But, the leaf is a gift from nature. Leaves in the form of leaf mulch, mould and compost are a valuable soil builder which greatly improves the soil's structure and water holding capacity. Along with feeding the soil it houses and feeds beneficial organisms, important for all parts of your garden.
Leaf Mulch: Mulch is leaves not thoroughly decomposed. You can use mulch as a weed suppressor as well as a barrier between your soil and frost, cold, wind and heat along with stray sunlight. Do be aware that is using leaf mulch around the base of plants for protection, it is important not to touch the plant stems
Leaf Mould: This is created by forming a pile of leaves left to naturally degrade for two years. If you want to speed up the process, you can shred the leaves first. Leaf mould has similar qualities to peat but it has a renewable source and can be used to replace peat as a potting compost for example.
Leaf Compost: This is leaves mixed and broken down with other organic material. This is fantastic food for your soil, packed with organisms and nutrients. AS a tip; when mixing leaves with other organic material it is important to mix it around from time to time as compost ecosystems need air. Porosity is essential and a flat, matted pile of leaf or grass will compress and effect the process.
Take Care – leaves left lying on lawns and flower beds can be a problem as they will inhibit growth by blocking sunlight to grass and new shoots. Over the years I have designed and developed diverse methods of harvesting leaf mulch, mould and compost. Why not get in touch to discuss how your leaf problem can transform your garden for the better.
Chat soon, Ross
As we all know, we are enjoying a particularly mild Autumn. In fact the medium term forecast from now until the end of October predicts temperatures not dropping below 8 or 9 degrees.
So what does that mean for us gardeners? Well those of us who have not yet planted for spring have the grace of an extra number of weeks at least before the ground freezes.
So what should we be doing to ensure a full and excellent bloom come spring 2015?
Autumn is a great time for planting Spring-blooming bulbs, perennials, trees, and shrubs. And for your kitchen garden why not start some semi-hardy vegetables like Beets, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Endives, Irish potatoes or Lettuce and gourmet salad greens.
In fact Autumn planting has some real planting advantages. Autumn's cooler air temperatures are easier on plants. The soil is still warm, allowing roots to grow until the ground freezes. In spring, plants don't grow until the soil warms up.
Although we are expecting some rainfall for October, which can be tough on us gardeners, the results next spring will be well worth a few drenchings! Not to mention that the deep watering required for new plants will be taken care of by mother nature rather than the hose pipe (in the light of our new water charges – a benefit not to be overlooked!)
Finally, the late season is usually bargain time at garden centres that are trying to sell the last of their inventory before winter.
So gardeners, out you get into the garden.
Chat soon, Ross