A few days into autumn and signs of a seasonal change are everywhere. Colourful deciduous trees are certainly starting to come into their own. The weeping willows that fringe my garden are signalling to me the cool months are close as their leaves change from crisp green to soft shades of yellow and gold.
This time of year I spend a lot of time travelling round the country to numerous horse events hence I get to enjoy the range of autumn colours wherever I go. It’s not surprising that I get tooted at as I slow down to take in the beauty of a scarlet pin oak in its full red glory or a maple maybe are its clock of leaves change from orange to red and then crimson. Autumn is a magical season that is so often under rated by many. To me it signals relief to the hot dry days of summer, the cool mornings and nights I find are best spent indoors savouring the last of the summers produce with a glass or two of your favorite tipple.
Leaves are garden gold. When left to rot down naturally into the soil they release mineral nutrients which feed the soil, worms also toil away under ground to turn them into fertilizer. Spread small leaves of trees like Willow, birch, beech, ginkgo and Japanese maples under shrubs and over all exposed soil.
Use leaves as mulch, layers of mulch insulate your garden against to cold. A 10cm layer is the perfect depth to work too. Mulch also prevents weed growth and helps the soil retain moisture too.
For larger leaves put these to your compost heaps in layers with grass clippings along with other garden green waste. Over the winter months this will break down into useable compost which can be spread round the garden in the spring.
If you have more leaves than you can use, in some areas you can burn them, check with your local council first. You could try burying them in your vege garden too, they will rot down over winter adding nutrient and humus to the soil. Children may like to use excess leaves to stuff scare crows.
Leaf mould is an ideal medium for sowing seeds in, to make simply place a large amount of leaves in a sack or bag and forget about them for 4-6 months. The resulting product is light, porous and perfect for using at seed sowing time.