Don’t Burn those Leaves!

What’s happening in the garden right now?

  1. Carrots are still in. We covered them during our rare ultra cold snap here in south Louisiana. Hopefully they made it through. We’ll harvest them in February.
  2. A little bit of lettuce planted. Lettuce can handle some cold weather. And lettuce is on a 15-30 day cycle, so it can be harvested as is or covered heavy should another cold snap come through.
  3. LEAVES! LEAVES! LEAVES! This month, most of my neighbors are raking and bagging leaves. I steal them from their driveways before the garbage truck arrives. I’ve probably collected close to 40 bags at this point. Along with another 20 or so of my own leaves. What are we doing with all these leaves?
    • Mulching and Composting. As time allows, I’ll run over these leaves with my mulching push mower. Each bag is reduced down to about 10 gallons when mulched. Piles of this good mulch will continue to break down and collect worms throughout the winter and spring. We’ll add about 5 gallons per week to our compost bins. This adds the needed carbon to the pile to improve the quality of compost when added to the plants.
    • Bags for new beds. Other bags are just left alone to continue to break down. As we have opportunities to build new raised beds, we’ll add a bag of leaves to the bottom, along with other organic matter that will activate the biological layers needed for raised bed greatness.
    • Deep Cover. All my beds that are not growing carrots and lettuce are deep covered in leaves. This keeps the biological life alive during the winter. Also, everytime it rains, the leaves feed the soil with nutrients that will bring life to plants in the spring. In the spring, when we’re ready to plant, we’ll peel this layer of leaves back. Mulch them down with the push mower and utilized them as mulch and compost throughout the year.

I hate to see or smell leaves burning. So much good they can do in the garden or flower beds. Don’t burn those leaves!

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Published by Lane Corley

I am - Follower of Jesus Christ - Husband to the beautiful and patient Heather Corley - Father of three. - Church Planter / Church Planting Strategist with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. - When I can, I’m reading, raised bed gardening, deer hunting, and on mission with my church. - Hoping to be helpful.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Burn those Leaves!

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