Our fertilizer grows on trees

The last few days we’ve been taking advantage of our unseasonable Indian Summer. Last year there was 8 inches of snow by this time, but none is on the ground now. We had some a few weeks ago that melted.

Our garden is low in organics which is part of the reason it didn’t do very well this summer. We added some peat to the far side that helped dilute the clay and silt but it needed organics to make into really good garden soil. A few years ago we added a couple loads of horse manure. However, that brought in a lot of weed seeds including some invasive plants we’d just as soon not have. So this year we got a box of fish bone meal but didn’t have enough to properly cover the entire garden.

This year we’re adding leaves. Everyone has been busy raking the leaves from our driveway into piles. We live in the woods so our driveway gets lots of leaves. Then they get shoveled onto a large tarp and dragged to the garden. So far we’ve covered a third of the garden in about 4 inches of leaves. We also left the plants after we harvested the vegetable parts. Today the kids helped rake, load, and haul 3 big loads of leaves. Plus there is a load on the tarp ready to haul.

The best thing about using leaves for fertilizer is that they are free. It’s good exercise too. You don’t need any expensive tools, just a tarp, flat shovel (we’re using a snow shovel) and leaf rake. They are a renewable, natural, and sustainable form of fertilizer for as long as we have trees on the property. It does take a fair amount of work to rake and haul them though.

So rather than bagging your leaves for the landfill, consider dumping them on your garden instead.


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