Leaf Mulch for Garden: What You Need to Know

by | Nov 15, 2022 | Lawn Care

Most proud gardeners never feel ready to watch the leaves fall. Autumn represents a dying garden after a season of hard work and months of waiting to bring life to yards.

What if we told you those brittle brown and red leaves contain just as much mulch as moss, grass clippings, and bark? 

At Specialized Property Care, the lawn mowing experts in Sioux Falls encourage leaf mulch for garden preparation. The mulch creates a lawn top coat, keeping the soil warm all winter and shielding it from drying summer rays. The decomposed organic matter fertilizes the soil and prevents erosion by keeping it in place.

Follow our top leaf mulch preparation methods below.

1. Shredding 

Once fallen leaves dry, break them up as small as possible so that they decompose quickly. You may use a lawn mower to create leaf mulch for garden preparation if you have a large pile to work through.

Afterward, sprinkle the shredded leaves up to four inches thick around bushes and trees, and top perennial and vegetable beds with no more than a 3-inch layer.  

2. Composting 

Using an EcoBin or raking up a compost pile in a corner of your yard that receives plenty of moisture creates rich compost. As with shredding, you may break the leaves up for faster composting. Consider adding grass clippings (for extra nitrogen) to the leaf mulch in a 2:5 ratio. 

You’ll have to manage this pile for longer (about two years, to be exact), unlike shredded leaves that break down almost immediately. You’ll also have to turn them over weekly, but they’re guaranteed to be a heartier leaf mulch for garden use.

3. Molding 

Another successful way to turn dry leaves into organic mulch is through molding. You’ll follow the same steps as composting since you’ll need to rake leaves into a compost pile and turn them regularly for uniform breakdown. However, there’s an extra step that differentiates leaf mold from compost. 

Tarping the pile locks in coolness and moisture, allowing slow fungal-driven decomposition rather than a bacteria-driven breakdown. The pile will deteriorate within six months if you crumble the pieces first, making it perfect for garden drainage. 

Preparing for the Gardening Season Early!

Many gardeners believe the first warm day of the year is the day to break out the shovels and pruners. In reality, garden preparation never truly ends, even when your garden goes dormant during the colder months. 

When preparing your lawn for fall with leaf mulch for garden care, trust the five-star Specialized Property Care team. Our well-trained professionals can handle everything from weeding and mowing to sprinkler systems.

Call (605) 231-5524 for a free quote from the #1 lawn care company in Sioux Falls, SD!

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