You know that leaves are an excellent mulch material. They are rich in nutrients and have an attractive appearance. Though you can leave the foliage where it falls on your lawn for thin mulch, there is a smarter option. You can prepare them in fall for a spring application.
When you apply the mulch in spring, especially after the last cold days of winter have passed, it can suppress weeds and keep the soil moist and encourage green growth.
Leaves are high in nitrogen. However, will take them a few months to break down and flood the soil with nutrients. When you apply them as mulch in spring, it highly benefits your warm-season lawn. They add nitrogen when the grass needs it most during the summer growing period.
Mulching in spring also helps prevent weeds from budding. It is possible because mulch blocks sunlight from the soil and keeps seeds from germinating. You can apply the mulch before the first weeds appear to see best results.
Just remember not to add the leaf mulch too early in the spring lest it cause lush green growth before the summer growth period truly begins.
You don’t necessarily have to shred leaves before applying them to your lawn as mulch. However, it’s a preferable option. You can avoid clumping and blocking of air and water from the soil, which can starve the roots over time.
An alternative option is to allow the leaves to decompose before applying them. For that, put the leaves in a compost bin in the autumn and use them for spring mulching.
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