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In the fall, when the trees and shrubs are thinning, a thick carpet of dead leaves forms in the garden.
Now is the time to unclog the gutters and then collect the leaves, use them in the garden and vegetable patch to fertilize the soil and protect the most fragile plants.
In the garden, everything is kept and nothing is lost, here is how to make dead leaves of great use.
Fallen leaves for use in the garden
Use healthy leaves:
Who says dead leaf does not mean healthy leaf. Make sure the sheets you are using are disease, fungus and parasite free which could overwinter only to reappear in the spring.
Most fungi have an unfortunate tendency to overwinter in order to spread better as soon as the warm weather returns. The only solution is then to destroy them by burning them.
Avoid excessively tough leaves:
There are leaves that take a very long time to decompose like the leaves of laurel of plane tree or from privet. They can take several years to decompose.
Dead leaves: ideal protection against frost
When winter is on its way and the first night frosts appear, a good mulch can protect the most sensitive plants.
Many flowers with bulbs and tubers like dahlias and the gladioli, begonias tuberous, but also agapanthus are sensitive to cold and deserve a good blanket in winter. To do this, protect them with a thick carpet of dead leaves about 40 cm thick.
Be careful, if you live in an area where winters are harsh, it is better to bring in the bulbs and tubers in the winter because the dead leaves may not be enough.
If you have a banana tree, form a circle around the foliage with a screen and fill it with a thick layer of about 80 cm to 1 m of dead leaves. You can do the same with young plants.
Dead leaves as fertilizer in the vegetable garden
Let’s not forget that dead leaves represent a great source of organic matter for all of your plantations, including to fertilize the soil in your vegetable garden.
At a time when only root vegetables survive the harshness of winter, you can spread a large layer of dead leaves over the entire plot of your vegetable garden, thus taking advantage of their decomposition as organic matter input.
This layer will facilitate the survival of the ecosystem during winter and earthworms and other earthworms to continue their work so important to our earth.
But dead leaves can also protect root vegetables still in place from freezing, which will make harvesting easier as and when you need them.
Finally, the dead leaves limit the appearance of weeds which should make your job easier when the good weather arrives.
Dead leaves, ideal mulching!
If after all this you have dead leaves, don't throw them away!
The leaves can indeed form a very good mulch on all your beds which limit the appearance of weeds all in fertilizing the soil.
The leaves, as in the vegetable garden, help to maintain an underground life which participates in the creation of humus and the development of microorganisms.
Finally, if you still have leaves, throw them in the compost but, again, only use leaves that are healthy for any disease.
- Read also : protect plants well against frost in winter