Mulching With Leaves

Frosty oak leafQuestion: If I want to use fallen leaves as mulch, can I just put them over my garden or do I need to do other preparations first?

Answer: Fallen leaves can serve as a good organic mulch. Medium to large leaves should be shredded first, then applied to the garden. This will help them stay in place and break down faster, and it will prevent matting, which could smother plants and lead to rot. Leaves that are small to begin with don’t need to be shredded.

Read all about fall lawn care and using fallen leaves.


Clean up hard-to-rake surfaces with the Wizard Rubber Rake.

Check out Clarington Forge’s Springbok, a long-lasting multipurpose rake.

Learn how to keep your trees healthy with The Tree Care Primer from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Related Posts:

5 thoughts on “Mulching With Leaves

  1. I put my leaves through a “barrel” shredder that I bought at a local Agway many years ago. It has a large open space with a rotating string at the bottom where the leaves get shredded before falling out further below. It doesn’t get clogged up like a regular shredder. However, leaves must be dry. Wet leaves create a soggy mess. It gives me incentive to rake early. Using this mulch for the past 20 years has enriched my soil, and my worm count is over the moon. They eat the leaves and their castings feed my plants. Gotta love it!

  2. I read about a simple way to reduce leaves in size in order to mulch, or to add to compost. I fill a garbage bucket with them, and then run my weed whacker through them. Its like making a big milkshake. The rotors quickly reduce the leaves to about 20 per cent of their original size, so I keep adding more. Simple to pour them where they are needed. My neighbors think i am nuts, but it works like a charm.

Leave a Reply