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Using Fall Leaves to Improve the Soil

Someone told me I can use fall leaves to improve my soil.  Is this true?

Fall leaves make a great soil amendment.  Add them to annual and vegetable garden areas in the fall.  Start by chopping the leaves with your mower.  Many gardeners use the mower's bagging attachment to collect the shredded leaves.  Any grass clippings (as long as they have not been treated with an herbicide) in the mix will also help improve the soil.  Dig the leaves into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil.  By next spring the leaves will have broken down and helped improve the soil.  Chopped leaves can also be used as soil mulch in perennial gardens. Spread a thin layer of chopped leaves on the soil around the plants.  As the leaves break down they will help improve the soil below.   Some gardeners bag and save the leaves to use for a summer mulch the next season.  Tuck leaf-filled bags under evergreens, behind shrubs and in other out-of-the way places for winter storage.  Recycling your leaves in the landscape will save you time raking and money spent on soil amendments.


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