What to do with your autumn leaves.

Text read by Mary Peters

Use autumn leaves as winter protection for plants.

Not all plants can survive outdoors during the winter months without adequate protection. You can use insulating materials such as coconut mats, polystyrene, bubble wrap or garden fleece. But you can also support sensitive plants during the winter with a protective and warming layer of leaves. Either spread the leaves directly on the garden bed or place them on the surface of the soil of your potted plants.

Raised beds also benefit from a layer of leaves. The decomposition makes the soil particularly rich in nutrients, which helps you when growing vegetables in spring.

Use autumn leaves as free fertiliser.

If you want to get rid of your leaves, don’t just throw them over the fence of your property. Autumn leaves are also suitable as fertiliser. Why spend money unnecessarily when nature provides us with the raw materials for free? It is better not to put walnut leaves on the compost. The leaves rot very slowly and make the compost acidic.  

Leave autumn leaves as winter shelters for animals and insects.

In the cold season, hedgehogs, earthworms, spiders, beetles, newts, caterpillars and moths are especially happy to have a protective layer of leaves. It is best to place the pile of leaves on an earthy surface or on an area that is not overgrown with ornamental grass. This way, leaves will not cause unsightly stains on the lawn.