Fall leaf clean-up

Not much is happening in my gardens these days so it’s time to start “putting them to bed” for the winter.

A fellow Master Gardener friend shared one of her secrets to keeping her plantings happy – leaf mulch. Leaf much is preferable to hardwood mulch because it decomposes faster, thereby adding a slow release of nutrients back into the soil. Two to three inches of leaf mulch on planting beds is sufficient – double that for spreading around trees and shrubs.

There are so many leaves falling these days there are plenty of which to utilize one of my favorite tools – the Black and Decker corded blower/vac/mulcher. It comes in a rechargeable battery version as well, however I went with the corded as I haven’t had the best success with tools that have rechargeable batteries. Always use protective eyewear and gloves. (I also wore a mask to avoid breathing in tiny leaf matter that inevitably spays up and around.)

There is a bag attached that collects the shredded leaves with a zipper to easily dump out the mulch and zip up again ready to fill again.
“Before” photo with freshly fallen leaves.
Same area with (most) leaves removed by mulcher tool.
A light layer of shredded leaves applied.

4 thoughts on “Fall leaf clean-up

  1. I have heard that some oak leaves are not good for mulch for some of our plants. You might want to check this out.
    We live in a deciduous forest so I use hardwood mulch although we have PLENTY of leaves.


    1. That’s a great question I never thought of. According to Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension “Oak and beech leaves help to acidify the soil for acid-loving plants. Leaves are usually easy to get, attractive as a mulch, and they will improve the soil once they decompose. After the leaves decompose, dig them into the soil and add a new layer of mulch on top.”


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