature that prevents plants from freezing in winter or overheating in summer.
6. Plants form more roots and become stronger
The use of natural fertilizer such as compost made from mulched leaves is good and beneficial for the soil and plants, the latter becoming stronger, more fruitful and developing their root system even more.
How to mulch leaves in your lawn?
Mulching the leaves in the lawn is not only good for the soil as it provides it with many nutrients, but it is also a cheap method. As mentioned above, in order to have a healthier soil, especially for those who love gardening, you can save a lot of money on fertilizers because the leaves can be turned into compost. Take a look at the list of steps to take to properly mulch the leaves in your lawn.
1. Use a mower to mulch leaves on your lawn
You can cut leaves with any mower, although there are special ones on the market for mulching, but you don’t need to buy one. What you do need to do is to set the height of your mower or mulching blades to the maximum setting and take out the grass catcher. And then reduce the size of the leaves into pieces the size of a penny.
2. Mow the lawn as usual
The point here is to cut the leaves into small pieces, about half an inch in diameter. Depending on the volume and size of the leaves, it may take a few more passes to get these penny-sized pieces.
How to use leaf mulch?
You can leave the leaves on the ground, they will hardly be noticeable once they have mixed with the grass. Another idea is to use the grass clippings and cut leaves to enrich your compost. Here’s how to do it:
- First, place an 8-inch layer of shredded fallen leaves on the bottom of the compost and add an 8-inch layer of kitchen waste.
- Place another layer of leaves – simply repeat the process. Stir the compost regularly to aerate it. Make sure it always remains slightly damp.
A year later, you can use it as a natural fertilizer for the soil in your garden!