Tag Archives: Leaf Recycling

Misconseptions about Wildlife Corridors

hemlock bed 11



Talking with a colleague in the Landscaping and Gardening business, I was shocked to hear that she though the the term “Wildlife Corridors” meant that it was required to be planted with only native plants.  But the term refers to creating a highway of vegetation connecting garden beds or enlarging existing ones to assist small mammals, reptiles and insects to move safely though the land for the purpose of finding food, shelter and reproduce. In a sense expanding their habitats.

In the photo above, I have an example of an existing bed in my on garden. The Canadian Hemlocks planted twenty years ago and heavily shaded by many oak trees next door, have become very thin in the bottom and no longer provide the privacy screen they were originally planted to achieve.  I see this as a perfect opportunity to enlarge and add plantings for my benefit and to help biodiversity.

hemlock bed 21

Follow the guide lines in my 2009 post: creating a new planting bed. Determine the space to use, layer with newspaper to kill the grass, wet paper so it stays in place and add mulch (here I used leaf mulch created from last years leaf collection) and presto!

hemlock bed 31


New planting area ready and marked.  I will trim the hemlocks a bit in the spring so the shrubs will be outside the drip line. In this case I have chosen Aesculus parviflora or Bottlebrush Buckeye, very shade tolerant, large and just dense and tall enough to provide the needed privacy in two or three years depending on the size planted. And Yes, this is a native shrub that is also deer resistant!

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

Albert Einstein


You can recycle fall leaves


If you have deciduous trees in the quantities that I do, you will be glad to be able to use their leaves in the fall as a resource instead of a source of trash.  As explained in this article posted in the Penn State Extention website, fall leaves are rich in nutrients in a comparable rate of manure or fertilizers.  They contain minerals and many  trace elements that our plants need and in addition make a suitable mulch to protect plants through the winter.  As in nature, leaves fall naturally in the forest floor to biodegrade and transform into nutrients.  Naturally, in our own home garden environments we want to remove the leaves from the lawn.  Grass needs to be clear of debris but finely mulched leaves provide needed nitrogen to the grass as well.  The key is to use a mulching mower and leave the clippings on the ground.  At this time of the year I blow the fine clippings in areas where the bulk of the leaves were, and transfer them to the garden beds.  It saves a lot of money in mulch as well!  My preference is to keep this valuable resource and use it as nature intended.

Nature does nothing uselessly.   –Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Related reading on Leaf Collection