We live here in north GA and was planning on putting new red colored
mulch to our garden beds in the front of our home. Right now, there is
a very thin layer of red mulch in some beds.
The beds are near large trees and soon the leaves will fall.
What do others do about putting red mulch during fall season?
Do you put a filter of some sort to catch the fall leaves so they
don't cover up the mulch?
Is it suggested to mulch after the leaves are done falling?
What about running the blower ? Will it blow away the mulch also?
The mulch we have used so far is the red colored mulch from Garden
Please let me have your advice!!
I prefer to use said fall leaves as mulch. Much cheaper and better for
the environment. ;)
Why not wait till the bulk of the leaves fall and are cleaned up. If you
can't and choose to mulch sooner that should be fine. You can use a leaf
blower to remove the leaves so long as they don't get rained on before
Once the rain hits them and they compact down, they will be harder to
remove from your beds and will tend to stick together in mats.
Fall leaves are my only mulch. In winter, a leaf mulch helps protect
ground covers from frost. (Yes, we get frost every winter in many parts
of southern California, even areas not in the mountains.) In summer, a
leaf mulch helps keep the soil cool and moist, conserving water.
Year-round, a leaf mulch prevents mud from splattering.
I try to add as many oak leaves as possible to my compost pile, which is
really more leaf mold than compost. I also add some ash, liquidambar,
and zelkova leaves; but oak makes the best leaf mold. When the pile
reaches the point where additional new material will overwhelm the
composting action, I start mulching my beds, front and back (especially
my camellia bed). I just leave peach leaves where they fall as a mulch
for the grape hyacinths and primroses growing under the tree.
I also try to keep an oak leaf mulch around the valley white oak by my
driveway, the oak that produces the leaves for my compost pile. Western
oaks really need a leaf mulch. However, winter winds often scour the
Last winter, I had about a 2" layer of leaves on the front lawn. When
the Great Freeze of '07 hit (record breaking cold for our climate), this
mulch was all that kept the pink clover (Persicaria capitata) alive. (I
planted the pink clover in place of grass, to which I'm allergic.)
In the end, I get far more leaves than I can use. I pile the excess on
my patio and walkways. Then, each week I fill the garden waste bin with
leaves for the County's composting project. I generally don't dispose
of the last of the leaves until about two months after they fell.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Guess it depends how much the appearance you're looking for matters, and
what that appearance is. Guess you could tie off a fine nylon netting over
the tree trunk at an angle at least 45 degrees to meet the soil. This to
keep the leaves out of the purty red mulch. Remove when the trees are done
shedding their spring-fall coat.
Actually, the appearance doesn't matter that much functionally. To keep up
the functional end, add mulch each year. Mulch will settle, and will decay.
Leaves in the mulch are okay.
Suppose, with some practice, one could blow the leaves without upsetting the
mulch. A wet or damp day isn't a day to do this.
Myself? Could care less. Let the leaves fall where they will. Here comes
the mulching lawnmower. Followup with fresh mulch around the trees around
Some of it fades to a color most aptly named "Plastic Flamingo Pink". Pass
the barf bag.
My neighbor loves the colored mulch. He says it's because it makes it clear
to observers that he's just done some gardening. I don't have the heart to
tell him what else is made clear.
The dyed mulch is one evil, but putting colored pebbles in a bed is
quite another. I've read many times of people cursing while trying to
get those pebbles out after they've proven to be a miserable mulch to
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
Mulching - http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/M/ Look up "Mulch"
John A. Keslick, Jr.
Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology.
Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us
that we are not the boss.
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