Leaves can be a healthy addition to our garden is used correctly as leaf mulch, but leaving a covering of leaves on your lawn, for even a short period of time will of damage.
If left on the lawn a blanket of decaying leaves will bring unsightly damage and spread to wider lawn areas increasing maintenance time and costs in the Spring.
Fallen leaves on lawns will:
- stifle healthy grass plant development
- encourage moss encroachment
- allow weed seeds to establish
- introduce diseases, some of which can destroy, even, healthy grass.
Contrary to common belief fallen tree leaves retain very few nutrients but garden flowerbeds and vegetable plots will still benefit from well-rotted leave mulch adding organic fibre to the soil structure. However, in the garden environment this process should be managed to target the benefits and save costs.
- Fallen leaves in bins/bags which decay for recycling as a free organic water retaining soil improver
- Redistributed leaves on borders acting as a free mulch for moisture retention and weed control.
- Collected leaves preventing blocked drains and rotting fence timbers if left to accumulate and decay.
During the mowing season leaves on a lawn will be cleared with the grass cuttings. But leaves can continue falling well in to Winter or be blown from beneath hedges when most mowers have been put away. In this case you could utilise a leaf rake or vacuum and top up the compost with more fibrous organic leaf matter.