Save money, be environmentally friendly and watch your garden thrive. I cover it all, saving money, how to mulch leaves and how to use mulch.
I believe that leaf mulching is not just the easiest way to deal with your autumn leaves, but the best way. When you make mulch from your leaves you are not only putting less waste into the landfill sites, you are returning all their goodness to the ground.
How Mulching Leaves Saves You Money
Although some landscaping companies now offer a leaf mulching service, unfortunately, this is usually not included in the service but charged for as an extra.
Never Buy Lawn Fertilizer Again
Why not miss out on the job of raking leaves completely, by simply using your lawn mower to shred them into your lawn you are providing your grass with a natural fertilizer. When leaves are shredded they very quickly disappear back into the soil from where they were born.
Decaying leaves and organic material return valuable nutrients to the ground.
No More Leaf Bag Buying
I’m sorry, but I cringe at the thought of fallen leaves being bagged and put out as trash, even if the bags are recyclable. Not only are the bags costing you money, but you are throwing out all the goodness that composting leaves can supply.
But, if bagging is truly your only option, mulched leaves reduce the amount of bags required drastically.
Leaf Mulching Benefits
Continue Natures Cycle
A closed-loop is one of the most important pillars of sustainability. By re-using your leaves as mulch they decompose faster, letting them slowly seep back into the soil, helping to maintain nature’s natural cycle.
Support Yard Biodiversity
Earthworms and many other beneficial insects thrive in mulched soil. In return, they provide you with more aerated soil.
How To Mulch Leaves & Make Your Own Leaf Mulch Easily
There are several options for how to make mulch out of leaves. There is always an alternative if you don’t have the equipment.
Stand Alone Mulching Machine
For homeowners with larger properties, it is well worth investing in a leaf shredder. Once you have collected the leaves simply place them into the mulching machine. All that’s left to do is adjust to the desired shred setting and start the motor.
Using a Mower with Mulching Blades (or without)
You not only save yourself work with this process, but you will be adding nutrients that will improve your soil and feed your lawn.
By cutting and spreading the tiny pieces as you mow, you cut out the need for raking grass cuttings and leaves. The mulched leaves will barely be visible and will quite quickly decompose, feeding your lawn as it does.
Using a mower to mulch is very efficient, and yes, it is possible to use your standard lawn mower, as long as you don’t have great piles of leaves. Admittedly, you may need to go over the area twice if you want them chopped really small.
Mulching Leaves with a Weed Eater
If you are stuck and don’t fancy doing the stomp to mulch your leaves underfoot, you can actually use a weed wacker. After you have raked your leaves, place them in a sturdy bin (making sure that it is not so big to cause you to use the wacker at an uncomfortable and dangerous angle).
Now place the weed eater in the middle of the leaves (before you start it up) and wack away. You will have shredded leaves in no time.
Always wear protective glasses when using this method.
Use a Leaf Vacuum & Mulcher
In the past leaf vacuums were few and far between, but, nowadays there is a good selection on the market. They are, in my opinion, the fastest and most labor-saving way to deal with fall leaves. They are great for awkward areas, such as underneath shrubs and around plants.
Unlike the stand-alone leaf mulchers, a vacuum mulcher illuminates the need for raking and picking up. Generally, a leaf vacuum is a multipurpose power tool. Not only do they have the capability to vacuum and mulch, but most can also be used as a leaf blower.
They work using a surprisingly simple process. When the leaves are sucked up they pass spinning impeller blades where they are shredded. These small pieces are then sent on into the collection bag.
How to Use Your Leaf Mulch & Fallen Leaves
If you have never used leaf mulch before, here are a few ideas that are good for your garden.
Autumn leaves are a great brown addition to any compost pile. You must ensure that the leaves are moist or wet and that you mix in with green composting material. This can be grass clippings or vegetable peelings etc.
Making Leaf Mold
Leaf compost (or leaf mold) is a fantastic material to have for your garden. In fact, you will often hear gardeners refer to it as black gold for the garden. Although leaf mold may take longer to rot down compared to your normal compost heap, it is a simpler process.
Using Mulch on Flower Beds
Mulching your plants and your garden beds ready for the cold weather is another great use. Not only does it help in maintaining a constant soil temperature it is also great to retain moisture in the ground. Meaning, less watering for you.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
I hope this information has helped answer any questions about mulching leaves that you may have had. I will finish off by answering some of the questions that I often get asked.
How long does it take to make leaf mulch?
It takes approximately 6-12 months for leaves to turn into a wonderfully crumbly mulch. For a faster process, shred the leaves first and mix them with a source of nitrogen, either store-bought or simple grass clippings.
How to mulch leaves without a mower?
There are a few ways you can mulch leaves without a mower. If mowing the lawn isn’t possible then using a leaf vacuum is probably the easiest option. However, a stand-alone leaf shredder does a great job, but, that does mean you do the collecting.
How do I remove leaves from mulch?
To remove leaves from mulch without picking them out by hand, you can carefully use a leaf blower on its slowest setting.
Personally, I leave any dead leaves on my garden beds because, as they start to break down, they supply the plants with a lot of goodness.
There you have it, all the info you need to make your fall leaves into a wonderfully rich leaf mulch. I hope you have enjoyed my blog and now have the knowledge that you were looking for.