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Golden brown and falling down

The days are certainly getting shorter, and the soil colder, and there is very little need to mow the lawn, which is always a bonus. But that does not mean you can leave them unattended if you have deciduous trees around.  

If you do, you will have certainly noticed leaves covering large parts of what was once considered the lawn. If these are left for a week or more, the grass underneath can die due to a lack of light.

What to do?

Well firstly, what not to do, is burn them. They contain far too much valuable organic matter, that the soil loves, not to use them. So why not rake them up and spread them thickly around the base of trees and shrubs and let them rot down. 

Leaves from broad-leaved trees, like the oak, ash and elm, are not great to dig directly into vegetable or ornamental garden beds, as they take too long to break down and can rob the soil of nitrogen, so they are better layered on the surface. If you add handfuls of blood and bone or animal manure, this will help break them down quicker and also enhance the topsoil.

If you have a lot of leaves, they can also be used as an effective weed suppressant, if placed directly over the weeds.

As they are slow rotting, they can also be used as mulch around newly planted ornamental or fruit trees.

So, no mowing to be done, but plenty of raking, piling and distributing, which is an exercise not only good for the soil and plants, but for me also, even in the cold and wet! That is my weekend sorted!

Enjoy

Peter

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