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Fallen leaves in the country: the best options for using natural material

Many summer residents burn leaves in the fall to free the garden from litter. But there are many more rational decisions about how to deal with natural material.

Summer residents and gardeners often collect fallen leaves and burn them, cleaning the site. We got acquainted with the advice of experienced summer residents and gardeners, and prepared some of the best solutions for owners of country houses. Having considered the possible options, you will draw conclusions for yourself about the advisability of harvesting the leaves and their further use.

Cleaning leaves at their summer cottage

  • Why you shouldn’t remove the leaves
  • Why, then, are the leaves burning?
  • Composting
  • Aerobic composting
  • Fast fermentation
  • Anaerobic composting
  • Soil for indoor flowers and seedlings
  • Making mulch
  • Creating shelters for perennial plants for the winter
  • Warm beds
  • High beds
  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Home Decorations

Why you shouldn’t remove the leaves

Among summer residents, there are those who advise removing foliage, and those who strongly recommend clearing the garden of litter. Therefore, it is better to consider the arguments in support of both solutions.

So, summer residents who do not remove foliage argue that no one removes litter in the wild. It accumulates on the soil surface for years, forming a nutrient layer for the proper development of trees. The flooring has several functions:

  • insulates and protects plant roots in winter;
  • loose litter allows air to flow to the roots, absorbs water well, gradually giving it to trees;
  • during the period of snow melting, the earth, which did not freeze in winter due to the flooring, absorbs moisture well;
  • does not allow moisture to quickly evaporate from the soil, preventing the appearance of soil erosion and crust;
  • natural material, rotting, becomes a valuable fertilizer, in which earthworms reproduce well.

If you leave litter on the ground, after a few years the soil will become dark, loose and moist here. It will contain many nutrients necessary for the proper development of trees. This fertilizer contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, as well as calcium and other useful trace elements.

Fallen leaves in the country: the best options for using natural material

By leaving a layer of leaves on the ground in your garden, you increase the chances of obtaining a fertile soil that can give your trees everything they need to grow properly.

Why, then, are the leaves burning?

But not all gardeners leave foliage at their summer cottage. In most cases, litter must be removed, because it is not wild centuries-old trees that grow in the garden, but cultural species. They can be quite moody, reacting negatively to any unfavorable factors.

Not only earthworms live in fallen leaves. Some insect pests are also not opposed to wintering in this nutrient medium. These can be caterpillars and weevils, aphids and other species dangerous to plants. Among the dangerous ailments that affect natural material, it is worth mentioning coccomycosis, powdery mildew, scab. If the garden is suffering from parasites and pathogens, the leaves must be burned. It is unacceptable to use them for any other purpose. Even after recycling, such material will re-infest the garden.

If there are paths, lawns in the garden, litter must also be removed from them. Otherwise, the site will look neglected. Here the carpet of leaves looks untidy. On the lawn, litter closes the access of plants to light and air. This will negatively affect the condition of the grass. In just a few days, the spectacular lawn takes on a yellowish tint, and in some areas bald spots appear.

Some gardeners even burn healthy leaves. But according to many summer residents, this is irrational. There are many ways to properly apply healthy foliage to improve the appearance of your garden at your summer cottage.


If the leaves on the site are healthy, do not rush to burn them! They will make an excellent fertilizer. It needs to be cooked properly. To do this, several compost pits are made on the site. You can store the harvested material in bags, boxes or other suitable container. Several different composting methods are used:

  • aerobic fast fermentation;
  • aerobic slow composting (better composition);
  • creating humus anaerobically.

If the leaves are diseased, they are burned. To play it safe, if litter seems to be healthy, you need to treat it with bioinsecticides and biofungicides. For this, drugs such as EM-1 are suitable. They will not only perform antiseptic soil treatment, but will also contribute to the processing of organic matter into humus.

Fallen leaves in the country: the best options for using natural material

Pits or leaf containers should not be very large. But plants from the site must be added to them. These can be shoots of fruit and berry plants, tops without a root, etc.

Aerobic composting

You will need to prepare a base from branches, poles, shoots left over from spring pruning. This is a kind of drainage layer, which can later be pushed with a pitchfork, increasing the air flow to decaying plant residues. This will greatly speed up the fermentation process.

A layer of young weeds is poured onto the prepared drainage. You need to lay out the prepared material on it. On top, you can lay out mowed grass from the lawn or other light plant waste. The thickness of the layer should not exceed 20 cm. Earth is poured on top. It is watered with the chosen EM preparation. You can add several layers in the same sequence. After two months, the workpiece can be transferred to the garden.

Fast fermentation

If you can’t wait for two months, you can do a quick fermentation. It literally lasts three days. This method will allow you to quickly process fallen leaves. It is necessary to prepare a layer of drainage, leaves, grass, tops and other plant components. Soil is also poured from above.

Before bioinsecticide treatment, the layer must be watered with hot water (temperature not lower than 85 ° C). The workpiece is left for 5-6 hours, and then EM-1 or another similar composition is added. The heap needs to be raked a little.

After 3 days, the unripe compost is once again treated with a solution, and then transferred to the garden bed. The garden is dug up, leaving the workpiece in the ground. In September-October, it will rot directly in the beds. In spring, this soil will be light, nutrient-dense. With a rake, the soil is freed from the dense crust to begin the sowing campaign.

Anaerobic composting

This method involves carrying out the decay process in a specially prepared pit. A layer of weeds and tops is laid out at the bottom. Then fall leaves are laid. Between them you need to pour about 5 cm of soil. Each layer should be slightly damp. To do this, they are watered with a little water.

After that, the layer is impregnated with EM-1. Oxygen access to organic matter is closed, for which the layers are tamped tightly. The temperature in the pit should be + 27 … + 29 ° С. If the temperature rises above 30 ° C, the contents are moistened with water.

The workpiece is covered with polyethylene, sprinkled with a layer of grass. The fermentation process takes 4 to 6 months. Unripe compost can be added to the soil in a month. The land will be more difficult to cultivate. The advantage of unripe harvesting is the preservation of many nutrients. In such conditions, the anaerobic microflora develops more actively. Organic residues lying deep in the ground are deprived of air access. Anaerobic bacteria will better process plant components into humus.

Soil for indoor flowers and seedlings

In addition to preparing a nutrient substrate for the beds, the leaves can be used for other purposes. They can be used to make soil for seedlings or soil for indoor plants. Healthy leaves are packed into a large plastic bag. Weeds without seeds and roots, tops are also put here.

The bag needs to be pierced in several places. During fermentation, the contents are periodically shaken. It should be humid inside, but not too humid. The decay process will take several months. When the plant components turn into a substrate, the mass is used for planting flowers and seedlings.

This soil is characterized by good looseness and low acidity (about 5-6 pH). It is an ideal material for growing begonias, cyclamen and other flowers with a delicate root system.

Making mulch

Fallen leaves make an excellent mulch. For this, the collection from barren trees and shrubs is laid out on the beds. It is better to make compost from the litter of fruit trees. The advantage of this technique is that it inhibits weed growth. Minerals useful for plants will not be washed out of the soil during the rainy season. In spring, mulch is either harvested with a rake or embedded in the soil.

Fallen leaves in the country: the best options for using natural material

Creating shelters for perennial plants for the winter

Roses and chrysanthemums, other perennial plants can be sheltered from the winter cold with fallen leaves. Almost all bulbous plants need an additional layer of natural insulation. Otherwise, they may not survive the winter. If you put a layer of leaves on top of such plants, they will bloom faster in spring. But with the onset of warmth, one must not forget to remove such a “blanket”. Otherwise, the plants can rot.

Warm beds

In the spring, the first shoots in the garden can be observed earlier, if in the fall they are covered with dry fallen leaves. To do this, you must first make trenches. The soil is left nearby for the whole winter. Prepared material is poured into the prepared grooves. Cut dry grass, tops and other plant residues are spread on it.

The trenches should be watered if the weather is dry. In the spring, plant residues will settle. They need to pour the soil left near the beds. From above, the landing site is covered with non-woven material. This will allow the soil to warm up faster.

High beds

Another option for using healthy fallen leaves is to create tall beds. It is necessary to put shields from boards instead of trenches. Leaves are poured into such containers, and other vegetation on top. They are watered and left until spring. During the winter, plant matterl will crush. In the spring, the flooring will allow the soil to warm up faster.

Lawn fertilizer

When dry weather sets in, and all foliage dries well, treat the surface of the lawn. To do this, remove the basket from the mower. The leaves are crushed, allowing the grass to get enough air. They will quickly penetrate into the soil, making it lighter and more nutritious. If the pieces are too large, the quality of the lawn will deteriorate markedly.

Home Decorations

Beautiful bouquets and wreaths can be made from beautiful leaves of the original shape. They are used to create interesting crafts. This job is fun to do with the kids. You can decorate the compositions with other natural materials. published by econet.ru.

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