Garden rake with freshly fallen leaves

What to do with autumn leaves

There are two camps when it comes to autumn leaf clearing. One camp say leaves can damage lawns and cover plants, whilst the other insists that autumn leaf fall is a vital resource for wildlife. As always, for gardeners, the truth is somewhere in the middle. For our part, we will generally allow leaves to stay where they fall (apart from in four specific instances) and when we have to clear them, we look on them as a wonderful free resource that can be re-used in the garden.

As for these ‘four specific instances’, you might assume that something as simple as leaf clearing would require a simple answer, but actually things are a little more complicated than tidy up/don’t tidy up. For instance, its best for wildlife to learn to love a covering of leaves but what if you have low growing spring bulbs like crocus or winter aconite, which are also vital for early rising pollinators? These bulbs would be easily swamped by a thick layer of leaf litter (whereas strong growing daffodils would happily push their way through) so if you have low growing bulbs, early leaf clearing will ensure you don’t damage their delicate spring displays.

With that in mind, we have put together a simple guide for when and when not to clear autumn leaves and the reasons why, which you can download for free below. We will periodically update this guide, so if there is anything else you would like to know about what to do with your leaves, drop us a comment on our Facebook page.

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