Make your own Organic Mulch!
You can make your own mulch by collecting fallen leaves from your lawn!
Mulching is not strictly a springtime garden activity?
Mulching in the fall season is important. As leaf-rich, deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and complete their seasonal cycles, the fallen leaves are valuable to other plants around them. The decomposing leaves act as mulch to keep the autumn soil warm, and help protect plants during the cold and harsh winter months.
Fall leaves can be turned into what farmers describe as “natural fuel” for plants. Leaves are packed with trace minerals that plants draw up from the soil. Leaves also feed earthworms and beneficial microbes, tiny microorganisms that inhabit the earth. Mulched leaves enrichen the soil by lightening its heavy consistency and they help the soil to retain moisture, increase plant fertility, drain properly, and prevent weeds from germinating. In fact, adding dead leaves to the garden in the fall season will make for sweeter tomatoes next spring.
How to Make Mulch
Collect the leaves as soon as they fall, while they contain peak levels of nitrogen. Shredding them with a leaf shredder or lawn mower will help them to release nutrients into the soil. Spread and pile the leaves around vegetables, flowers, and shrubs. This will help your plants during the harsh, cold winters; making their survival to spring a strong probability. Be generous with the mulch layers. As the leaf mulch thins out, add more leaves as needed.
Leaf mold and leaf compost can also be used in gardens. Leaf mold can be made from fallen leaves which are collected, shredded, and placed in an outdoor wire bin. It must be kept continually kept moist as it decomposes. Leaf compost can be made in an outdoor wire bin by combining shredded leaves with grass clippings and kitchen scraps. You must add an accurate ratio of nitrogen to the pile to prevent the composting material from smelling. Leaf mold and leaf compost can be used as nutrition-rich soil or as an excellent soil additive in the garden.