Why Should I Leave Leaves in My Garden?

Toolbox Talk

19th March 2020 | Info

Despite common misconceptions, leaving leaves in our gardens is incredibly essential. Leaves not only act as a natural weed killer (when decomposing) but they also help to fertilise soil, helping both our gardens and trees to flourish. 

Fallen leaves help to provide organic materials above the ground and provide food, shelter and nesting materials to other wildlife that may have found their way into our gardens. 

When it comes to our trees, we know that they need certain nutrients to help them remain strong, healthy and to grow, so what better way of having an organic form of feeding them, than with your leaves! 

The best way to help our trees with leaves is to leave ‘leaf-litter’ (a collection of fallen leaves) underneath them which will proceed to decompose, helping to provide nutrients to the trees through feeding microbes in the soil. You will not only save yourself from buying potentially unnecessary fertiliser for your garden, but you’re also making use of leaves that otherwise may have been going to landfill or being burnt. 

Ideally, the best way to help provide soil with nutrients is to mulch your leaves before you leave them under your trees – you can do this simply by running your lawnmower over them. The reason this is necessary is that dense layers of leaves can block sunlight and trap excess water against the ground. 

It is also imperative to remember to not leave many years’ worth of leaves under your trees as this can begin to have an adverse effect instead of a beneficial one.  

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