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Use Leaves for Free Fertilizer

Why are people raking or blowing their leaves to the street for the city government to collect? Leaves are a type of free fertilizer, and yet we pay our cities to haul our free fertilizer away every fall, and then buy unnatural, non-organic chemicals, or organic fertilizers in the spring to replenish our lawns.


Why are we doing this? This has been bothering me for years. I garden; and, because we all need to "think green," (before the mulching mower) I would rake all the leaves up, and dig a huge hole in the garden, or vice-versa, and rake all of the leaves into the hole I created in the garden, then back fill all of the dirt into the hole.

The first spring, when I dug into that tree leaf back fill, I was surprised by some of the darkest, most lovely soil I had ever seen in my life.

I truly feel that deciduous trees are trying to give back to us in the fall everything they accumulated from the sun, rain, and soil that spring and summer.

Yet, without thought, so many of us rake those leaves up, waiting for the city to come take them away, and we devoid our own property of those nutrients, replenishing them in the spring with other nutrients - organic, or not.


In the years that have passed, I've gotten married, and we now own a mulching lawnmower. I really like the idea that the lawnmower mulches the fallen leaves; however, the mulching lawnmower uses gasoline.

For ourselves, and those that are here, and those to come, let's "think green." Really, what are we doing to our own properties when we give the city our leaves, and devoid our own land of those nutrients?

Source: Myself. I was inspired to write this today, after I heard a noise outside and asked my husband what that noise was. He replied that it sounded like it might have been a leaf-blower, or even a leaf-mulcher.

By Carol L. from South Bend, IN

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October 29, 20090 found this helpful

Most leaves do have some nutrients. Unfortunately for me, I am surrounded by 'Red Oaks'. According to the local 'master gardeners', these leaves have almost NO nutrients. Now this does not mean they are worthless. I mulch mine and work them into areas of my garden that need something to keep the soil from compacting too much. And I also run my electric lawn mower over the leaves in the front yard and by spring they have almost all disintegrated. Use the mulching blade all the time.

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October 29, 20090 found this helpful

The more leaves the merrier in our garden. Gardener's gold is what my husband says.

We have a friend who works for the city and he uses a ride on lawnmower with a grass collection bag. They use to put all the leaves and grass clippings into garbage bags and just throw them into a dumpster. I asked if any chemicals or pesticides were used and, no there wasn't, so now they put those bags in a spot for us to back our truck in and load up. We just get a phone call when it's time to pick the load up.

In the spring it's grass clippings in garbage bags, at the beginning of the garden season we use this for mulching around bedding plants. I rarely have to pull a weed around anything; got to love a weed free garden. This also helps to keep the moister in on those hot dry days and the heat for a head start on the colder spring days.


Then in the fall after the garden has been pulled my husband tills in all those bags of leaves. That's also when we pick out a spot to plant the garlic and insulate it with leaves.

I've also heard of people putting the leaves into a big garbage can and using a weed-eater to mulch up leaves. Our lawnmower also has a grass collector bag and by running over the leaves it picks them up and chops them as well.
It's a win, win; no raking leaves, a garden that flourishes, and virtually a weed free garden.

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November 1, 20090 found this helpful

God bless all of you, if I'm allowed to say that. You may just need to dig a huge hole in the garden area, and fill it full of leaves, and leave it to spring, then dig in, and see what dark, beautiful soil you have in the spring.


I'm looking to a much better garden season next year than we had this year, and I already have a tip; if the bees won't help, and I haven't done this yet, but I'm ready to, then take a clean paint brush, and brush it over all your plants in the spring/summer, so that you distribute the pollen to wherever it needs to go in the plant.

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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

Our township has a community compost pile where you can bring your leaves and other garden waste if you don't use it, and other's can go pick up what they need. You could try suggesting that to your local municipality.

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November 9, 20090 found this helpful

Absolutely beautiful posting! Those gas powered noisy leaf blowers should be banned. I'm glad that someone else mentioned that lawn clippings (hard to believe that anyone still has a lawn) make good mulch and compost too.

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November 14, 20090 found this helpful

Removing leaves also removes the nutrients they provide you for free. Why remove leaves then pay to replace their nutrients? They nourish the soil, protect it during drought, keep down weeds and slowly you'll have a smaller area to mow. You could design your yard to accommodate the areas where leaves fall; use your imagination. You buy landscaping mulch and it's surely costing more these days; instead, use your trees' leaves or pine needles which cost you nothing--no need to drive to a home store 'n stand in line then fight the traffic back home. Better for the budget or savings account.

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June 30, 20100 found this helpful

This is why I love this site, many Godly natural ideals. I just love reading and learning .Thank you for such a beautiful post. Have a great day everyone. Mary Lou

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