Leaf Raking Time, Maybe Not!

Donna Fossum

It’s that time of the year when deciduous trees start losing their leaves as we transition into fall. But resist the urge to rake up all that foliage and send it to the landfill. It might be better to think about alternatives to leaf raking.

There are many beneficial and decorative uses for leaves in our gardens. They’re great for:

  • Insulating dormant plants during the colder months. Just pile them around the plants you want to protect.
  • Retaining moisture around plants and beds. When dry leaves break down they produce leaf mold, a rich, natural compost that seals in moisture.
  • Sprucing up hanging baskets. Just slip colorful fall leaves in between the liner and the tines of the basket.
  • Making impressions in concrete pavers. Mix fast-drying concrete, pour it into a pizza box and press leaves into the wet concrete. When it’s completely dry, take it out of the box and pull out the leaves. Voilà – homemade pavers for your garden!

Oak leaves make some of the best mulch for your bedding areas. As they decompose, they add organic material to the soil.

And don’t forget fire safety. Dry leaves should never be allowed to pile up against your house, shed, privacy fence or other flammable structure.

So put away the rake, and let the leaves fall where they may.

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