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Fallen leaves

Fall will arrive any day now and with it will come an array of colorful leaves. Are you ready to fire up your leaf blower?

If you’re like most people, you have a leaf blower, or at least a rake, on standby to deal with all that fallen foliage. Then you will either bag them up for the trash truck, or you have arranged for a special service to vacuum and haul them away.

Did you know that you could actually put those leaves to work in your garden? You can even save yourself some time and money by doing so.

Nourish your lawn. Using a mulching mower, simply discharge the mulched foliage back onto your lawn. They will break down over the winter fertilize your lawn with nitrogen and carbon.

Nourish your vegetable beds. Mulched garden refuse can also be used in vegetable beds. If you don’t have a shredder, just fill a large garbage can three-quarters full of leaves, and shred them with a string trimmer.

Use them in your compost pile. For this application, you don’t have to shred the leaves first. You simply throw them into your compost heap, and they will provide plenty of nutrients. In fact, you should hang onto some dried leaves to use next summer, too. Compost needs plenty of “brown” material to keep the aerobic processes going correctly.

Insulate your plants. Here in Southern California, we don’t have to worry much about sub-freezing temperatures. But some sensitive plants might still appreciate some extra insulation during the cooler months.

Make your own mulch. Pile your leaves in a secure place, wet them regularly, and turn them throughout winter. They will decompose into a rich, soil-like mulch that is perfect for your garden beds.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll be happy to help you with all of your gardening needs.