With the fall season upon us many homeowners in Alexandria will be preparing their leaves for leaf collection by the City. But did you know these leaves can a valuable asset to the landscaping of your garden? Leaves are valuable to your garden in Alexandria as when mixed with soil it can add nutrients including potassium and phosphorous, increase the soil’s microbial life, boost its water holding capacity and improve its structure.
Leaves can be essential to your garden especially during the winter so instead of sweeping them to the curb for collection consider these five ways in which you can utilize leaves in your garden:
- Mow Them Into The Lawn – use a mulching mower, shred the leaves into your lawn. The shredded leaves will add carbon and nitrogen to your soil which will reduce the need for fertilizer later on.
- Use Them In Vegetable Beds – use whole or chopped leaves into your cleared out vegetable beds. These leaves will decompose over the winter and can be mixed with the soil in the spring.
- Make Leaf Mold – make a leaf mold using wet leaves. These leaves will decompose over time and is perfect to be used as mulch for plants.
- Mix Leaves Into Compost Pile – Stockpile your dried leaves in garbage bags and allow them to break down over the winter. These leaves can be used to provide nitrogen and carbon for the soil in your garden.
- Protect Outdoor Potted Plants – during the winter your outdoor potted plants can become dormant. Piling dried leaves over, under and between the pots can help to protect your plants from the elements of winter.