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Leaves as Winter Mulch

Are leaves a good winter mulch for my perennials?

Large leaves tend to hold moisture, mat down and ice up over winter.  This increases the risk of winter kill or spring rot.  I prefer to shred my leaves and spread them over the soil surface for mulch, work them into the soil as an amendment, or compost them with other garden debris.  Evergreen branches, straw and marsh hay make excellent winter mulch when applied over the plants after the soil is lightly frozen soil.  


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