The changing leaves may be a love-hate relationship for many people, having one eye on the beauty of the foliage and the other on the rake. If leaves are left on your lawn it will block sunlight and may create a boggy mess which can attract lawn disease. Also, if left, leaves can block street drains and create flooding (click here for ways to reduce flooding with landscaping).
Composting is a hot process which breeds beneficial bacteria. Composting is a quick processthat creates a nitrogen dense bi-product. Composted leaves are a great source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and trace minerals. The huge amount of organic matter they offer can be used to improve soil structure. Leaf humus (created by decomposition) can improve heavy clay soils as well as increase moisture retention of dry sandy soils. Leaves bio-degrade quickly, so fall is a perfect time to start composting them. Click here for helpful tips on composting.
Leaf mold is a cold process of decomposition, utilizing fungi. This is a much slower process than composting. The final product is low in nitrogen but high in beneficial fungi. Leaf mold keeps your soil alive. Click here for helpful tips on creating leaf mold. We recommend using leaf mold around plant's and in vegetable gardens.
While whole leaves on your lawn are not beneficial, chopping them into tiny pieces can add powerful nutrients to your lawn. You want to avoid mulching too many leaves into your lawn. Your lawn should be clearly visible through the leaves and you can throw the excess into your composter. You will need powerful mulching blades in order to pulverize them into small enough pieces. You can find the blades at your local home improvement store or on Amazon.
Rather than waiting for leaves to decompose or transform into mold, you can chop your leaves up with a mulching lawn mower and mix them into your planting beds. Over time, the result is the same as composting them. Using this option is great if you are short on time or don't want to start the project of composting.[/fusion_text][/one_third]