Reuse: Decomposed Leaves

Decomposed leaves, called Leaf Mold by landscaping pros, is gardening gold. You can use it as a soil conditioner or mulch.

Mix decomposed leaves into soil to improve the soil’s texture, add nutrients, increase water retention, aerate tight soil, and make a hospitable habitat for earthworms and beneficial bacteria.

Place composted leaves over soil, as mulch, to hold in moisture and reduce water use.

In the Reclaimed Garden, there were lots of partially composted/decomposed leaves piled in the far corner of the the back yard. As each plant was planted in the garden, composted leaves were added to in-situ soil to improve quality and texture.

After all the plants were installed, soaker hoses were laid in the garden and covered with newspaper and 3-inches of decomposed leaves. A thin top-dressing of mulch will be placed over the leaves for a neat finished look.  The leaves hold in the moisture, reducing the amount of water needed to maintain the garden, and reduce the volume of mulch needed to make the garden look neat and pretty.

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